Malaysia

Top Johor Bahru hotels for a buzzing city break

A hop, skip and a jump from Singapore lies Johor Bahru, a bustling Malay city dotted with fragrant markets, modern multiplex malls and ornate architecture.

Johor Bahru is the place to go to pick up haute couture goods from designer stores, sample delectable sticky treats at street stalls and admire the mosaic faces of standout buildings like the Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman Glass Temple.

And expect your JB hotel to be as dynamic as the destination itself. You can drift off under the hands of a talented masseuse in a luxurious spa, or retreat from the busy streets to a rooftop infinity pool. Strike a romantic note with candlelit dinners, then spend time in lavish suites with private pools and views from fantastical heights. Whether you’re discovering the city for the first time or are a regular visitor, these are the best hotels in Johor Bahru.

Get pampered with a sumptuous spa treatment

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The gleaming metal front of the four-star Amari Hotel stares down the city’s teeming business district, just a 15-minute walk away from the painted colonial buildings of Tan Hiok Nee. Here, you can wander around lantern-strewn streets before sitting down to an artistically topped coffee or a cooling scoop of creamy ice cream flavoured with Thai milk tea.

Pampering treatments are available right at the hotel’s own Breeze Spa, such as an energising massage using fragrant Thai herbs. The bubbling Jacuzzi will ease your muscles, or you can dive into the sparkling blue waters of the outdoor pool and burn off energy when it suits in the 24-hour fitness centre.

Toss your bags on the king-size bed while you go for a quick refresh under your ensuite’s rainfall shower. Opt for the Deluxe Pool Access Room for your own private terrace leading to the water, or try the sophisticated One-Bedroom Suite to take in views of the Zaharah Botanic Gardens from your glass balcony. You can sip colourful cocktails under the stars at open-air Dip Bar, then tuck into dishes inspired by street food (think creamy, coriander-sprinkled curries) at bohemian Amaya Food Gallery.

Amari Johor Bahru

Top rated
Johor Bahru, 12.5 km to Puteri Harbour
8.7 Excellent (924 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.2 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Gym
Outdoor swimming pool
Hotel CTA

Dine outdoors at this hip hotel in Johor Bahru

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The DoubleTree by Hilton towers over the urban bustle of JB, with views across the cityscape to the serene waters of the Straits. You’ll be less than a 20-minute walk from both the regal white-stone Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque and the contemporary City Square with its cinema and karaoke options.

On the hotel’s wooden terrace, splash into the spacious pool–complete with partly submerged sun beds–while your wood-fired pizza cooks at on-site Tosca Italian Trattoria. If you’re after a more interactive dining experience, watch chefs cook local specialties like fiery sambal kangkong udang (water spinach with shrimp) before your very eyes at the Makan Kitchen Buffet. You can also amble around the corner to Komtar JBCC shopping mall for bites ranging from sushi and Peking duck to juicy American burgers.

Pitch up at your hotel room afterwards, decorated in calming pastel tones and set up with a plush designer mattress. In the ensuite, you’ll find a walk-in shower with a feature glass wall so you can get ready in the morning awash with daylight.

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Doubletree By Hilton Johor Bahru

Top rated
Johor Bahru, 12.4 km to Puteri Harbour
8.6 Excellent (2893 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.1 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Pets allowed
Gym
Hotel CTA

Feel the city's pulse at a Johor Bahru hotel near the zoo

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The colourful and contemporary Swiss-Inn Hotel is steps from both sweeping parklands and the Central Business District. Find some respite from the busy centre in the serene botanical gardens or visit the museum at the Great Palace of Johor, built by the Sultan in 1866. You can also check out exotic animals at the city’s zoo nearby: think lions, tigers and wise orangutans.

The hotel’s Rilek Cafe has a laidback ambience and an open kitchen crafting dishes from juicy grilled shrimp to indulgent desserts throughout the day. For flavoursome cups of java, drop into Kawan Coffee Bar for carefully selected beans that cater to all manners of caffeine cravings.

Your room is your own modern oasis, with a backlit accent wall in a vibrant hue and large windows to let in that Malaysian sunshine. If you’ve come in a group, upgrade your stay to a two-bedroom suite and sprawl out on the sofa in your own living room. Both bedrooms have their own ensuite, so exciting days exploring the city can end with a refreshing rainfall shower.

