Hello again Jen. Just a year ago, I was here with my family for their weekend brunch buffet at the former Cafebiz (now renamed to J65). And last month I was back with my husband because the kind folks at Hotel Jen Tanglin had hosted us for a one-night stay which happened to coincide with my birthday weekend.
It seems like there are people who still aren’t aware that Hotel Jen Tanglin used to be the old Traders Hotel on Cuscaden Road because when we took a cab there, the driver just looked puzzled when I said Hotel Jen Tanglin but the moment I mentioned Traders Hotel, it became an immediate enlightenment.
When we arrived at the hotel, I didn’t even know the person who opened our car door was the doorman because he was clad in smart casual attire of shirt and jeans. I thought he was a hotel guest who wanted to hop into our taxi, lol. Brand new look for their staff, not bad.
Hotel Jen Tanglin recently celebrated its official reopening after going through an extensive S$45 million makeover and rebranding.
The moment I entered the lobby, I was welcomed by this new burst of energy and life. No more of that outdated, boring decor. The hotel now boasts a chic-looking lobby with swanky, photo-worthy pieces of furniture. And that’s J65 (previously known as Cafebiz) in the background.
The lobby also houses Jen’s Kitchen On-the-Go which is a 24-hour cafe and snack bar that serves up artisan-roasted coffee brewed by baristas from local coffee connoisseur, Nomad the Gallant as well as a curated selection of teas. Light bites like salads and sandwiches are also available. Totally in tune with the cafe culture that has deeply infiltrated Singapore.
While we were in the midst of checking-in with the help of the friendly staff at the reception desk, we cooled ourselves with some refreshing beverages by the side. A very thoughtful provision.
The funky Tokyo bicycles which are also part of the hotel’s new decor, are free for guests to use so we could just go around and explore the city.
Making our way to the 17th floor.
Our room was just located a few steps away from the Club Lounge. Room key worked on a tap system just like using the EZ-Link card.
What a pleasant surprise to find birthday decor by the window. And there were party hats too on the sofa. Time to party! Woohoo! 😉
The room is a perfect sized space with a floating king-sized bed. I love its interior decor that is modern, sleek and yet homely and cosy. I particularly love that chair by the desk that is really comfy to sit on with a leg rest below. I even told the husband I wanted a similar chair for our house, lol.
We like the moveable side table that we could easily drag to the front of the sofa for us to leave our tea cups on or to place our laptop on to work. Even the sofa is comfy for napping and the cushions are just so nice to hug. On both sides of the bed, there are extendable lights on the walls that are useful for reading.
The window overlooked the nearby residential neighbourhood with no blockage of view.
And down below is the hotel’s swimming pool that opens from 6am to 9pm daily with a lifeguard always on duty. That’s Ah Hoi’s Kitchen behind the pool that serves up decent seafood and Singapore Straits cuisine.
Back to the room. There are the standard furnishings and fixtures – TV, mini fridge, safe, extra space to place your luggage, kettle (but no coffee or tea bags so would need to get from the lounge).
There are bedroom slippers and cotton waffle bathrobes too. I like that hanging bar on the top right that spelt H-E-L-L-O on the side where we could put more bags on top and also use it to hang up wet towels or clothes (like swimwear) that require some ‘airing’.
There isn’t a bathtub which isn’t a big deal as I prefer the shower anyway. Love the high water pressure from that fixed shower head that make each shower a real therapeutic treat and it’s good that there is also the removable shower head for times when we don’t want to wet our hair.
A powerful hairdryer – thank goodness because my previous hotel stays had either no hairdryers or only weak ones – I cannot live without the hairdryer because I hate going out with wet hair, haha. Basic toiletries are provided – toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, body lotion, cotton buds, shaver, shower cap, loofah pad and even a black hair band which I used to secure my ponytail before heading to the gym. Nice touch.
There are USB charger outlets and an ironing board just below the sofa.
The hotel also provides free shuttle service to Orchard Road as well as weekday morning shuttle services to CBD and selected business parks. Very convenient for the business traveller.
When the husband opened the fridge, he went a big WHOA and then slammed the fridge door shut. I was a little startled as I thought he probably found a dead cockroach or something, haha but realised later there were more surprises awaiting me. A lovely chocolate birthday cake (this was delicious!!!), chocolates with walnuts, fruits and cold water. Such a sweet gesture! Thank you Jen 🙂
To make the most of a short weekend staycation, I would highly recommend getting a Club Room that offers all the features of a Deluxe Room plus Club Lounge benefits and you will know why soon.
The Club Lounge is located on the 17th floor, is open daily from 6.30am to 10.00pm and is accessible on a 24-hour basis with the room key which means anytime you are feeling peckish and need a hot drink or light snack in the middle of the night, you can just come here.
