The lobby presents a bright contemporary space, with flourishes of design flair sourced from a team of local artists. Bicycles are a common theme, holding up tables, hung from walls or available for guests to explore on. Jen, the hotel’s host, is a virtual persona embodying the concept of doing the important things right and with no fuss, while surprising guests with touches of flair, style and thoughtfulness.
Staying in one of the hotel’s 15 suites is an excellent way to experience Jen’s hospitality at its best. These spacious rooms are split into a lounge living area with kitchenette and the bedroom with ensuite bathroom. As with the rest of the hotel’s design, the rooms are colourful, contemporary and comfortable. With wooden flooring, white brick walls and a bold colour scheme, suite rooms feature an eclectic collection of furnishings and furniture. The owners are chair enthusiasts – something immediately evident in the reception area when checking in – and lamps are obviously also a passion, such is their abundance and variety throughout the property. For me, the pièce de résistance in my suite was the bright yellow SMEG fridge. Filled with ample water and canned drinks, fridges are also restocked daily with cut fresh fruit and homemade chocolate, one of the many little touches that punctuate your stay. With such a large kitchenette area (also home to a microwave), these suites are an ideal choice for long-term guests. For convenience, the room’s sofa converts into a sofa bed and there is a Nespresso machine and a set of plates and cutlery for self-catering, should you feel inclined to dine in. With 24-hour F&B facilities available at the hotel at very affordable rates, deciding to cook your own dinner will probably be a rare occurrence. Should you order room service, a breakfast table provides the ideal solution and there’s a handy sink to wash up as well.
It’s not just the hotel’s design that is modern – all rooms have complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi access and smart flat-screen TVs. My suite had one TV set in each room, with a fleet of satellite channels to choose from. Guests wanting to keep up with the news also have the option of downloading an app granting complimentary access to a selection of international newspapers.
The bedroom, accessible through sliding doors, offers a supremely comfortable floating style king size bed – all bedding at the hotel is of the same quality as the parent company Shangri-la International Hotel Management, so guests are assured a five-star sleeping experience at a fraction of the price. With no room in the hotel the same, my orange-themed quarters featured aquarium-inspired wallpaper, with tropical fish keeping me company throughout the night. A work desk provided a convenient place to catch up on emails with all electrical sockets in the room accessible to all major international plugs. In the wardrobe, an iron and board assured crisp pressed shirts while the option of a $30 laundry bag or self-service laundromat means that clean clothes are never far away. Suite guests also gain automatic entry to the Executive Lounge on the 17th floor, where breakfast, afternoon tea and evening cocktails and canapés are served. The lounge is open 24 hours a day and includes business centre facilities like a computer with a free printing service.
Other food options at the hotel include J65, the all-day dining restaurant on the ground floor and local favourite, Ah Hoi’s Kitchen, located by the pool and gym on the 4th floor terrace.
J65 offers breakfast buffet spreads (with a takeaway option), healthy lunch choices and themed buffet dinners. The focus is on South East Asian cuisine but a range of international dishes and seafood specialities are also available. J65 also hosts a Champagne Sunday Brunch, which offers free-flow alcohol and gourmet delicacies that include roasts, premium hams, seafood and much more. For a quick snack, gourmet coffee or breakfast pastry with healthy juice, the 24-hour Jen’s Kitchen On-the-Go in the lobby is a convenient option. Meals can be eaten in or taken away and there’s a computer for catching up on emails or printing out a boarding pass. Like the complimentary drinks at reception, it’s another example of the many little touches that enhance your stay at this friendly hotel.
Hotel Jen, 1A Cuscaden Road, tel: 6831 4374, hoteljen.com
It’s February. A full month since you promised yourself you’d