Updated on 15th March, 2011.
Just back from a 2-night trip to Bandar Utama, Selangor again! Booked a stay-and-shop package with One World Hotel. Once again, we stayed in a Deluxe room, at level 12 room 1212 this time. Total cost? RM$915 after taxes.
Almost a year has past since we made our maiden trip to meet our wedding photographer. Made another trip to meet up with Grace prior to our pre-wedding photo-shoot in June, and took the time for a little shopping vacation in Malaysia.
- Hotel broadband/wifi is available at RM$35 for 24 hours of use, starting from time you sign in.
- Hotel Package was RM$915 after taxes.
- Our return trip by Aeroline was on a new bus that had individual LCD screens for entertainment.
- Aeroline tickets was about SGD$100 per pax.
The post below was first published on 6th April, 2010.
Waking up at 7am on a cold, rainy Sunday morning is definitely NOT the best way to start a day. Luckily, the rest of the day turned out to be great!
Having gotten a pair of return tickets from Aeroline, we made our way to HarbourFront Centre by 10am in the morning to catch our bus to Bandar Utama. Reached the boarding area at 9:45am, but no bus in sight. A friendly lady saw the Aeroline boarding passes in my hand, and told us that our coach was not here yet.
Having only read about other peoples’ experiences regarding Aeroline, Shan and myself wasn’t sure what to expect. Minutes later, a double-deck business class coach arrived at the coach bay. Aeroline staff were helpful with passengers who had luggage, helping to load them with the rain coming down around us.
We only had a backpack with us, so it was short and sweet. Handed over our boarding passes, received our white immigration cards and settled into our reclining seats! Our 5-hour trip has begun!
The coach we took was a double-deck version, where the second level are reserved for seats only. The first level has a lounge area that seats 6 people, as well as a toilet for “light usage”. For “heavy usage”, you may inform the cabin crew (there is actually someone stationed on the bus to attend to you) so that they may stop the bus at a convenient place for your “necessary actions”.
Each reclining seat comes with leg-rest and a retractable table that can be used for meals. The amount of leg space is generous and last but not least, there is a personal power socket to charge your numerous gadgets! Air-conditioning is definitely sufficient.
It was a rather quiet trip, and I counted there were about 10 passengers even though the coach can seat up to 30 passengers. As the journey began, the cabin crew (and I should add, was smartly dressed in yellow shirt and black suit) gave us each a bottle of water, a blanket, and a headset if we wanted to watch the movie that was playing on the LCD screen.
Took about half an hour to reach the Tuas Second Link and surprisingly, there was no queue at all! Passing through immigration couldn’t get any easier and faster than this!
As the journey resumed after passing through customs, the cabin crew served a simple lunch of fried rice and a couple of other items packed nicely into a bento box. Had 3-in-1 coffee and finished up with durian jelly pudding (hmm, this has a weird taste) as dessert.
After lunch, we spent our time reading newspaper and magazines, viewing the scenery, listening to iPod and dozing off into dreamland.
Midway into the trip, the coach made a 15-minute stop. We could get down the bus, walk around a bit, go to the loo, or buy something to eat if we wanted to.
You might be thinking, why endure a 5-hour bus trip when there are budget airlines available?
- A bus ride brings us directly to where we wanted to be, as One World Hotel is located right beside 1 Utama.
- It is a cheap alternative – a return ticket costs only SGD$98.
- A plane ride involves more hassle – checking in, air-to-land transport, airport is far from hotel etc.
- Compared to budget airlines, this is after all a “luxury business class” coach. Great service with a smile!
- This is a great chance to try something new! I have to admit, it is a “convenient way to FLY”.
After more of sleeping and drifting in and out of consciousness, we finally arrived at Bandar Utama Bus Hub at 3pm. It is located next to the newly expanded new wing of 1 Utama.
Well, more on 1 Utama later. Made our way through the shopping mall, which is linked directly into One World Hotel. Took a photo at 1 Utama, just before the door that leads into the hotel.
Checking-in was a breeze. I guess all it took was around 5 minutes, and we’re on our way to our room! Overall, the hotel seemed posh and classy to me. Everything seems pretty new, and all was nice.
Lift access to guestrooms requires a room-card to access.
Our room for the night was a Deluxe Room which we got for RM$391 after taxes, and comes with 2 breakfasts.
Opening the door to our room, we were pleasantly surprised to find that it is VERY nice indeed!
A well-stocked minibar is ready to keep away the hunger and thirst.
Spacious toilet that manage to fit in both a rain-shower and a bathtub.
The room is equipped with a LCD interactive TV as well.
View from our room is nothing much to rave about. Not exactly a beach resort with a sea view here, oh well.
Settled down for a little rest, and pretty soon we’re out again! Our appointment was arranged for 4pm, and Grace was kind enough to pick us up at our hotel lobby and give us a ride to her office! After a 10-minute journey, we’re comfortably seated on a couch in Grace’s office, ready to bombard Grace with a series of questions we’ve prepared!
By chance, we had stumbled upon Grace when we were looking for wedding photographers online. Interestingly, we’re both captivated and impressed by her photos. One thing led to another, and before we know it, we’re on our way to meet her! Spent a fruitful one-and-a-half hours chatting and having our questions answered. Moreover, we got the chance to get to know Grace better before we make our decision to employ her services for our wedding! I have to say, we like what we’ve seen so far!
Mission accomplished, and it was back to 1 Utama for us for our side quest – A&W. If Vivocity is the largest mall in Singapore, then I’m not sure what I should use to describe 1 Utama. Huge? Enormous? Gigantic?
Seriously, the two of us spent so much time walking and getting lost in the mall! No wonder they had an electronic directory in the mall. Granted, A&W isn’t spectacularly fantastic or anything. I guess it’s just a fragment of my memory that requires some re-visiting. More so for the Coney Dogs and Curly Fries, not so much for the Root Beer Float.
With our bellies full, we turned our attention to 1 Utama. If I’m not wrong, there are 6 levels worth of food, shopping and entertainment! Posh labels like Coach, Armani Exchange and Chanel are frequently spotted, and yet budget offerings like Bata and G2000 are easily available.
Bored? You could catch a movie. Nothing nice at the theatre? Try bowling! Hungry? Numerous restaurants vie for your attention. Need a convenience store? Watson is just round the corner. Supper? Have a Shihlin crispy chicken with a cup of Old Town white coffee!
By the time we got back to the hotel, we were really tired from all the walking. Nothing better than a little DIY spa treatment to soothe our aching bodies! A generous dose of Dead Sea mud treatment followed by a good soak in Dead Sea mineral crystals bath – well, we can’t let the bathtub go to waste, can we?
The next morning, it was a tough decision as we contemplated on whether to go for the hotel’s breakfast. We were skeptical that it might turn out to be like the average, greasy stuff so often found elsewhere. We’re glad we went to take a look! The coffee house looks great, the food selection is beyond our expectations and is actually quite nice!
Erm, forgot to bring our cameras, doh!
Satisfied with breakfast, it was time for some last minute packing in our room. The hotel provided a complimentary copy of the day’s newspaper for our reading pleasure!
Checked out at 11am and boarded our coach at 11:45am. 5 hours later, we’re back at HarbourFront Centre, Singapore! All things considered, it was a fun and fruitful trip, even though it lasted for merely a day. And you know what? I’m sure we would be back at Bandar Utama very, very soon!