On June 30th, I visited Jitra for the BDB Extreme Jitra 2018. It was an obstacle race held in Darulaman Park, Jitra (blog post here).
I took an ETS train on Friday night and arrived Stesen Anak Bukit in Kedah on Saturday morning. I had planned to stay overnight in Alor Setar and do some sightseeing after the event but the ETS train tickets back to Kuala Lumpur were sold out on Sunday and I bought a return ticket on Saturday evening instead and arrived KL Sentral at midnight on Sunday. (ETS Train blog post here).
Because I traveled alone and I do have a deadline to meet for a translation job and I want to rest comfortably before I boarded my ETS train at 6:40pm later that evening, I decided to book a hotel room.
My first choice was the BDB Darulaman Hotel due to its vicinity to the event site; the Darulaman Park. However, my inquiries about a day rate at the hotel came to naught as the person in charge informed me that the hotel was almost fully booked and advised me to book a night's stay instead and gave me a promo rate of RM98 per night.
I only wanted to stay in the room between 12pm - 5.00pm so it wasn't a good choice for me.
I later contacted Urban Inn for their day rate but by the time they replied to my inquiries, it was already Friday (the day I was leaving for Jitra) and at that time, I had decided to book a room there anyway. I didn't set up my hopes too high for them to accommodate my requests since they're a budget hotel after all.
I got a room at Urban Inn Jitra RM52 per night and I decided to just book a room for two nights (Fri & Sat) to avoid any headache. I made my booking through Hotels.com and put a note that I'd be arriving at 5.00am on Saturday.
|Photo credit : Booking.com|
I decided to check-in immediately after I arrived and got to the hotel at 5.00am instead of heading to the hotel after the completion of BDB Extreme Jitra 2018.
Luckily for me, there was a Grab driver who picked me up from Stesen Anak Bukit to my hotel. Urban Inn Jitra is located about 12km (20min) away from the train station.
The Grab driver was on his way back to Changloon so I was lucky I didn't need to wait long for a ride that morning. The trip cost me RM16.00.
Urban Inn has two branches in Kedah if I am not mistaken and the other one is located in Kulim.
When I got there, the lobby was manned by a lady and accompanied by a security staff. Check-in was easy and I needed to pay RM50.00 for deposit.
My room. The pillows were nice and soft but the mattress was not properly being fitted to the frame, I think. It kept making banging noise every time I moved.
Plenty of power sockets for guests to charge every single electronics they have in the room. Heh heh
I brought my notebook, camera and handphone and could easily charge everything with sockets to spare. ^^
A cute bird's nest deco in the room.
The aircond was nice and cool which was a relief after a hot day out in Jitra for the BDB Extreme Jitra 2018.
The bathroom was a bit unique. There were two flights of stairs to get to the bathroom.
Note to everyone considering to stay at Urban Inn, Jitra. It is not exactly disable-friendly. You do need to climb several flights of stairs to your room. So old folks may have problem going up and down to their room.
The rainwater shower was nice. Good pressure there. The hotel provided bath gel and shampoo for guests' use apart from towels.
The room also came with a kettle, hairdryer (no need to get from reception desk like some other budget hotel) and two packets of 3-in-1 coffee. No mineral water provided in the room but there was a Coway water machine located in the corridor.
The room was fine for me and comfortable enough but I do have issues with ants in the room. Ants came swarming at whatever food items or drinks that I either put on the table or the bedside table and it was quite annoying.
No cupboard but there's a clothes hanger provided. Again, no big deal as I'm used to that if I stay at budget hotels. Why on earth would I want a cupboard anyway?
I rested and refreshed myself a bit in my room and arranged for a Grab driver at around 6.30am. I only needed to wait for 5 minutes before a driver was found. The trip from Urban Inn, Jitra to Darulaman Park was about 5-6km and cost me RM8.00.
My return trip with Grab from Darulaman Park was also quite painless as I managed to get a Grab driver quite quickly.
After resting a bit in my room, I decided to walk around the area. The Grab driver that I took earlier had remarked that staying at Urban Inn was a good choice for me as the area has a lot of shops and restaurants for me to check out compared to BDB Darulaman Hotel.
He had suggested that I visit Gunung Keriang for a short visit but since it was such a hot day, I decided against it.
Indeed there were many shops around Urban Inn Jitra. There were a few supermarkets, there's Tesco too and a very quiet mall. A number of makan places and even a medan selera.
For lunch, I didn't really want to eat rice and after googling at what makan place I can find in Jitra, I decided to try a cafe called Simple Cafe (although I was tempted to go try Sabai Dee Cafe or Backwood Cafe or Classic Train cafe).
I had spaghetti aglio olio and a blue drink (can't remember what's its called) and my lunch was RM13.00.
The cafe offers both Western fares and local fares and the special menu of the day was their Mee Sup, I think.
The staff were friendly and I had a nice quiet lunch there before I head back to my hotel room and escaped the heat.
There's also a supermarket, a pharmacy, a bakery and Pizza Hut next to Urban Inn so it was convenient for me to get some snacks before I rested in my room. Everything I needed was only a walking distance away. Plenty of makeshift stalls selling drinks (I bought two cups of coconut drinks) and pisang goreng too.
I managed to complete my translation work and slept for a short while until it was time for me to get ready to return home.
My ETS train back to KL was secheduled at 6.40pm and at around 6pm, I arranged for (yet) another Grab driver.
It was quite easy to move around Jitra because of the availability of Grab drivers which plied mostly the matriks students in the area.
All the Grab drivers were friendly and very courteous and something I missed when I used Grab in KL.
Although my trip was less than 24-hours and I only stayed in Jitra for a total of 14 hours, I enjoyed my trip a lot.
If only I have other excuses to go up North again. Anyone want to offer me any job to cover in Kedah tak? I'm open to negotiation. Hehehe