Why Pulai Springs Resort is a Great Getaway for Family and Friends in Johor
1. Best and Cheapest Hotel Website to Book Pulai Springs Resort
2. 1-Bedroom Suite Room *2 Different Sizes and Layouts
3. Sauna Room and Jacuzzi Pool at Pulai Spa & Sports Centre
4. Outdoor Swimming Pool
5. Food Review in Qing Palace Chinese Restaurant
6. Breakfast in Pulai Springs Resort
7. Pool Games at Pulai Spa & Sports Centre
8. Strolling around Pulai Springs Country Club Vicinity
Pulai Spring Resort is a country club for golf lovers located 42 km from Singapore by driving according to Google Map. My friends and I spent one weekend driving to Pulai Springs Resort from Singapore to celebrate a friend’s birthday away from bustling city life. No, we are not there for the golf. Such a short trip was what I was looking forward to once in a while.
I like the idea that we can get out of Singapore to somewhere near for a staycation like Johor Bahru (JB) to rejuvenate ourselves over the weekend without taking any annual leave from the company nor spend a bomb on some lavish places just for a night stay. I did not want any adventures or weekend shopping to exhaust my energy for such a short get-away. Ideally, such a trip is to relax and catch up with friends for some light activities and a value-for-money makan (eating) session.
We booked two rooms for 2 couples on two separate dates because I was not sure at that time if I could go. My friends did their research and compare the hotel price of Pulai Spring Resort for the lowest cost online and eventually booked with Expedia Singapore for a 1-Bedroom Suite Room for S$81, three weeks before the departure date.
If you book early and during the off-peak season, you would most likely get a price as low as S$52/night on Agoda. The best method to get the lowest rate is to make a comparison between a few hotel websites and book your hotel as early as possible. After procrastinating for a while and finally decided that I could go. I booked with Expedia Singapore at S$106 a few days before departure as the hotel price shot up.
Pulai Springs Resort has bedrooms with different configurations to suit a large family nucleus too. It is perfect for a group of friends or several families for quality bond-building time from Studio Suite, 1-Bedroom Suite Room up to 4-Bedroom Suite. The room size is spacious too. From the smallest Studio Suite of 40 sqm to 193 sqm of a 4-Bedroom Suite with three bathrooms, one is ensured of sufficient space to move about and be comfortable.
On that Saturday, after having a hearty Japanese lunch in Nijyumaru Japanese Restaurant, we proceeded to Pulai Springs Country Club for check-in at 3 pm. Parking was free here.
The Pulai Spring reception arranged for us to stay on different floors. The lift only stopped on the level of where the guest stayed. We only discovered the difference in layout and size of our 1-Bedroom Suite Room in the late evening when we visited each other.
Although my friends and I had booked online on the same type of room, theirs was obviously smaller in size and less attractive in the layout. My 56 sqm room looked exactly like the one shown in the advertised photo online. It was too late to request a change of room though it was disappointing for my friends.
I was overjoyed when I saw my room. The 1-Bedroom Suite was large, clean and neatly organised. It was perfect and very well-maintained that I could not find fault with it. I wished I had stayed more than a night. The bedroom was spacious. The spongy king-sized bed was incredibly comfy as we had a peaceful sleep.
There was no bathtub in the 1-Bedroom Suite Room in Pulai Spring, but it was not necessary for me. There was wifi in the room. I also recalled that only one person could log in at any one time. Check with the reception again as I might be wrong.
After settling into our hotel room, we planned for our next activity – swimming. There were two pools in Pulai Springs Country Club, one indoor and one outdoor.
We went to the indoor pool located in the Pulai Springs Spa Centre and requested pool towels from the reception on the first floor. To access the indoor pool on the second level, we had to go up from the gents and ladies changing room separately.
We were thrilled to see a lovely jacuzzi pool and not the rectangular pool anticipated in our mind. There was a small sauna room big enough to accommodate the four people comfortably. After 15 minutes of sweating and detoxification inside the sauna room, we went to the jacuzzi pool.
I think the water temperature was too high that I had a problem adapting to it. My friends also found the water to be rather hot but still, got inside the water slowly. I had to force myself to sit on the edge of the jacuzzi pool throughout the time as I could not take the heat, unfortunately.
There were shower taps located on the big rock beside the jacuzzi pool. The water was supposed to be cold, but it felt warmer due to our tropical weather. In similar places in Europe where I had been, the water was icy cold. An ideal approach for the body to benefit from the water temperature difference is to alternate between hot and cold water under the tap.
After the jacuzzi, we went outdoor. Pulai Spring Resort has three swimming pool sizes. We placed a big inflatable mattress onto the largest pool and was told to remove it by the lifeguard. We shifted it to the medium-sized pool where no one told us off this time. The depth of the biggest pool went beyond 1.8m or more gradually.
