Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Hotel Jen Orchardgateway Getaway

[Sponsored Review]

First and foremost, sorry lah, this is about our getaway, not giveaway! Yours truly also have to scour the Internet for deals when it comes to bringing the family on a vacation. It is never easy because I have 4 kiddos mah. Many a times, I read the EDMs from Groupon or with great excitement, only to utterly disappointed and brought back down to earth after reading the fine prints. There are often this surcharge and that levy etc. The accommodation over in Bali may be on discount, but remember that airfares are not included, and even for Bintan / Batam, you will need to factor in your ferry tickets too. So sometimes, a short staycation makes perfect sense for the family, especially if time or cash-strapped, or both! Lol

We took a bus and MRT down to the hotel and the kiddos thought we were going overseas!
We planned it as a surprise treat for the 4 kiddos and popped over to Hotel Jen Orchardgateway last December, just before the school reopens. Told them we were going to stay over at a hotel and they actually thought we were going on the plane as we brought along a luggage. After alighting at Somerset MRT, I told the brood that we had reached our destination and that got them rather confused. Only then I revealed to them that it was actually a local hotel stay! We exited right from the MRT gantry (exit C) and took a short walk to the lift (to get to the main hotel lobby at level 10). But because that was also a public lift under Orchardgateway that is used by EVERYONE, it took us quite a while to get into it! However checking in was a breeze, and before we know it, we were already being whisked to out rooms.

The kiddos couldn't wait for the staff to open up the adjoining doors to the other room!
The rooms were bright and cheery, much to our liking!
We had a king-sized bed in one room.
One can work on their laptops at the writing area, which comes fitted with power points. There is also FREE WIFI access provided that you can tap on to get online!
And twin beds in the other.
A staycation for us is basically, a home away from home, plus all the awesome amenities, think bath tubs and swimming pools. And our experience at Hotel Jen was just that, except that it doesn’t have a bath tub though! It is situated right in the center of the Orchard Road shopping belt, prime area where almost everything is available for anyone with a penchant for shopping, though I am secretly happy that my wife doesn’t have the shopping bug! One could even walk over to Orchard Cineleisure to check out the latest blockbuster after supper! There will be absolutely no lack of food and entertainment choices within just walking distance from the hotel, only a lack of time!

The open-concept  wash area, shower and toilet near the room entrance.
Was a little concerned that the kiddos might make a mess and get the floors wet, but no they didn't!
No bath tubs to soak, but the showers were spanking clean though!

The staycation was really meant for the kiddos, and I am happy to say that they loved the rooms the moment they stepped in and went wow! Hard for the adults to really relax with the kiddos around right? They were amazed with the views from the glass windows and they could make out the youths skating at the skate park. Having adjoining rooms meant everyone had enough sleeping room, and lots of running room too! The clean beds were comfy, but the kiddos had other ideas and went fighting and jumping from bed to bed shouting “no more monkeys jumping on the bed!”, earning a stern warning from me lest they fall and injure themselves.

The city view we had from our rooms.
Quickly snapping some nice photos first before the kiddos mess the entire place up.
And it wasn't long before they started using the beds as a fighting ring!
I love the fact that the hotel took the effort to personalize the welcome message on the TV screens as pointed out by my kiddos. And the eagle-eyed glutton Stacci also easily found the pack of complimentary old-school biscuits on the shelf. Many hotel chains love to give fruit baskets, but Hotel Jen went one step further, and had them cut and chilled in a sealed cup in the mini-fridge! How convenient and thoughtful, especially for a lazy person like me! These are what I called the frills, not necessary but nice to have, a really nice gesture by the hotel.