Swiss-Inn Johor Bahru

Johor Bahru, 12.3 km to Puteri Harbour
8.0 Very good (596 reviews)
Very good Rooms 8.1 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Pets allowed
Wellness center / Spa
Hotel CTA

Shop for bargains near your wallet-friendly JB hotel

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Once two separate shops, the buildings housing Olive Hotel, a fresh budget hotel in Johor Bahru, have been cleverly converted into a modern space with 27 compact rooms. Look out for quirky touches like the chandelier hanging above the stark lobby, or the reading corner with a plush wingback armchair and footstool. In your own little sanctuary, you’ll find clean white walls with zesty colourful touches and a complimentary photo canvas–a homely backdrop for kicking back in-bed with a film on the flatscreen.

For breakfast, you’ll munch on local favourites behind a contemporary wall of glass in the bright dining room. There’s also a self-service pantry, so you can pick up ready-made meals if you need a quick bite before heading out on the town.

Should you prefer dining out, the restaurants of City Square are a 10-minute drive away, where you can share family-style meals like steaming Japanese hot pot with your travel partners. Afterwards, wander the fashion stores of nearby Plaza Larkin and treat yourself to something sugary, like creatively topped doughnuts, from one of the many coffee shops.

Olive

Johor Bahru, 13.1 km to Puteri Harbour
7.9 Good (25 reviews)
Excellent Location 8.6 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Pets allowed
WiFi in lobby
Hotel CTA

Dive into a luxe private pool suite

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Found in the extensive KSL Mall, the KSL Hotel & Resort has plenty on its doorstep. Practise your swing with a round of digital golf, have a chilled beer in the (real) Mission Golf Bar or burn off sporty energy in the mall gym. On level two, you’ll discover a Cineplex with eight screens, three of which show 3D films.

Make yourself at home in an apartment suite with two or three bedrooms. Finished with rich textiles, polished floors and plump sofas, these bright spaces have full-height windows leading out onto private balconies. Make your stay one to remember in a suite with your very own infinity pool, where the water seems to shimmer right into the cityscape. Follow your swim with a bubbly soak in the bath before tucking yourself into your deluxe king bed.

When it comes to dining, you can strike a romantic note at a candlelit table at Twilight Lounge & Bar, where you’ll work your way through four courses of internationally inspired dishes made with fresh ingredients. Let your mouth water at tender pan-seared trout and flavour-packed T-bone steak hot from the grill.

KSL Hotel & Resort

Johor Bahru, 13.8 km to Puteri Harbour
7.3 Default (4427 reviews)
Very good Location 8.2 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Pets allowed
Gym
Hotel CTA

Go for glitz and book at table at this hotel's an award-winning restaurant

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You’ll enter the glamorous Hotel Mutiara through the polished lobby beneath twinkling star-like lights. Lazy afternoons are a must here: top up your tan on the outdoor terrace while listening to palm trees rustle, or float away the day in the sun-drenched pool. The hotel has its own shopping arcade complete with a hair salon should you feel like upgrading your look along with your room, plus it’s a 10-minute walk from KSL City Mall.

Take a seat on an intricately carved wooden seat at Meisan Szechuan Restaurant for plates like crispy Peking duck with delicate rice pancakes. Alternatively, Seri Mutiara Restaurant serves up dainty cakes at a high tea buffet, as well as banquet feasts of flame-grilled meats and seafood. Fruity cocktails are served in the Polo Lounge, where you can sink into plush chairs while the live band strikes up a tune.

Each guest room continues the hotel’s refined design through cushioned headboards and botanical-inspired patterns. Your cushy king-size bed is just the place for gazing out at the sparkling city lights through full-length windows after a leisurely bath in a mosaic tub.

Mutiara Johor Bahru

Johor Bahru, 13.6 km to Puteri Harbour
7.6 Good (1442 reviews)
Very good Location 8.2 / 10
Parking garage
Gym
Outdoor swimming pool
Restaurant
Hotel CTA

Bring the kids to your Johor Bahru hotel for a trip to Legoland

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Zoom Inn Boutique is a cheery stop in Johor Bahru close to the city’s most kid-friendly spots–think Legoland and a carnival-style recreational park. The hotel has a low-key yet quirky design, from the neon lights outside to the colourful cutouts of people in the lobby.

Rooms follow suit: they’re cosy but have plenty of personality thanks to playful murals of comical cartoons. There’s luxury alongside the fun and games, too–step into a drenching rainfall shower before wrapping up in a soft robe and slippers. Flip through the channels on your LCD TV for a night in with a cooling drink from the minibar.

