Holiday Inn JBCC Appreciation 2023


It was good to be back at the Holiday Inn Johor Bahru City Centre again, particularly when it was for an evening dedicated to the appreciation of corporate and media partners.


Christmas themed decorations on cakes and
pastries this festive season at Dine@Eight

Our invitation was to arrive at the Lobby Lounge to enjoy pre-dinner drinks and light snacks before going to Level Nine where the Appreciation gathering was arranged in the Sapphire event halls.


I am familiar with the Sapphire event halls because almost exactly 12 months ago, I had the pleasure to partner with Holiday Inn Johor Bahru City Centre to hold the book launch event for My Johor Stories 3: Proudly Johor, Then and Now, here.


As I sipped my drink, I could not help having flashbacks to that event last year and felt deeply grateful for a healthy working relationship with the hotel.


Gingerbread house with gingerbread
man and a reindeer on the roof!

With more arrivals, the crowd in the Lounge soon swelled and we were then ushered to the elevators to make our way to the event halls upstairs.


The moment I stepped out of the elevator, the sight of the space ahead seemed very familiar and when I walked towards the entrance of the event halls, it felt like it was just “yesterday” when I was here for my own event.


When I spied the creatively arranged dessert section in the dinner buffet, it was a bright distraction that drew me closer to admire the array of delightful desserts with gingerbread houses and traditional Swiss Roll Yule Logs adorned with Christmas figurines and decorations.


The evening kicked off with Christmas carols presented bilingual in English and Mandarin, by a choir from the Holy Family Church.


Christmas carols presented by choir from
the Holy Family Church

In her speech, hotel General Manager, Emelyn Rosales, expressed her appreciation to corporate clients and media partners as well as her hotel team.


She took time to introduce the Heads of Department and the latest addition to the team, Executive Chef Khairil Anwar Ahmad, who comes with more than 25 years of culinary experience.


Then the Director of Sales & Marketing, Nirubah Karalasingam, presented an outline of the whirlwind of festive activities planned at Dine@Eight on Level Eight. They include:


Holiday Eve Dinner Buffet

On 24 December from 6:30pm to 10:00pm, for diners to indulge in an opulent spread featuring Beef Wellington, Seafood on Ice, Whole Roasted Chicken, Al Saffron Rice, Baked Pasta with Mushroom and Spinach Au Gratin, Duck Ala Orange, Seabass Florentine, Irish Summer Lamb Stew, Moules Mariniere, and Shepherd's Pie, and a medley of other mouth-watering delights.


Guests can also revel in live band entertainment, Santa Claus & Santa Rina appearances, and a Gingerbread man Cookie Decoration activity.


Holiday Hi-Tea Buffet

On 25 December from 12:00pm to 3:00pm, a sumptuous Hi-Tea Buffet awaits with a showcase of Stuffed Roasted Beef Tenderloin, Lasagna, Grilled Seabass with Lemon Butter Sauce, Lamb Navarin, and an array of other delectable treats.


The event will feature Santa Claus & Santa Rina appearances, ‘Guess The Candy’ Contest, and more.


Holiday Dinner Buffet

Continuing the celebrations on the 25 December from 6:30pm to 10:00pm, diners can savour the flavours of Roasted Chicken, Salted Baked Salmon, Jambalaya Rice, Penne Arrabiatta, Criollo Duck Breast, Sea Bass Cream Lemon Butter Sauce, Lamb Ragout, and other culinary delights. Santa Claus & Santa Rina will also grace the evening with their presence.


Festive Delights

Spread joy and giving from 1 - 31 December between 11:00am and 10:00pm. For every purchase of Festive Delights, a donation of RM5 will be made to a selected charity home.


Free-flow of wine and beer on Appreciation Night

Then it was time for the Lucky Draw because an Appreciation Night will not be complete without an opportunity to reward guests with prizes like vouchers for hotel stays in Holiday Inn properties and meals in the hotel restaurant.


No, I did not win any vouchers but I was pleasantly surprised to be among the three picked from the guests to say a few words about my experience with the hotel.


My token of appreciation to the GM
included a kopitiam cup and saucer
I was pleased with the privilege to express my appreciation to the hotel for their partnership with My Johor Stories and shared briefly about my book launch event for the third and final instalment to complete the trilogy of My Johor Stories, hosted in these very same event halls last December.


I did not mention it but at my book launch event, I presented the hotel with the trilogy of My Johor Stories made up of my 2017 MPH Non-Fiction Bestseller, My Johor Stories: True Tales, Real People, Rich Heritage, its sequel My Johor Stories 2: Interesting Places and Inspirational People, and the final instalment, My Johor Stories 3: Proudly Johor, Then and Now.


I also presented the hotel’s then General Manager with an autographed copy of Book Three with a traditional kopitiam cup and saucer, which he said reminded him of his childhood when he saw his father pour the hot drink onto the saucer to cool before drinking it from the saucer.


MPH Bestsellers List in July 2017

Due to time constraints, I also did not mention about the My Johor Stories in Downtown Johor Baru project early this year, where I hosted my Book Reading session in the hotel after the morning’s Heritage Walk.


[By the way, the GM and his family joined the group for my Heritage Walk and Book Reading session in the theme, Downtown Johor Bahru: Heritage Traders.]


Wow! This Appreciation Night at the hotel inadvertently turned out to be a special evening of meaningful reflections for me and My Johor Stories.


So thank you, Holiday Inn Johor Bahru City Centre, the appreciation is mutual.


Dine@Eight is on Level Eight, the lobby level of Holiday Inn Johor Bahru City Centre, located in Johor Bahru City Centre Mall, Jalan Tun Abdul Razak, 80000 Johor Baru, Johor.


For more information, visit the Holiday Inn Johor Bahru City Centre official Facebook and Instagram pages for holidayinnjbcc or website:

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