January 11, 2017

Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore

Towards the end of 2016, I traveled to Singapore to spend a weekend in this wonderful city. The trip was full of excitement as it was my first time in Singapore. I have always been fascinated by its vibrancy, and for staycation aficionados like myself, Singapore is indeed heaven on earth. What a great way to start the New Year with my very first staycation feature for Singapore, and there is no better choice of hotel than Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore.

It was lunchtime when I arrived at Changi Airport. While waiting for my luggage at the arrival hall, I connected to the airport's free WiFi and booked my ride to the hotel through the GrabCar mobile application. It was a smooth drive from the airport to Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore which took only about 30 minutes. The total bill was SGD22.00 which was not bad considering the distance and the overall convenience of the travel.

Just like Hotel Jen Manila in the Philippines, Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore used to be a Traders Hotel which underwent renovation and refurbishment into the new Hotel Jen brand. Stepping inside the lobby of the hotel felt like I have just arrived in a newly constructed hotel, with its ultra modern design and tastefully selected furniture and accent pieces.

I also love the design of the front office where a pile of vintage suitcases were fashioned into front office desks. Checking-in was hassle-free, especially because the hotel already has my personal details on record as a Shangri-La Golden Circle Member. After handing my passport, I was asked to electronically sign the guest registration form and the electronic key cards were issued in no time.

Tourists can choose between the Superior Room or the Deluxe Room (Check Room Rate). Both measuring 25sqm, the room amenities are basically the same except that Deluxe Rooms have a better view of the greenery surrounding the hotel. Staycationers and Business Travelers, on the other hand, will definitely love the Club Rooms (Check Room Rate) which are essentially Deluxe Rooms located on higher floors with 24-hour access to the Club Lounge.

I stayed in a Deluxe Room furnished with a King Bed. As you can notice, the warm color theme of the lobby is also expressed inside the guestroom. The beige wall, the brown headboard, the orange wall art and the copper bedside lamps add warmth and coziness to the room.

Another familiar feature of the room were the welcome amenities. Similar to my staycation experience at Hotel Jen Manila, I was also welcomed in my room at Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore by a container of cubed fresh fruits and bottled water. They even added a bag of chocolates, how sweet!

The room is also furnished with a couch placed next to the window. This is where I spent sometime to settle to my room. There's also a writing desk and chair at one corner of the room. Since I was on a staycation, the writing desk functioned as a charging station of all my gadgets. Thankfully I didn't have to use my universal travel adapters because there are already two universal sockets installed next to the writing desk. No password was needed to sign-in to the complimentary WiFi internet access while inside the hotel, including inside my room.

I also loved the movable side table which allowed me to work with my laptop while seated on the couch. Call it workation, bleisure or anything, the bottom line is that functionality, customization, comfort and convenience were the top considerations when the room was designed (Check Room Availability).

At 25sqm, the Deluxe Room was comfortably sized with ample space for me to move around. As with any staycations, sleep quality is one of the biggest factors to consider when choosing a hotel. I have stayed in a number of Shangri-La Hotel properties in the Philippines and I am very satisfied with the consistently good quality of sleep I had. The bed in my room here at Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore did not disappoint my high expectation (Book Now).

Other in-room amenities include a wardrobe, an electronic safe, a luggage rack, an electronic kettle and a mini-refrigerator. Business travelers and long staying guests will be pleased to know that there's also an iron and ironing board smartly concealed under the couch.

In case you didn't notice, there is no minibar inside the room. This Hotel Jen concept is based on a study which showed that today's travelers rarely consume anything from the minibar. Should you get hungry in between meals or just feel like having a coffee, you can always call room service or head to the cafe located on the ground floor.

The bathroom was reasonably spacious considering the limited floor space of the room. There's a single sink in the middle, with a walk-in shower on one side and the lavatory on the opposite side. Standard Hotel Jen branded body and bath amenities are also provided, including hand soap, bath gel, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion.

The walk-in shower has a rainfall shower head and a handheld shower head. Water pressure was excellent during my whole stay. Hot and cold shower is available and water temperature was easy to regulate, Clean towels were provided including bathing towels, hand towels and face towels. The flash toilet looks well maintained with ample toilet paper available. However, there was no bidet spray installed next to the flush toilet.

I didn't plan any activity during my first day in Singapore since I only have the afternoon that day. I decided to just stay at the hotel to fully experience Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore. I took advantage of my free schedule to meet with the hotel's Duty Manager at the Club Lounge.

Welcoming me at the Club Lounge was Ms. Inna Flores, a fellow Filipino who used to work at Edsa Shangri-La Manila and now working as Duty Manager at Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore. We had a quick chat about the activities and attractions that I should experience during my weekend stay in Singapore. She also gave me some pointers which local dishes I should try. I am surprised that Inna is very well informed about the local culture and dining scene.

Inna also showed me around the Club Lounge where guests staying at the hotel's Club Rooms enjoy exclusive and complimentary benefits including all-day drinks and snacks, mid-afternoon culinary treats, and evening cocktails. The Club Lounge at Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore features an ultra modern, chic yet relaxed vibe.

Similar to the Club Lounges of Shangri-La Hotel properties, the Club Lounge at Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore promises a spectacular view of its immediate surrounding. I particularly loved the view of the iconic Tourism Court building which serves as the headquarters of the Singapore Tourism Board.

It was a short yet enjoyable time spent with Inna, and before she went back to her duty, she handed me an invitation letter to the Club Lounge and informed me that she has extended to me a complimentary access to the Club Lounge during my stay. Inna embodies the legendary Shangri-La hospitality loved by many international travelers and staycationers worldwide.