After swimming, we were famished. We were deciding between two dinner promotions at Cinta Terrace and Qing Palace Chinese Restaurant and went for the Chinese food which cost RM$65.00 per pax for the “All You Can Eat” buffet. The entire food menu was presented right in front of us. Everything there was inclusive in the “All You Can Eat” promotion and not limited to just some dishes.
The price temptation was unbelievable for such a buffet promotion! We ordered some of the most expensive Chinese cuisines such as Peking Duck, Fish, Salad Prawns, Cereal Prawns, Shark Fin etc. The waitress forewarned us before ordering that the food serving of a dish was a lot, and the portion size was meant for four people.
If we could not finish any food that we ordered, we would have to pay the full price of that dish. We then tried out one fish first as we intended to order two different types of fish later to make our money worthwhile. On the other hand, we were also worried about not being able to finish the food and get penalised.
The first dish was Salad Prawn. After eating all the prawns, the waitress told us that we also had to finish all the fruits that came with the prawns, which were mostly honeydew. Moreover, the serving was a lot. We got bored eating so many fruits as we knew that they would fill our stomachs up quickly. We had no choice since it was the rule of the buffet.
Another dish came. It had the same type of fruits again underneath the meat. We felt annoyed as we did not want to eat the same thing all the time. We asked another staff who looked like the Captain or Manager if it was necessary to finish the fruit as we had finished a big plate earlier. Fortunately, she said, “意识意识吃一点” (literally translated – to eat a bit out of courtesy) which meant that we did not have to finish everything. Phew!
We ordered an entire Peking Duck. The skin was tasty. We requested the remaining meat of Peking Duck to fry in dark soy sauce (宫保式). Shortly, we were dumbfounded for a while when we stared at a pile of black mountainous-looking food served on the table. The duck meat looked unappetising this way.
On closer inspection, I estimated that half the dish used You Tiao 油条 (Chinese Cruller) to cook with the duck. Most ducks nowadays do not have a lot of meat. Thus, the restaurant resorted to adding You Tiao 油条 to augment the dish. Supplementing with You Tiao油条 (made of flour and fats) was another smart move to make the diners full quickly so they would order less food.
We were almost full after eating a few dishes. The next surprise was the large Sea Bass with Nonya Sauce served on an ultra big plate. It was rare that we saw such a big fish served in a restaurant. Perhaps, the large plate intimidated us or our almost full stomach distorted our size analysis. The Nonya Sauce was sour and sweet. The seemingly good taste was somewhat overpowering when one was feeling full. We banished our initial enthusiastic thought of ordering another fish because the size of it was intimidating.
A waitress served someone’s fish to us while we were waiting for our desserts. Before she could place the plate on our table, my girlfriend and I waved her off affirmatively and said that it didn’t belong to us. There is a Singapore joke that goes like this. Whenever someone served a plate to the wrong table, the one sitting on the table would say jokingly, “If someone had already paid for the food, please put it down.”
Apparently, this time, this joke could not come out of our mouths as it was not funny anymore. We were eager to brush the waitress away. Just imagine our hilarious and idiotic reaction.
Here are two photos of the food dish that we had, Chicken Meat and Deer Meat. The Deer Meat was noteworthy as the meat was delicate, easy to chew and very mouth-watering.
We tried all the desserts on the menu. Peanut Dumpling 汤圆 was the most distinctive among all and highly favoured by all of us. Despite being full, my friends and I ordered a few rounds of it. Very heavenly! The other desserts were sometimes too sweet for our liking.
At first, I had anticipated that the food for the buffet was generally of lower quality due to mass cooking and smaller portions to cut costs. It was commendable that the dishes in Qing Palace Chinese Restaurant at Pulai Springs Resort conformed to a high standard as it was sumptuous. We had no problems finishing all the food eventually.
Imagine if the food were not tasty at all, would it be torturing to force it down into our stomach? Maybe at times, it would be better to order à la carte dishes instead to avoid circumstances when the food was not palatable, and one has to force himself to finish it for the sake of avoiding a penalty. Eating should be pleasurable and freedom of choice to stop as and when we want.
The breakfast at Pulai Springs Resort wasn’t fantastic. Just good enough to fill up the stomach and start the day. The coffee was bland like water.
After breakfast and before checking out at 1 pm (we extended one more hour for check out), we had two rounds of pool games at Pulai Spa Centre to pass the time.
I think Pulai Spring Resort was a beautiful place to spend a weekend and the best value for money. The surrounding was well maintained and peaceful as there were not many people around. It was a golfer’s paradise overlooking the lush golf course from a distance.
My friends had differing opinions. While I appreciated the serenity of the greens for a short weekend, they felt that it was boring to stay there with nothing much to do. Neither could one walk out of Pulai Spring to explore somewhere more exciting as it was somewhat isolated.
I would recommend others to stay at Pulai Spring Resort, especially families or friends who are not seeking adventures or shopping in mind but would prefer quiet and precious moments bonding together. I was most satisfied with the hotel room agreeing with their motto of Pulai Springs Resort “Home Away from Home” because that was my exact sentiment when staying there.
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