Hotel Jen Orchard Gateway, Singapore

In the busy commercial district of Orchard Road in Singapore, hotels are a dime a dozen. But I bet none of them can offer the comfy, home-away-from-home feeling like how Hotel Jen does. Tucked within the Orchard Gateway shopping center, the lobby is accessible via lift to the 8th floor – but fret not, as there are ample signs guiding visitors to the place. It’s also hard to miss the bicycles; a trademark of the brand.

20161020_151011-tile

20161020_174622-tile

Delivering five-star quality at a four-star price, visitors can expect all sorts of conveniences, from charging stations in the lobby to trolleys (for all that retail therapy!). True to their #LeaveBoringBehind theme catered to urban travellers, there’s even a large screen in the lounge where you can take a picture of yourself and send a digital postcard to family and friends back home. πŸ™‚

20161020_153125-tile

Although the room wasn’t very large, it was cosy enough with a double bed, work counter, shower and tea/coffee making facilities. I liked that they included a local snack of icing biscuits in the mini fridge – gave it a more personalized touch. πŸ™‚

20161020_154122-tile

The IPTV has everything you need, from a summary of messages, entertainment guide, TV channels, promotions and more. No more boring old TV! πŸ™‚

20161020_175325-tile

The bar/resto area where guests can wine and dine with an epic view of Orchard Road below. But there’s more to come…

20161020_180715-tile

I’m talking about the rooftop view, of course! I think the hotel sports one of the best views of Orchard Road and the Singapore Skyline – unimpeded by other high-rise buildings, one can see all the way to Marina Bay Sands (which lights up with lasers at night!) The infinity pool gives one a sense of swimming and floating up in the clouds..

20161020_180758-tile

Cosy chairs to sit on while sipping on a martini

20161020_180833-tile 20161020_180915-tile

We joined a Sunset Yoga session, which is part of the hotel’s activities to promote a holistic lifestyle and urban wellness among travellers. Our dedicated instructor taught us some basic poses, but those were enough to get me huffing and puffing. I’m more inflexible than I realized πŸ˜€

Our hour long session saw the sky slowly turning from light to dark. My favourite part was seeing the city slowly coming to life with brilliant lights, and lying down on our mats with our faces to the sky, closing our eyes and feeling the worries melt away.

20161020_191743-tile

When we opened our eyes, it was already dark, and were welcomed by this beautiful view of the night skyline.

Between Hotel Jen Tanglin and Hotel Jen Orchard Gateway, I prefer the former for its quirky charm, but the latter is equally cosy and conveniently located. The MRT station is within the building and it’s just a few minutes walk away from Ngee Ann City, where my favourite place in the world (a huge Kinokuniya bookstore!) is at.

More info at reservations at hoteljen.com/Singapore/OrchardGateway.Β 

 

Review: Lexis Suites Penang @ Teluk Kumbar Malaysia

Hey, guys! So I was in Penang recently for an assignment, and the organizers put us up at a five-star luxury resort called Lexis Suites. Newly opened this year, it is located at Teluk Kumbar, about 15 minutes away from the Penang International Airport. Granted, the location is a bit far from the city center, but nothing a cab or shuttle can’t handle.

20161123_134704-tile
An hour’s flight from Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang.
img_20161123_122446-tile
Trip companion
bookingcom
Source: booking.com

Didn’t manage to get a photo of the exterior, so here’s one from Booking.com.

The building is easy to spot, since it’s the tallest in the area. On the outside, it looks like your regular hotel/apartment. Even the lobby is nothing fancy…but wait til you check out the rooms!

20161123_145307-tile

View from the main lobby area on each floor.

20161123_145542-tile

I checked into an Executive Pool Suite. The main area had: two king-sized beds (each with seven pillows lol), two lounge chairs, a long counter, large LCD-screen IPTV, mini-fridge, safe and coffee/tea-making facilities. The room had an orange and blue colour scheme that was cheerful and bright! πŸ™‚

Bed was good and pillows were really soft…but I didn’t sleep that well because I’m a peasant and I’m used to sleeping on something with a bit more hardness to it. ._.

My only other complaint is that the air conditioning wasn’t strong so I flung everything away in the middle of the night.

20161123_145548-tile

The IPTV allows guests to watch TV, listen to the radio, and even order room service so you don’t have to use the phone to call. Β πŸ™‚

20161123_150109-tile

20161123_145645-tile

Pulling the curtains apart and through double doors is the ‘open’ bathroom area with sink, mirror and loads of towels + hairdryer.

20161123_145710-tile

Comes complete with all the toiletries and travel essentials – shaving kit, sewing kit, ladies sanitary kit, lotions and shampoos – you won’t even need to pack your own. πŸ™‚

20161123_150410-tile

Closet on the right has two fluffy bathrobes and slippers + a foldable ironing board/iron.

20161123_145658-tile

No five-star hotel would be complete without a tub for soaking.

20161123_145751-tile

Saved the best part of the room for last – the balcony area, which has a small private pool for you to dip in. Course, you definitely can’t do laps, but it’s a nice place to soak in while you’re looking at the sea. All the rooms at Lexis Suites come with a private pool. Next to the pool is a steam room/sauna area.

20161123_145743-tile

Didn’t get to check out the rest of the facilities coz was out for assignment the whole night, but they do have all the stuff a proper resort should have, like a large swimming pool, gym, sky terrace, spa where you can get massages/ restaurants and such. Breakfast is at the Mezzanine floor, although selection is rather limited.

Price per night : from RM450 onwards

PROSΒ 

  • Huge rooms, value for money if travelling in bigger groups
  • All rooms have private pool and beach view
  • Beach is just a few minutes away, although it isn’t a touristy beach and has lots of fishing boats so probably not a good idea to take a dip
  • All the facilities – Gym, swimming pool with more beach views, spa, Kids Playground and Karaoke center
  • Japanese resto on ground floor, bar and sky terrace on upper floors

CONS

  • Location is in south part of Penang Island, so getting to the heritage enclave, commercial center and tourist attractions can be tricky. PS: They do provide intermittent shuttle services
  • Not suitable for solo travelers.. unless you want to sleep in a huge ass room all by yourself
  • Breakfast selection was rather limited during my stay, but then again it could have been because it was a weekday
  • Not enough TV channels: they had the basic TV1-3, NTV7, 8TV, TV9, BBC, a sports channel and an entertainment/lifestyle channel, but that’s about it. Management should look into getting a Movie channel like HBO or something, coz I think that’s what most people enjoy.

Verdict – Lexis Suites is a great pick for families and travelers who want some luxury. If you like someplace quiet to relax, away from the city, then this is the perfect choice.