What many of us have known as Trader’s Holel at Cuscaden road has since in September 2014 been rebranded as Hotel Jen, marking a new ‘Jeneration’ of hotel chains managed by the Shangri-La group. It was about time the old retro image be torn off for a new era of millenia-minded travelers.
I was recently able to get a sneak staycation preview of what Hotel Jen is all about.
Hotel Jen is based upon an imagined persona, ‘Jen’, who is a professional hotelier passionate about life, adventure and travel. Conversely, the theme and values of the hotel aim to deliver this same passion.
Trader’s Hotel has always been known as a business hotel, but with the introduction of Hotel Jen Singapore, the new brand aims to make the hotel as great a place to do business as it is to stay for leisure.
Full physical renovation of the hotel will take place in phase, starting in december 2014 and scheduled to finish in the first quarter of 2016.
To guests, Hotel Jen delivers quality, comfort, convenience and value with a twist.
The new concept will focus on enhancing the guest experience at multiple subtle touch points, designed with today’s evolving traveler’s needs in consideration. One practical touch you will notice in the lobby are 2 charging lockers, free for anyone to use. Just plug in your phone into the multi-charging adapter, lock and remove the key – a thoughtful idea for the ever battery hungry smartphone user these days.
Fruit infused water dispensers are also available not just for hotel guests, but for thirsty traveler who chances upon them in the lobby.
I was shown to one of the future concept rooms that the majority of Hotel Jen will be revamping to. Focusing on optimal space utilization, rooms will feature modern, interchangeable furnishings.
The bay window sofa with a moveable storage drawer below is an example of such space-saving efforts. All rooms will be equipped with smart technology including interactive TVs with multi-device enabled streaming and in-room check-out. Wifi connection is of course also included in every room.
Sleek and modern with a touch of fun, the new room has more of an apartment-style vibe that is more homey than hotel-like.
Small design details like the ‘hello’ on this clothing rack in each room again shows the quirkiness that Hotel Jen wants to portray.
Bathrooms are compact and eco friendly, ridding itself of the water wasting bathtub and instead just having a small shower cubicle with all the basic necessities. More space is instead given to the room itself, which makes more sense than having a large shower area that is rarely used.
More practical amenities can be seen in the hotel room like this huge single bag wash and fold laundry service at just $30.
On the 4th floor, you will find the bar and lounge-like pool with yellow tents for a relaxing day by the water.
The gym, which is also on the same floor, can be accessed 24 hours upon request, so guests can exercise any time of the day especially flyers who are suffering from jet lag, or arrived at the hotel too late at night.
Basic spa facilities like the whirlpool, sauna and steam room can also be enjoyed by guests for a full pampering day.
Come morning, enjoy an amazing spread of international buffet breakfast at Cafebiz.
The selection is honestly quite impressive and is one of the best hotel breakfast buffets I’ve experienced – I don’t say this lightly because I’ve been to quite a few hotel buffets around in Singapore.
There is a little something for everybody, be it Korean, Japanese, European and even Singaporean delights like this bowl of laksa. Food is also premade in sizeable quantities so they don’t dry out or get soggy too fast on the buffet tray, ensuring a certain standard.
Since we all sometimes try to secretly ‘ta bao’ food from the hotel buffet, Hotel Jen has generously just made it official with their Ta Bao Box. Help yourself with some pastries, bacon or eggs that you can eat later in the day, as some of us don’t have that much of an appetite in the morning too.
One final titbit you definitely need to know about is the Press Reader app that you will be prompted to download for free when connecting to Hotel Jen’s wifi internet.
Acknowledging that digital media is the new way of media consumption, Hotel Jen has tied up with the Press Reader app to deliver free publications to anyone connected to their Wifi network. Just select from the hundreds of full monthly titles like Men’s Health, Women’s Weekly, National Geographic, The Economist and you can read it on your mobile device instantly. Very nifty and useful, not to mention money-saving. If not connected to Hotel Jen’s wifi though, you’ll have to pay for each magazine issue as per normal use.
Just 10 minutes away from the Botanic Gardens as well as Orchard road by foot, the new Hotel Jen is not just convenient but will also undergo a metamorphosis that brings a modern, mid-ranged hotel experience suitable for everyone. The Tanglin hotel is also directly connected to Tanglin Mall, providing easy access to restaurants and groceries in its own ecosystem.
Fun yet practical, this is what Hotel Jen is all about.
Expected Damage: From $200++ per night