Clean, central and comfortable
The pick of the crop along Jalan Meldrum, a busy but somewhat seedy street lined with the bulk of JB’s midrange hotels, is Belllo Hotel.
Squeezed between its less regal-looking neighbours, the white refurbished 1959 pseudo-Edwardian multi-storey offers 49 bright and comfortable rooms, with a security guard on the front door keeping the riff-raff out.
We haven’t made a typo: Belllo is deliberately spelled with three Ls, which stand for “great Location, a fantastic Lifestyle and a Lasting impression”. They’re possibly being a little extravagant with the latter two, however the location is pretty good, and we were impressed enough to give it a plug.
Surrounding an internal lightwell, the majority of rooms offer no external outlook, although all have windows. Air-con rooms are smallish and the styling is rather stark—don’t be deceived by the smart looking bed-runners and cushions on their website, as the friendly staff confided that was “only for promo”. Beds however are soft and comfy and the white linen is clean and crisp. Faux-wood floor tiles add warmth and contrast to the stark white walls, keeping the room cool, too.
Rooms are equipped with a flatscreen TV, laptop safe, minibar and tea-making facilities. Built-in desk, wardrobe and bedside tables provide a streamlined look. Compact, spotless ensuite bathrooms sport black marble-topped washbasins and hot rain-showers. Suite rooms are more spacious and add a couch that folds out into a bed, good for families. No breakfast is included, and staff were keen to repeat several times that parking provided (obviously an issue for folk in JB). You won’t have a problem getting a feed as the area is surrounded by 24-hour food joints, and a 7-eleven is on the doorstep. If you’re feeling adventurous, directly behind the hotel the narrow lane comes alive at night with elbow to elbow food stalls.
Belllo Hotel is popular with Singaporeans popping over the causeway for the weekend, so bookings at that time are essential. If full try Insta Hotel (with parking!) or Grand Jade Hotel. Although more basic, Baguss Hotel offers a clean and comfortable sleep too.
Address: 21 Jalan Meldrum, Johor Bahru
T: (0722) 138 66; (0172) 933 866; F: (072) 213 966
Coordinates (for GPS): 103º45'55.62" E, 1º27'33.9" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 120 to 250 ringgit
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Superior double room|
Premier. Weekdays. Weekends: 218.75 ringgit.
|172 ringgit||closed or n/a|
|Deluxe double room|
Weekdays. Weekends: 194.95 ringgit.
|153 ringgit||153 ringgit|
Weekdays. Weekends: 398.41 ringgit.
|313 ringgit||313 ringgit|
Sally spent twelve years leading tourists around Indonesia and Malaysia where she collected a lot of stuff. She once carried a 40kg rug overland across Java. Her house has been described as a cross between a museum and a library. Fuelled by coffee, she can often be found riding her bike or petting stray cats. Sally believes travel is the key to world peace.
Our top 10 places to stay in and around Johor Bahru