Hotel Jen Orchardgateway is the first property with the Hotel Jen branding to be unveiled by the Shangri-la Group when it opened in 2014. While I have managed to stay in a couple of Hotel Jen properties during the past few months, I recall attending this particular property’s launch party more than a year back, to great fanfare. The amazing rooftop pool with sweeping views of the Singapore skyline served as my first exposure to the Hotel Jen brand.
Some weeks back, I finally managed to check out Hotel Jen Orchardgateway through a staycation. It’s located just a short walk from Somerset MRT station. If you recall the former Phoenix Hotel before it was demolished – the current property is located in the same site. This means that shopping malls such as 313 Somerset and Orchard Gateway are just a hop and a skip away downstairs.
As is the trend in a couple of newer hotels in Singapore, Hotel Jen Orchardgateway’s lobby is located above ground, at the 10th floor. The first thing I noticed when I entered the lobby is that the property propagates a self-service concept. There are no bellboys and instead, trolleys are conveniently placed in order for guests to easily bring their bags to their rooms.
For this particular stay, I was billeted at a Deluxe Room, which is a notch above the most standard rooms of the hotel. At 32 square meters, the extra 5 square meters of space was definitely most welcome. The brown and white color scheme and overall decor could be best described as neutral. It did not explicitly scream wanderlust as with its sister property, the Hotel Jen Tanglin; nor did it give off enough business vibe to remind me of its Traders Hotel precursor.
Nevertheless, the Hotel Jen quirks were all there. I was greeted by a not by the fridge telling me that the fruit cup within was free. There was also a bag of crackers waiting for me by the counter, free of charge.
As with my experience in their sister properties, I found that the room configuration was especially suitable for business travelers. Anticipating that guests would need it, a universal adapter was already plugged in the power outlet while plenty of power sockets were made available to plug laptops in or for charging gadgets.
The bathroom was quite a spacious affair. I was surprised to find a bathtub inside which made for an effective usage of space. As with other Hotel Jen properties, toiletries were placed inside a plastic bag. A complete set at that.
Club Lounge at Hotel Jen Orchardgateway
My stay came with club lounge access which is located at the 19th floor. Guests can choose to have breakfast here which is from 6:30AM to 11AM during weekends and evening cocktails are also served from 5:30PM to 7:30PM.
I dropped by that afternoon to catch the evening cocktails. One of the things to note about the club lounge at this property is that it features some sweeping views of the Orchard Road area. Even if you don’t plan to get some snacks here, come here for the view.
The spread for evening cocktails was quite a modest affair. During my visit, I spotted some salads, ham, a cheese bar, two hot dishes (quiche and hotdog on bread), around three kinds of pastries and a fresh fruit spread. I was also pleasantly surprised with the WineStation – basically a defacto wine vending machine for lounge guests to dispense as much wine as they want during cocktail hour.
Also located in the 19th floor is the hotel’s infinity pool. I first visited it more than a year back when the property just opened. By now, it is pretty well-known though perhaps still not as well-known as other hotel infinity pools in the country with similarly dramatic views. In keeping with the Hotel Jen persona, the pool here carried a fun vibe, with bright colored lounge chairs and bean bags.
Besides the expansive infinity pool, there is also a smaller and shallower pool for kids (and grown-ups as well!) as well as plenty of sitting space and areas to get a suntan.
Breakfast at Makan@Jen
As I mentioned previously, I had the option of having breakfast at the club lounge but like in almost all of my hotel stays, I decided to have it at the all-day dining restaurant, Makan@Jen at the 10th floor.
A superior F&B lineup has become a defacto trademark of the Shangri-la group, wherever the hotels in question may be and the breakfast buffet at this property certainly does not disappoint. For a 4-star hotel, it was wider than I expected with a good balance between local and western fare, as well as a few surprises here and there.
I’m often quite particular with hash browns whenever it’s served in a buffet because it often ends up soggy by the time it gets to my mouth. The ones here were still hot, and more importantly, crispy to a tee.
I would have wanted to load up on my breakfast favorite – bacon – which was served equally crispy but my conscience convinced me not to.
So I instead opted for healthier alternatives such as salad and yogurt, which came in multiple flavors at Makan@Jen.
Those with a sweet tooth won’t be disappointed here. I was pleasantly surprised to find ice cream in the breakfast buffet, including a durian flavored one!
Equally suitable both for work and for play, Hotel Jen Orchardgateway offers an insightful first look at the continuing evolution of the Hotel Jen brand. The property’s managed to put out some quirks – such using stick-ons to communicate with guests – to differentiate itself from the rest while still putting emphasis on facilities and dining as the Shangri-la group typically does. The objective here is not to provide guests with a luxurious experience but to impart a fun and vibrant one. For the location, added convenience, and well-appointed rooms; I certainly would be more than happy to experience “that Jen feeling” again.
Hotel Jen Orchardgateway
277 Orchard Road
+65 6708 8888