After freshening-up, I went back to the Club Lounge in time for the Happy Hour where guests can enjoy free-flowing wines, cocktails and beers paired with a buffet of light snacks and warm dishes. I started off with wine and premium cheeses and nuts. I then tried some of the warm dishes served that evening. My top favorites were the Singaporean Fried Carrot and the Steamed Soon Kueh.

Later that evening, I checked out Jen's Kitchen On the Go, the cafe which I mentioned earlier in the article. Jen's Kitchen On the Go is open 24 hours and serves coffee, tea and fruit juices, as well as sandwiches, cakes and other light snacks.

Still full from the dishes I had at the Club Lounge, I only ordered a Ham and Egg Sandwich (SGD8.00) and a Cappuccino (SGD8.00). There were also other guests dining at the cafe that evening. Some of them were working with their laptops, while some were simply enjoying a conversation with friends.

As I mentioned earlier, free WiFi internet access is available with the hotel's premises and that is true for this cafe. And because no password is needed to sign-in to the WiFi, both checked-in and non checked-in guests can take advantage of the fast wireless internet.

I spent the rest of the evening at the cafe doing research on the various cultural and dining spots to include in my itinerary for the following day. The Jens Heart Map located next to the elevator lobby was also a big help. This wall map is a unique concept developed by Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore which allows guests to share recommendations of local attractions and restaurants in Singapore.

It was almost midnight when I went back to my room. After freshening up with a warm shower, I was ready to call it a day. When I was about to dim the lights, I noticed that my bed seemed to be hovering above the carpet. Remember the sports cars with under chassis lighting? That's the same futuristic effect my bed had (Check Room Rate).

Having a Club Lounge access, I had the option to have a full breakfast buffet at the J65 (the hotel's all-day dining restaurant) or a continental breakfast at the Club Lounge. Since I will be spending the rest of the day exploring Singapore, I opted for a lighter breakfast at the Club Lounge.

As soon as I was seated, I was immediately offered with coffee or tea. Since it was a weekend, most of the guests were locals on staycation and foreign guests on a weekend vacation in Singapore.

I was only expecting continental breakfast items on the buffet spread, but I was surprised to see a couple of warm dishes as well. There's bread and pastries, cheeses, jams, cereals, salad and fresh fruits, yogurt and chilled juices.

I started my breakfast with eggs benedict, hashbrown and bacon. I had cappuccino to wake me up. My second plate consisted of fried rice, scrambled eggs, sauteed green peas, chicken sausage and chicken siomai.

Service was consistently outstanding. The lounge attendants anticipated my needs, from offering a refill of my coffee, to clearing my table of used plates, to checking how my food was.

Singapore is one of the bike-friendly cities of Asia, this is evident in the bike lanes present in main roads and parks. To support this cycling lifestyle, Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore provides checked-in guests with complimentary use of their bikes.

Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore is located near the Singapore Botanic Gardens which can be reached through a leisurely walk or by cycling. The hotel also has a 24-hour gym which check-in guests can use free of charge. A morning swim is also a good idea to wake the senses.

By 10:00am, I was ready to explore Singapore. I booked a GrabCar from my phone going to my first stop. 328 Katong Laksa is located along East Coast Road in the area of Katong residential area. I ordered a small serving of Laksa (SGD5.00), one serving of Otah (SGD1.30) and Fresh Lime Juice (SGD1.80). Having my first taste of authentic Singaporean laksa was a very memorable experience for me.

From this laksa place, I walked all the way to Koon Seng Road in the Geylang area. There I saw a row of Peranakan Houses that gave me a glimpse of Singapore heritage. I find it admirable that Singaporeans were able to preserve their ancestral houses which now serve as windows to the past for the present generation.

From Geylang, I booked a GrabCar ride going to the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple located in the Chinatown district. This imposing structure houses a temple and a museum, and is a popular destination for tourists. The place is well maintained and entrance is free of charge.

From the temple, I crossed the road towards the Maxwell Food Center to try out the Chicken Rice (SGD5.00) at Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice. From Maxwell, I walked back to Chinatown for some souvenir shopping.

From Chinatown, I booked my ride going to Orchard Road for some more shopping. I visited Paragon Shopping Center to buy phone accessories, and I also checked-out some of the boutiques at ION Orchard to shop for colognes. Before heading back to the hotel, I had dinner at Putien, a Michelin starred restaurant at ION Orchard serving authentic Chinese cuisine from the Fujien Province.

One day is definitely not enough to explore Singapore. During this trip, I decided to skip the touristy areas and focus instead on cultural spots and dining destinations. I will reserve the Marina Bay area in Central Singapore for my future trips.

The following day, I decided to try out the full breakfast buffet at J65. It definitely has a bigger dining area with plenty of space to move around. The buffet spread is obviously more extensive compared to the Club Lounge, but what really caught my attention were the Singaporean dishes included in the buffet.

Being a foreigner, it was a feast to my eyes to see dishes such as laksa, nasi lemak, mee goreng and roti prata altogether in one buffet spread, side-by-side with Western and Chinese dishes. This time, I skipped coffee and opted for teh tarik to complete my Singaporean breakfast experience.

Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore was indeed an ideal choice for first time visitors to Singapore, and for staycationers and business travelers alike. Its location is perfect whether you wish to explore different parts of the city or just stay within the area to relax and enjoy this quieter side of Singapore (Check Room Rates).

From Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore, I booked my ride to my next staycation destination, the iconic Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore (soon).

P.S.: Filipino travelers planing to stay at Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore will be pleased to know that a number of Filipinos are working at the hotel. They will make sure that you enjoy your stay and will really make you feel at home. If you happen to meet them during your stay, they would be happy to assist you with your itinerary.

Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore (Book Now)
1A Cuscaden Road, 249716, Singapore
Contact: +65 6738-2222
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Disclosure: My stay was hosted by Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore. This article is based on my personal experience and opinions expressed therein are mine.

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