For Instagrammable eats, the pink-walled WW Laksa House is a six-minute drive away. A favourite since the 1970s, this dining spot is famous for creamy laksa filled with cockles and fried soya skin, along with plump otak-otak (savoury grilled fish cakes) served on palm leaves.

When you’re not stuffing your face here, absorb the spirited chaos of Bazar Karat night market, a 10-minute drive away. Pick up bargain finds like silky printed scarves or a new leather handbag while live bands provide the soundtrack to the Malaysian night.

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Hotel Zoom Inn Boutique

Johor Bahru, 10.1 km to Puteri Harbour
8.0 Very good (364 reviews)
Excellent Service 8.5 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Pets allowed
Air conditioning
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Pull out all the stops with a poolside suite

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You’ll find the international five-star Renaissance Johor Bahru tucked away in a peaceful suburb. During the day, keen golfers can play on the manicured greens of Permas Jaya Golf Course, while evenings are filled with the aroma of hot peanut pancakes and rich prawn yong tau foo at nearby Jalan Permas Jaya Pasar Malam night market.

Lose yourself in a book under a wooden pagoda by the hotel pool; there’s also a 24-hour glass-walled fitness centre with views of swaying palm trees and a dry-heat sauna should you want to tend to your muscles. Continue the star treatment in a Pool Terrace Room, where steps lead from your private patio straight to the glistening water. For the ultimate indulgence, check into the ornate Presidential Suite for views over the coast from the lofty heights of the 16th floor.

Have a snooze and a soak in your freestanding soaker tub flanked by black marble, then dine on specialist seafood dishes at Wan Li Chinese Restaurant beneath twinkling wall chandeliers. Decadent desserts await in the hotel’s Chocolate Cake Company café, while RBar stocks icy beers and show live sports.

Renaissance Johor Bahru Hotel

Top rated
Johor Bahru, 19.1 km to Puteri Harbour
8.5 Excellent (1387 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 8.9 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Pets allowed
Wellness center / Spa
Hotel CTA

Soak in city heights from a sky-high hotel

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The striking Grand Paragon Hotel scrapes the sky with classic red brick and gleaming panels of glass. Each of the rooms here has a refined look to match: think dark wood details, statement lamps and patterned wallpaper. Escape the bustling city in your private space, or with a peaceful wander around Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman Glass Temple and the incense-filled Johor Bahru Old Chinese Temple (both under a 10-minute drive).

After exploring, step into the hotel’s candlelit spa for a revitalising massage or balancing reflexology treatment. Float in the bubbles of the hot tub post-pamper session, or detox in the dry-air sauna before skimming the clouds in the high-level pool. As night falls, you’ll watch the lights of surrounding buildings flicker on from a plush armchair at Sky Lounge or through floor-to-ceiling windows at the sophisticated Café Para Para.

Kishin-Tei Restaurant brings a taste of Japan to the hotel when you get peckish, with dishes like simmering shabu shabu hot pot and intricately rolled sushi on the menu. After dinner, lovers of the mic can seek out the glamorous Paragon Ginza Lounge to show off karaoke skills!

Grand Paragon Hotel Johor Bahru

Johor Bahru, 13.5 km to Puteri Harbour
7.4 Default (1046 reviews)
Very good Location 8.2 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Wellness center / Spa
Gym
Hotel CTA

Make a splash in your rooftop infinity pool

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The Holiday Villa stands proudly in the busy centre of the city, a three-minute stroll from the KSL Mall. Just beyond the multiplex of stores, you’ll spot the night market at Jalan Seladang, where you can snack on sweet tarts filled with juicy strawberries while wandering past stalls filled with lucky Chinese trinkets and bamboo baskets of fresh dumplings.

Take time to chill out high above Johor Bahru on the hotel’s rooftop terrace, where you can while away the days on a wooden sunlounger under the shade of majestic palms. Dive into the shimmering infinity pool and swim out to meet the skyline–the striking views can also be enjoyed through full-height windows in the on-site gym and traditional wood sauna.

You’ll find tables adorned with exotic flowers at Fern Pine Cafe, while the Pub and Bistro lets you dine alfresco. Pop into the glass-walled Sky Lounge for an icy sundowner while an in-house pianist accompanies your evening. And from your refined room, decorated in soft hues and honey-toned wood panels, you can look down on the city without even lifting your head from your sumptuous king-size bed.

Holiday Villa Johor Bahru City Centre

Johor Bahru, 14 km to Puteri Harbour
8.3 Very good (1156 reviews)
Excellent Location 8.9 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Pets allowed
Gym
Hotel CTA