We stayed at Cinta Ayu All Suites Hotel [ note: Cinta Ayu, not Cinta Laura :P :P ], a nice apartment-type hotel located in the vicinity of Pulai Springs Resort. This resort is located on the outskirts of Johor Bahru, along the main road leading to Pontian.
Although the resort is meant more for golfers (since it's surrounded by two 18-hole golf courses), it also provides quite good facilities for families as well. Other than the hotel's swimming pool which is located on the second floor, we can also use the main resort's facilities, including the swimming pools which have nice views over the golf course and mount Pulai. One of the swimming pools is also equipped with a slide, which Irza enjoys very much.
We chose a 2-bedroom type of apartment for S$170 per night, which is booked online from AsiaTravel and includes breakfast for 4 persons. The 1-bedroom type is also available for S$128 per night. The breakfast is provided at the Cinta Terrace restaurant and the food is quite nice. There's also a spa facility at the sports centre, and the price is quite reasonable. Quite worth the value for money, in my opinion.
We were not only making use of the hotel's facilities, but also made some side trips to couple of locations in and around Johor Bahru, either for food or sightseeing.
On Saturday (12/4) afternoon, we went to AEON Tebrau City and had lunch at the JUSCO food court located on the second floor. This was our third visit to this biggest shopping mall in Johor, and other than the food court, we also went there for the amusement centre for the kids (which is located just next to the food court) and, of course, the Breadtalk bakery shop and its popular spicy chicken floss buns, which is halal in Malaysia.
In the evening, we visited Danga Bay and had dinner in one of the BBQ seafood restaurants there. The food is superbly delicious, and the price is surprisingly reasonable.
We had our dinner in an alfresco seating environment, with trains passing by giving amusement for the kids. We actually could ride the train however we were not able to find the location of the station where we could buy the ticket and board the trains. :( The kids were disappointed for not being able to ride the train. Will have to find the exact location of the station when we go there again. Anyone knows? :)
On Sunday (13/4), after checking out of the hotel, we went to Gunung Pulai and since the main recreational forest park is closed, we went to a less-visited attraction spot located south of the main park. My GPS told me that there is a waterfall on that spot as well, however when we went there we couldn't find it. Just saw some parked cars and some food stalls, and some locals having a bath in the river there.
Another thing I would like to share is that now we do not have to fill in the Malaysia immigration cards when we pass through their immigration, making trips to Malaysia much easier now.