As I sat in the window seat, landing into Singapore Changi Airport I knew Singapore would fast become a country I fell in love with. Maybe it was the two consecutive 7 hour flights or the thoughtful musings of my driver from Destination Asia Singapore, who took me to my hotel. Sleep deprived and slightly jet-lagged I couldn’t keep my eyes off the ever changing scenery as we drove by. I was greeted by a city filled with history, nature and architecture.
In the past I have spoken about how cities give me quite severe travel anxiety but Singapore has a distinct relaxed and friendly vibe, which immediately put me at ease. It may have only taken 30 minutes to drive to my hotel, but that is all it took for me to overcome my anxieties whilst being lucky enough to have a panoramic view of the Marina Bay Sands. It is possible to get the metro or a taxi from the airport but I always organise a transfer to reduce the risk of getting lost in a new destination.
Hours of searching the internet and 3 trips to the travel agent, trying to find a hotel in the perfect location for a reasonable price, kept bringing me back to the Hotel Jen Tanglin. As this hotel is part of the Shangri-La Hotel Management Ltd. group I knew it would be a good place to stay. Mixed reviews had me quite concerned that I would be too far out of the main hub of Singapore. However, it turned out to be the most perfect location for me. A short 10 minute walk in one direction greeted me with Orchard Road (lots of shops to keep my photographer happy). 15 minutes in the other direction took me to the Singapore Botanic Gardens, top of my list of things to do on this adventure.
The hotel is spread over 18 floors with the club rooms being at the top. 6 spacious lifts to transport you to different levels of the hotel. The 1st floor has two restaurants, Jen’s Kitchen On-The-Go and J65. Ah Hoi’s Kitchen is on the 4th floor alongside the huge swimming pool. The second floor has a business centre which is open for use, particularly useful if you need to print boarding passes for future flights (like I did). It also has a connecting corridor directly into Tanglin Mall, which has an abundance of restaurants (open 10am-10pm).
If being lucky enough to stay in the hotel whilst all of the Chinese New Year decorations were up was not enough, JENA the room service robot was stationed in the hotel lobby (Sadly I didn’t see the robot zooming around the hotel). Checking into the hotel was effortless and all of the staff were very helpful throughout my stay.
Staying in a superior room, with a wonderful view of some greenery and distant skyscrapers, from the bay window seat. Small but comfortable, with everything I needed after a hard day of being an Adventursaurus. Staying on the 9th floor had one distinct advantage – quiet, no noise from humans coming back to the hotel (I was right next to the lifts too) and not a single disturbance from the traffic (something a lot of humans on TripAdvisor had complained about).
There was a big comfortable king sized bed (for me to sleep in) and the room had enough space to comfortably fit an extra bed (for my photographer). My favourite part of the room was the take off button on the wall. When pressed it gave the illusion of a floating bed! Freshly decorated in a modern fashion with a vintage feel from the tawny headboards, brass lights and a bicycle on the wall.
As we were staying whilst it was my photographers birthday, some birthday cupcakes and fruit pots had been left inside the room fridge, along with bottled water that was replenished daily. The air conditioning was free, as was the safety deposit box (big enough to fit a dinosaur in!).
There was no bath, but I didn’t miss it because the shower was powerful and had two different height shower heads.
The work desk came complete with a “Handy” phone, connected to the internet and filled to the brim with things to do in Singapore. A big help for last minute change of plans and finding the cheapest tickets for attractions.
The 1st floor has two restaurants, Jen’s Kitchen On-The-Go, which provided wonderful take out coffee and fruit pots for my travels. J65 is the buffet style restaurant where breakfast is found, dinner is too but I didn’t visit as I had heard it is mainly seafood and a Hong Kong style grill. Sumptuous delights feature heavily in the vast international buffet available for breakfast. Being a vegan dinosaur this is often the most stressful part of my day, but Hotel Jen seriously pulled out all of the stops for breakfast. Even though I don’t eat meat and wasn’t sure what some of the food was, I was seriously impressed with the variety of food. There was the usual English fried breakfast, egg station, pastries and cereals. Alongside, a Nasi Lemak counter with lots of condiments, noodles and fried rice, made-to-order Laksa, curries, roti prata, dim sum and various types oatmeal.
My favourite part was the fruit counter, they had dragon fruit! For those of you who don’t know what it is it’s the white cubes with black seeds and best fruit ever (which no-one in the UK sells, sobs hysterically). The coffee station also has soya milk along with skimmed and whole fat milk. Seriously, I believe this hotel had everything you could ever want for breakfast … and more!
Ah Hoi’s Kitchen, on the fourth floor next to the swimming pool is a reasonably priced gem. £0.60 for a bowl of rice and £8 for clay pot bean curd and mixed vegetables is probably the best value meal I have had in a while. I love how happy the chefs were to go off menu to cater for my dietary needs.
The perfect address
Choosing a hotel close to the Singapore Botanic Gardens was very high up my list, the bonus of a short walk to Orchard Rd was a pleasant surprise. The area has few hills and the paths are flat which makes walking around easy and safe. With the close proximity of the malls and a taxi stand outside the hotel, you can do as much or as little walking as you want. The hotel has complimentary shuttles around Orchard road as well. It’s a little bit of a walk to the MRT at Ion Orchard but that isn’t an issue, soon a new MRT station will open closer to the hotel.
This is a hotel which I really enjoyed staying in (not just for the lotus paste dim sum). For me, it is normally “if I return I may stay in this hotel”. However, with the Hotel Jen Tanglin, it is definitely when I return. I can say 100% that I will be staying in other Jen hotels around Asia on my travels in the future.
Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore
1A Cuscaden Road, Singapore 249716
Stay tuned for more of my adventures in Singapore!
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