Lovin' That Jen Feeling at Hotel Jen Manila

If your travel choices gravitate towards simple pleasures rather than over-the-top bits and pieces, Hotel Jen Manila just might be the best pick for you. Acquired by the Shangri-La Group of Hotels and Resorts, Hotel Jen takes the identity of Traders Hotel along Roxas Boulevard in Pasay City—a 312-bedroom, 4-star hotel situated right across Cultural Center of the Philippines, and right within the capital’s business and entertainment districts. Exuding a more youthful, laid-back vibe, Hotel Jen aims to deliver the level of service Shangri-La is known for while allowing guests to enjoy a casual and friendly atmosphere.

The hotel’s fa├žade couldn’t have been more deceptive: stepping inside brings you into an entirely different world, a no-nonsense, bustling ambience that is neither stiff nor snooty, not the archaic image you would expect to find. In the lobby, you will find staff dressed in uniforms atypical of hotels—casual, yet crisp. My first impression instantly told me what my stay would be like.

Jen, a virtual persona of the hotel, embodies the traveler who loves life and discovery, and is perhaps representative of the new generation of travelers, of millennials. Relevant, vibrant, and never boring—this is the kind of travelers Hotel Jen wants to attract.

I had the pleasure of staying overnight at Hotel Jen and experience their exciting Christmas offerings. Read on to find out more of the vivacious Hotel Jen.



“Hello, Manila!’

Guests may check-in at the lobby or exclusively at the Club Lounge in the 19th floor if they booked a Club Room. We were billeted into a Club Room, so we went directly upstairs and enjoyed a faster, fuss-free check-in.

All it took was a few minutes to fill up a registration form—and while doing so, a staff will hand you a welcome drink. After that, we were off to our home for the night.



The Club Room

Our Club Room (36 sqm.) fits a King-size bed, two window-side sofa chairs, a workstation, a mini-bar, and an en suite bathroom. I love the soft, incredibly spacious bed, giving me plenty of leg space—I can slide off the pillows and can still stretch my legs.

Positioned in front of the bed is the workstation with an executive writing desk, an ergonomic chair, a desk lamp, an IDD phone, and a data port. There’s also an iPod dock, and some stationery. The smart TV plays cable channels as well as movies (for an extra fee). It’s important to note that the free Wi-Fi is incredibly fast—no passwords required too (within the hotel premises)!

I absolutely adored the living area especially the sofa chairs situated near the floor-to-ceiling window, providing guests a lovely view of Manila Bay. It’s a nice spot to watch the sunset with a can of beer, or to greet the morning with a cup of coffee—better, of course, with someone for company. 

The mini-bar has tea- and coffee-making equipment, complimentary bottled water, canned drinks, chopped fresh fruits, and Hotel Jen’s unique offering: a Minibar-To-Go, which is a bag of goodies consisting of nuts, chips, noodles, beer, and soda, available at PhP400.

I found the en suite bathroom quite small, but still, it has all the essentials. There’s a bathtub, a rain shower, a toilet, and a vanity area—complete with customized Hotel Jen toiletries. Travelers who forget to bring their own stuff would be pleased to find the complimentary ziplock bag which easily packs small bottles of shampoo, conditioner, lotion, etc.

Overall, I found the Club Room to be impressive, with a huge bed, all the essential facilities, plenty of space to move around, a fantastic view, and a compact bathroom.


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Dining

When it comes to dining options, Hotel Jen is far from lacking. Checked-in guests get complimentary breakfast for two at Latitude, the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant. Latitude has buffet service thrice daily and offers an a la carte menu as well—both types consist of Asian and international cuisine.

We tried Latitude’s dinner spread during our stay so we can also sample Hotel Jen’s Christmas dishes. Chef Dirky Fiedlechen has really gotten into the festive season and prepared a Roast Turkey which was juicy and moist, served with a simple gravy. Another delightful holiday treat was the Maple-Glazed Ham.

Among the dinner selections, my favorites were the Nasi Goreng, Baked Sole, Beef Rib Kare-Kare, Bread and Butter Pudding, and the Churros served with vanilla and chocolate dips.

The next day at breakfast, we enjoyed a smaller—but just as delicious—buffet selection at Latitude. There are pancakes, sushi, congee, noodles, salads, a few meat viands, Filipino dishes, pastries, breads, and desserts. Fresh fruit juices and coffee are among the beverage options. For those in a hurry, croissants and fruits are available at the Breakfast-to-Go station.

