Of all the Hotel Jen properties around the world, none probably encapsulates the travel-savvy persona as much as the Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore which is currently undergoing a major transformation. I remember visiting a couple of times when it was known as Traders Hotel, back when the brand proposition was unabashedly for business travelers. The property’s current incarnation as Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore – aside from the retention of the hotel facade – sure doesn’t give any hint of the property’s history. A pervasive youthful vibe runs through the halls of the hotel. Gone are the staff members in suits. The same folks are now wearing bright and cheery outfits while little details add a sense of wonderment to guests’ experience which the property calls “that Jen feeling.”
I had the opportunity to check out the Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore during one weekend. Located at a quieter side of the Orchard shopping belt, it is close to Tanglin Mall as well as walking distance to the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Although I’m no stranger to the Hotel Jen chain or to the Shangri-la Group (which the brand belongs to), I wanted to witness the transformation process that’s being implemented by the group as a result of the rebranding of Traders hotels to Hotel Jen in 2014. When I stayed at Hotel Jen Manila earlier this year, I managed to witness the change in the soft product. With Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore, it was a peek into both the soft and hard product – the property’s at the tail-end of segueing into the Hotel Jen look.
this massive wall art is the first thing that guests see when they arrive at the property
As I was staying at at a Club Double Room, I had the option to check in at the club lounge which is located at the 17th floor. The property actually has two club floors, the 17th and 18th but for the purpose of convenience, 17th’s a better choice with the club lounge just next door. As I checked in, the front desk staff politely informed me that Wifi was available throughout the property with no requirement to enter any username and password – simple and straightforward just like in Shangri-la.
As a Shangri-la property, the complimentary shuttle service that I’ve known so well due to my frequent visits to Shangri-la Hotel Singapore also makes a stop here on an hourly basis from 10:15AM up to 8:05PM and takes guests to key points in Orchard Road. During weekday mornings, there are also complimentary shuttle services to key CBD areas such as those in Raffles Place, Suntec City and Harbourfront.
Club Room at Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore
Although the rooms essentially retain the same layout as when the property was a Traders Hotel, the appearance has changed dramatically. The interiors wouldn’t look out of place in a boutique hotel – faux brick walls, hanging light fixtures and statement cushions were just some of the things I noticed right away. Overall, the vibe was less serious this time around and much more inviting.
At 25 square meters, the room size is in line with other hotels of the same class and can comfortably fit two people. What I particularly liked about the refurbishment, aside from the slightly masculine “wanderlust” theme, is the adding of a couch by the window where a desk used to be placed. The desk has since been transferred in front of the bed. and despite the more playful new proposition of the hotel, seemed to have been designed with the business traveler in mind. The property was thoughtful enough to install universal sockets near the desk to allow chargers to be plugged in without any hassle.
The bathroom was a simple affair but has no problem in meeting guest needs. There is no bathtub but the shower area was more than sufficient with a rainshower head, lots of towels as well as in-house branded toiletries.
what happens when I press the take off button!
Later that night as I was going to bed I discovered a button by the bedside that said, “take off.” I pressed it and discovered it acted as a sort of enhanced night light (the room already had a separate night light feature) that created a floating bed effect.
Club Lounge at Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore
One of the highlights of Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore is undoubtedly its club lounge. I did a rough comparison of prices and found club rooms to cost around $68++ more per night under the advance purchase rate versus ordinary rooms. This is good value in my opinion as the club lounge here serves breakfast, afternoon tea and evening cocktails. During weekends, they even serve brunch until 12 noon! Assuming a 2-person stay, the club access is a good add-on to consider unless you expect to be out and about during most of the day.
The club lounge at this property is a great place to unwind and I ended up spending a good part of my afternoons there. It has the vibe of a slightly hipster cafe, sans the crowd.
It may not be the poshest club lounge in Singapore but I give it two thumbs up in the individuality scale as well as for its food offerings. A particular highlight was the evening cocktails (available from 5PM to 7:30PM) which featured a nice array of local specialties. It changes everyday but of note was the kueh pie tee and lamb skewers.
I really loved the evening cocktail fare at this property’s club lounge. It’s quite unlike other club lounges where the food would be centered on canapes. There are no fancy shmancy canapes here in the strict sense and instead guests are treated to dishes that can very well be turned into a meal. The incorporation of local flavors is an easy way as well for those staying at the hotel to sample Singaporean food without having to step out to a hawker center.
Similar to other Hotel Jen properties, I found chargers conveniently placed at the public areas. This includes one at the club lounge which comes in handy in case one forgets to bring one’s charger during a stay (this often happens to me, I’m afraid!).
As I was staying at a Club Room in Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore, I had the option of having my breakfast either at the club lounge or at the common breakfast area. While experience dictates that it’s usually a better idea to have breakfast at the all-day dining restaurant, I chose to take my morning meal at the club lounge. If you happen to have your breakfast at this property on a Saturday or Sunday morning, I would suggest heading down to the club lounge as well. On these days, the property’s breakfast hours gets extended, with a “Jenerous” weekend brunch that is extended all the way until 12nn!
At about 10AM, the club lounge staff began to bring in some of the heavier brunch fare. When I tried the brunch there on a Sunday, I chanced upon baked salmon as well as roast chicken, to name a few.
Despite the ongoing renovations, all facilities save for the grand lobby were available for guest use. This was definitely great news as the property has an expansive swimming pool, fitness center as well as spa.
The fitness center was well-equipped and I was pleasantly surprised to find it manned, with a staff member handing me towels to use when I entered. I found this notable as it’s rare to find staff members manning the gyms of 4-star hotels and even in some 5-star ones.
Overall, I was mightily impressed with Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore. I’m a fan of the revamp that they’ve done specifically to this property, with the adding of nuances here and there to give it character and warmth. The fun and travel-savvy vibe was also a welcome departure from the formality usually experienced elsewhere. For a property belonging to a well-known chain, Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore carried a personality that is most often only found in boutique hotels. It’s also priced very nicely. Its Advanced Purchase Rate for a Club Room starts from SGD 238++ while its entry-level Superior Room can go as low as just SGD 170++ per night. That’s extremely competitive for a hotel located in the Orchard belt.
Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore
1A Cuscaden Rd, Singapore 249716
Tel: +65 6738 2222