Had the pleasure of attending the media opening for Hotel Jen in Hong Kong this month. This is the former Traders Hotel by Shangri-la Hotels. Shangri-la embarked on a re-branding of this property, it is the second hotel to be re-branded after the one in Singapore.
The genre of Hotel Jen is “– Fresh, friendly and fuss-free.” It appeared to be something along the lines of Starwood’s Aloft brand, although the Aloft hotels are brand new and certainly much more modern.
I felt the original Traders was never a well known hotel in HK. Many people didn’t even know there was a Traders Hotel here in Hong Kong, including myself until my friend said he was staying there. There didn’t appear to be much marketing effort and the brand was a bit staid. Hopefully this new Hotel Jen brand will make things a bit hipper.
Hotel Jen signature cocktails seemed to be a big focus for the hotel during the opening. Couldn’t quite understand why it was such a big deal, not like we’re opening a bar or restaurant here. It was cool and different though. If you’re a mixed drinks fan, be sure to check out the bar for a drink. The cocktails were developed by one of the bartenders from the Shangri-la at Pacific Place, the dashing man in the vest.
The location of the property is in Kennedy Town / Sai Wan over on the Western end of HK Island. It’s a bit inconvenient in the sense that there’s no MTR yet, and not much business, shopping, or attractions nearby. On the flip side, the rates should be a bit cheaper than other similar quality hotels. You will have to take the tram, bus, or taxi to get to most places.
The view from the upper floors are nice on a clear day. This picture was taken around sunset time. Keep in mind the buildings in the area are a bit old, so you won’t be seeing the modern skyline you would in Central, but still nice.
Keep in mind this hotel is being re-branded, not renovated. Therefore the rooms are basically the same as in the previous Traders Hotel, not much changed here other than the name on the towels. The rooms are small but functional and comfortable.
There is a nice little toiletry bag with goodies for you to use or take on the go when you leave. Also, there is a fruit cup left in the room fridge for you to enjoy after checking-in. I hope they replace the fruit each day though…in case no one checks in. Also, I wish they would provide two smaller cups in case there are two people staying in the room.
One interesting item was the flat rate laundry. Basically there’s this fairly sizeable laundry bag where you place all of your clothes. Whatever you fit in there (up to 6 pounds) you can wash for $120 HKD, which is pretty reasonable for a hotel. You can probably do your laundry outside for about half that but with the convenience of not having to lug it around and find a laundromat this is a nice touch.
The suite is more or less than same as the regular rooms, but just a tad nicer. The fixtures seem to be of slightly better quality, but you’re really paying for the extra space and the upper floor. The suite I saw is two normal sized hotel rooms put together. You get a small kitchen (no stove or hotplate,) small sitting / living room, and a bedroom / bathroom combo as seen below. Unless you need the sitting area, I’d probably just get two regular rooms instead. There’s already a small fridge in the regular room, you won’t need the large fridge for much since you can’t cook in the rooms.
Overall I like the attempt by Shangri-la to re-brand this hotel to Hotel Jen. It needed a bit of a hip factor, let’s see how this pans out.
My main gripe would be that there was really no renovating as part of the rebranding. The hallways and rooms, while certainly in decent shape, are getting to be a bit tired. They could’ve at least replaced the stained carpeting in the hallways. The rooftop pool deck was nice, but could really use a thorough cleaning as the tiles were yellowing. Then again, you aren’t paying 5 star prices for this property, so on a budget, can be a good choice.
Hotel Jen Hong Kong
508 Queen’s Road West, Western District
+852 2974 1234