The drive from Senai International Airport to Traders Hotel is a good indicator of what awaits you when visiting this property in Johor’s new administrative and commercial enclave in Nusajaya.
Words: R. Rajendra
The 30-minute drive was a much welcomed respite, as the highway leading here was lined with never-ending rows of trees and verdant greenery. And just as you arrive at Kota Iskandar, half expecting a concrete jungle with dreary government office blocks, even more greenery dotted with architecturally interesting offices, commercial and residential areas greets you. Though massive development is on-going, it became very evident that great care had gone into creating a liveable environment that pays equal importance to nature as it does to modernity.
Traders Hotel at Puteri Harbour is the only hotel here that offers premium lodging, dining and world-class facilities for guests working, living or visiting the many attractions of Nusajaya. Managed by the Shangri-La Group of Hotels, Traders is the brand’s young and relaxed sibling compared to its eponymous label that leans towards the higher-end of the spectrum. This, I truly appreciated, as I stepped into the hotel’s four-storey block that faces a marina. From Concierge to Front-of-House, staff members were dressed in casual uniforms, which made the place look more like a beach side resort. I enjoyed that relaxed look and feel, as it instantly put me at ease, and I bet many business travellers too would prefer to ditch the straight-laced environment having sat through many a meeting and conference. Time to unwind and Traders ticks all the boxes!
Set by a marina, the ocean is the main inspiration in the design of Traders Hotel. The lobby was designed very much to capture the essence of the blue yonder with a wall panel layered with the colours of the sea and accented by undulating, multi-layered wood panels rising from the floor and, carpets tufted to look like smooth pebbles strewn on the ground. Although pine coloured wood takes centre stage and runs throughout the hotel, the effect is calming to the senses. Wood also comes into play in the shape of art installations peppered throughout the property, salvaged from old and gnarly tree trunks.
Room categories range from Deluxe, Premier, Club Rooms, Executive and Speciality Suites. But do sign up for a harbour-view unit. The view of yachts and boats bobbing languidly on the water is a soothing experience, one that I was fortunate to enjoy in two ways: Once in the morning, when the easterly face of the building let the sunlight into my room and the next evening, when a heavy downpour petered out to a gentle pitter-patter of raindrops against the window pane. These two memories I shall carry with me for a long time to come.
Traders Hotel Johor is also renowned for its F&B outlets; many Johor Bahru folks drive some 30kms to dine at the hotel’s Harbour Café. Friday nights offer a Seafood Buffet and the extensive selection of seafood is a fantastic value for money deal. I saw families, young fresh-grad types and even lovey-dovey couples putting paid to perennial favourites – crabs and kings prawns in black pepper sauce! Breakfast too was a similar affair with the outlet offering many items seldom seen in hotels such as spinach congee and homemade soya milk. The other outlets here include The Lobby Lounge and a takeaway counter named On-the-Go for guests wanting a quick grab-and-go meal. But not to be missed is the hotel’s Skybar, Bar & Restaurant – a serene spot on the topmost floor with an infinity pool that overlooks the marina. During the day, it is a cheery spot with kids and adults marinating in the cool waters, but at night, it transforms into a hip bar and lounge with an extensive selection of drinks and cocktails.
Many guests stay at Traders Hotel Johor because they are business travellers, families with kids wanting to visit Sanrio Hello Kitty Town (located just beside the hotel) or Legoland® Malaysia Resort, or even shopaholics visiting nearby Johor Premium Outlets. I didn’t fall into any of these categories, but the relaxed vibe of the hotel with its upbeat atmosphere, cheerful staff and warm hospitality certainly revived my spirits and put that spring back into my step.
TRADERS HOTEL, PUTERI HARBOUR, JOHOR
Address: Persiaran Puteri Selatan, Puteri Harbour, Nusajaya, Johor Darul Takzim
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