Friday, June 22, 2018

Meet Shangri-La Hotel's Sister, Hotel Jen Manila

Staycations are what keep me sane these days. I would often find myself looking forward to these much needed short breaks from the harsh reality filled with traffic, weird weather and stress. And with hotels and hostels popping here and there, more and more are embracing the idea of staycation in Manila. One of the hotel chains I frequent is Shangri-La group. Known for its top notch service and scrumptious food, I'm a regular at Edsa Shangri-La and Shangri-La Fort. However, I had no idea that Shangri-La has Hotel Jen under its umbrella. And when I got a chance to stay at Hotel Jen, I expected nothing short of excellent.

Hello, Hotel Jen.

Formerly known as Traders Hotel Manila, Hotel Jen is conveniently located across the picturesque Manila Bay and near tourist attractions Manila Ocean Park and Intramuros. It is also just 20 minutes away from the international and domestic airports and half an hour away from the bustling business districts in Makati and Fort Bonifacio. 
I decided to book a quick staycation here prior to our cruise given that the port is just a couple of blocks away from the hotel. And after a short phone call to make our room reservation, we were set for our stay. 
One thing I noticed when we got to Hotel Jen is that the place is short-staffed. There was no bell boy present when our car arrived. We were only assisted when we  started unloading our luggage.  
Check-in went smoothly. After some formalities and signing some papers, we were off to our room. 
Our Deluxe Bayview Room (PHP5,300, comes with breakfast for 2) is simple but adequate for a short-term stay. 
The room is equipped with a comfortable king-size bed, sofa, coffee table, en-suite bathroom with bathtub and basic toiletries. 
We decided to explore the place and check out the amenities before R takes a nap (and beat deadlines for me). 
Hotel Jen has an outdoor pool surrounded by lounge chairs. It's not that big though and it could feel crowded when a handful of guests decide to take a dip. 
The gym is also rather small but ample enough for a quick workout. 
After an afternoon slumber for R and work for me, we headed back down to Latitude for dinner
Again, it felt like the hotel is short-staffed as there were only a few staff around to assist guests. We were also unsure if we had to cut the roast beef ourselves. I guess one of the staff noticed us staring at the big chunk of meat that he assisted us. Another staff approached me asking if I'd like my shrimps cooked with garlic and butter. I said yes and was surprised when she came back to our table with a plate full of garlic butter shrimps!
The roast beef was pretty good and something I'd definitely get again when I visit Latitude. Too bad, there weren't a lot of dishes to choose from. There's no sashimi too in the spread. 
The desserts were pretty good though. 
We headed back up after dinner and enjoyed the night view from our window.
We headed back to Latitude for breakfast the following morning. 
The breakfast spread was rather too simple and quite far from Heat's breakfast spread. But I'm easy to please. 
As long as they serve good bacon and could customize my egg, I'm a-okay with it. And Latitude offers both.
We requested if we could check out an hour late as our boarding for the cruise was at 2 p.m. and we got a quick yes from front desk. We got extra time for a quick power nap!
Check out went smoothly and we were clear to go as soon as I returned the key card. 
Though Hotel Jen seems to be lacking in terms of amenities, food selection and staff compared to the Shangri-La hotels I've stayed and visited, service was consistent. Everyone greeted us with a smile and we were assisted graciously. 

And if you're new to Manila, best to get the awesome tour deals of Hotel Jen. They partnered with Bambike Eco Tour where you can explore the historic Intramuros for two hours. There's also a package for those who want to check out Star City, an amusement park nearby. 

Hotel Jen is located at 3001 Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City. For reservations, contact them at +632 795 8888 or email them at 

Latitude - Hotel Jen Manila Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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