Mr Steven would be nice but I am cool with Mr Teo too!
Our welcome drinks and a cup of fresh, cut fruits!
How nostalgic! A packet of biscuits with colourful sugar toppings, promptly devoured by the kiddos!
Want some cold drinks? Go fill the container with ice from the ice machines!
My little glutton enjoying her fruits by the window ledge!
We barely rested after our check-in before the kiddos started complaining about what’s taking us so long to get to the rooftop infinity pool on level 19. There are two pools, one baby pool and the big salt-treated infinity pool. The wading pool was just nice for the younger ones, and the water temperature also felt much warmer compared to the infinity pool. My kiddos love playing with water and it's great that mom gets to rest on the many bean bags and seats available nearby, keeping an eye on the brood while I get into the water with the kiddos too.

The shaded area beside the baby wading pool is just nice for parents to relax and look over the kiddos playing.
Even little Louie can enjoy water play time here with his older siblings.
Stacci decided to rest that day though, and found a rocking chair to rest and relax.
Pool noodles are provided only on certain days. In our case, it was a Sat. But floats are readily available every day.
The older ones trying to get Louie into the big pool!
But he would have none of it!
Having a relaxing dip and watching the sun set at the same time.
If you get hungry after the swim, you can order BBQ by the poolside too!
In case you do not know, Hotel Jen is actually the newest hotel brand in the Shangri-La Group and when I hear  the name Shangri-La, I will always think of their buffet at The Line. Expectations were a little high I guess, as I loved the spread over at the Shangri-La, but the buffet dinner we had over at Makan@Jen did not disappoint! Just check out the spread we had during our stay, I was only sad that there was only that little space in my tummy! The seafood spread, with the crabs, prawns and lobsters, was awesome and the dessert spread satisfied my sweet tooth perfectly!

It was the Xmas season when we visited, hence the turkey and ham as part of the spread!

Flavourful Seafood Paella was chock full of you guessed it, SEAFOOD!
For those who fancy a little spiciness in their prawns.

Local favourite! Roast pork belly!
Crabs, no added flavourings, just freshness at its best!

Free flow of Boston lobsters!
The sweetness of the prawns comes from its freshness!
Alaskan King Crabs are part of the menu too. Just the seafood alone, is reason enough to have the buffet in Makan@Jen!

There's even an ice-shaving machine for you to make your own ice-kachang! I did!
Log cakes since Xmas was just round the corner!
And basically lots of other sweet stuff! My love!
The buffet dinner was great, and the intercontinental breakfast buffet we had the next morning was not bad either. There were the usual cereals, pastries, local delights and even ice-cream too! That was where I got the idea of having a nice cup of affogato after my fishball noodle soup! It was a great way to spend the weekend with the family. With a late check-out at 5pm, it meant that the family had got so much more time to enjoy the last day, with another swim of course! So unlike other hotel stays where we basically had to wolf down breakfast and get ready to check out!

Breakfast mainstays like waffles and French toasts.
Healthier choices for the health-conscious.
Or you can also have local delights like pratas with curry!
The fish ball noodles soup was nothing to shout about, as the soup was kind of bland. 
Wide selection of hot beverages! Sure can find something you like.
I ended up making my own affogato with chocolate ice-cream from the dessert row and espresso from the coffee machine. Yummy!
Lots of pastries and cupcakes, but not enough storage space in the tummy.
There are more than enough space in the restaurant but the outdoor area can be another nice choice too!
Our 26 hours stay at Hotel Jen Orchardgateway was really enjoyable. Have you even been to some hotel rooms that looked clean and nice on the website or when you first arrived, only to find filth and dirt hidden in many areas, with dirty cushions and musky smell too? We had, and we are glad that we have no such problems here, for the hotel rooms were all clean and up to (high) standards! Thank you so much for having our family over at your bright, colorful and cheerful establishment, and ensuring that the kiddos had more than enough space with the adjoining rooms!
2 meals, 2 swims and 26 hours of fun later, having to check-out and leave for home sure was a downer for the kiddos (and us as well). But home was just 30 minutes public transport away, and we re-adjusted our feelings for work the next day pretty quick. But we sure look forward to be back at Hotel Jen again soon!

You may wish to check out the various on-going promotions on the official website now! 

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