Staying in a Club Room entails access to the Club Lounge in the 19th floor, a cozy area where guests can enjoy breakfast, afternoon tea, and pre-dinner cocktails. If you prefer to stay away from the busy breakfast buffet scene, you may choose to eat breakfast at the Club Lounge; the selections are admittedly fewer, but you get a nice morning view to compensate.

The sunset cocktails offering is spectacular. Imagine grabbing a table by the window, a bottle of ice cold beer in hand, the iconic Manila Bay sunset in sight. The clouds weren’t cooperative during our stay, but still, we were able to get this stunning scene.

Aside from beers and cocktails, the Club Lounge also offers coffee, tea, cheeses, crackers, cold cuts, sushi, skewers, salads, breads and pastries from 5:00PM to 7:00PM, all free!

For those craving for Japanese food, Kitsho (lobby level) offers delicate sushi, fresh sukiyaki, teppanyaki, kara-age, tempura, katsu, and a whole lot of delicious Japanese specialties. These are available buffet style until January 3, 2016 for only PhP1,088 net (lunch) or PhP1,188 net (dinner).

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For light meals like pastries and coffee, check out the Hotel Jen’s Lobby Lounge and Coffee.com.


Other Amenities

Hotel Jen has a huge outdoor pool from which you can also admire the hotel’s tall, geometric architecture. Sun loungers complete with towels and coolers filled with bottle water populate one side, and on the other, dining tables are set up for groups who want enjoy drinks from the adjacent poolside bar. There’s a separate kiddie pool, as well as lifeguards on duty.

The Fitness Center is on the same floor, and is open 24/7. There are basic exercise machines, dumbbells, stability balls, and yoga mats (to name a few), and an entire wall of windows that grants you a nice city view while sweating it out.  



That Jen Feeling

Being a travel freak myself, the basics are among my topmost considerations in my haunts for accommodation, but dining and availability of nearby activities are definitely additional factors. Hotel Jen is efficient and straightforward—with a touch of luxury. It has all the essentials—a comfortable and capacious room, important amenities for work, accessibility, and a host of dining options—and it also offers extra pleasures, like a magnificent top-floor lounge, ultimately making it ideal for business and leisure travel alike.

Business travelers will find that their needs had been anticipated and that their busy schedules had been taken into consideration, through simple touches like the Breakfast-To-Go. As for Pinoys who are increasingly appreciating staycations, Hotel Jen is an ideal choice when you want to rediscover our culture through the corners of Manila. I believe it’s also an awesome venue for your holiday get-together—imagine watching the New Year’s Eve fireworks from the Club Lounge!

This new brand of hospitality definitely exudes a different kind of appeal—I don’t know about you, but Hotel Jen surely did charm me.


Summary of Hotel Jen's 2015 Christmas offers:

Promo
Staycation
Latitude Holiday Feast
Latitude Holiday Feast
Kitsho Buffet
Kitsho Christmas and New Year's Eve
Club Lounge New Year's Countdown
Period
Nov. 16 - Jan. 3
Dec. 24, 25, 31
Jan. 1
Nov. 16 - Jan. 3
Dec. 24 & 31
Dec. 31
Rates
starts at PhP4,400
PhP1,188 (lunch)/PhP1,288 (dinner)
PhP1,188 (lunch)/PhP1,288 (dinner)
PhP1,088 (lunch)/PhP1,188 (dinner)
PhP1,188 (lunch)/PhP1,288 (dinner)
PhP1,800 net



Criteria
Facilities
Service
Dining
Ambience
Location
Rating
4/5
4/5
4/5
4/5
5/5
Comments
The Club Room was spacious and comfy.
Staff members were friendly and casual yet professional. Check in was fast!
There are lots of options. I especially loved the Club Lounge.
I loved the youthful, laid-back feel of the hotel.
Near Manila and Makati business districts, near the airport and malls.

Points for improvement:

  • Add bidets in the bathrooms


~*~
Hotel Jen Manila
3001 Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, Manila
+632.795.8888/ Fax: +632.795.8899
hjm@hoteljen.com


Have you stayed at Hotel Jen? How was your experience?

My stay was sponsored by Hotel Jen Manila. All opinions, however, are my own.

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