Cookies, nuts and pretzels, soft drinks, gourmet coffees (cappuccino, macchiato, latte or flat white from machine) and teas (Dilmah brand tea bags – english breakfast, peppermint, chamomile, green tea, earl grey) are available at the lounge throughout the day.
As we managed to check in early, we had time for brunch at the Club Lounge (weekend brunch hours from 6.30am to 12.00pm) that offered a small but sufficient spread of breakfast items like bacon, scrambled egg, sausages, grilled tomatoes, roasted potatoes, Eggs Benedict, oatmeal and muesli, cold cuts, smoked salmon, cheese, assorted cereals, breads, pastries, juices and more. That was like lunch to us because it was almost 12 noon when we had this meal.
To minimise food waste, the hotel encouraged guests to tapao food that we couldn’t finish which I felt was an apt initiative because there might be just times when we would overestimate our appetite and take too much from the buffet spread so for those extra carb-heavy foods like bread and pastries, we could just pack them into these brown paper bags and save them for later. Good one, Jen! Other hotels should implement this too.
After brunch, we checked out some of the hotel’s facilities. We spent the rest of the day hanging out at the pool (the floats are free for use), working out in the gym (5 treadmills, 3 elliptical trainers, free weights and various weight machines), chilling out in the whirlpool and relaxing in the saunas. The whirlpools and saunas are located inside the changing rooms near to where the gym is so they are separate for males and females.
We went back to the Club Lounge for the “After Five” Happy Hour that was happening from 5.00pm to 7.30pm daily.
I thought there would only be light canapes but it turned out that the spread was quite a sumptuous meal on its own. There were BBQ pork ribs, samosas, vegetable fritters, satay with condiments, potato chowder, vegetable crudites with dips, assorted cheeses with crackers, nuts & dried fruits and a selection of pickled olives and the like.
There were free flow of red and white wines, liquors and beers too.
We ate. We drank. We enjoyed the view. What could be better than this?
After this, we took a brief walk at Tanglin Mall that was connected to the hotel on the second level (super convenient!) and came back for a buffet dinner at J65 which I would blog more in detail in a separate post. We then spent the rest of the evening in the Club Lounge working on our laptops because it was such a lovely and conducive place to work in. We were very impressed with the super fast and stable wifi connection that was also very accessible from our room.
After a good night sleep, we woke up really early the next morning and went down to J65 for breakfast because the spread at the Club Lounge was the same as the day before so we thought we would try something different. I was glad we did that, otherwise I would have missed out on a hot and really comforting bowl of red rice porridge with lots of my favourite condiments like fried dace, meat floss, braised peanuts and fermented beancurd. There were also nasi lemak, roast meats and chicken rice, laksa, smoked salmon, salads, roti prata, standard American breakfast food (bacon, sausage, scrambled egg, etc), dim sum, bak kut teh, cheeses, breads and pastries, an egg station (the omelette was yum!) and even ice creams.
After breakfast, we went to the gym. Hmm, I must be one of those few weird people who likes to work my butt off at the gym while on holiday, haha. But I just love their gym because it’s quiet and I could exercise in peace. Plus, we really need to work off those calories from the dinner the night before!
The whole hotel stay experience was truly a memorable one. In fact, it exceeded our expectations because normally when a hotel gets rebranded or renovated, there may be systems that are not fully in place but it wasn’t so when we were there because everything was like tailor-made for the traveller which shows they really put in a lot of thought and effort to understand what their hotel guests need.
Stylish room with comfy bed and pillows – I didn’t have to call housekeeping to give me extra pillows when normally I would have to. Thoughtful touches like the free wifi and USB charger outlets just come in so handy. Personalised and pampering service because they did their best to meet (if not exceed) the needs of their guests. What the hotel did for me for my birthday wasn’t because I was a blogger on a sponsored staycation but it was a sweet gesture that they would do for any hotel guest celebrating a special occasion like birthday or anniversary.
I felt very welcomed and well looked after during my stay here. I loved how seamless and fuss-free everything was run from the check-in process to going into the lounge or restaurant for meals, using the gym and the facilities etc. And because the hotel is located on one end of a busy shopping stretch, there is the much needed privacy to get away from the hustle and bustle while still being near to amenities nearby. An ideal place for a wonderful staycation indeed. We will definitely be back. 🙂
Hotel Jen Tanglin is offering various hotel stay packages for both leisure and business travellers including a Valentine’s Staycation Package and Introductory Offer – Brand New Club Rooms. Staycationers, what are you waiting for? 🙂
Disclaimer: This was a sponsored staycation, courtesy of Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore. All opinions expressed here are author’s own personal views.