Hotel Review: Hotel Jen Manila

Hotel Jen Manila by Shangri-La Hotel Review

My huge bed at Hotel Jen MNL

Hotel Jen Manila Review

(Manila, Philippines) – I have been meaning to book a room in this hotel for years now, but I never seemed to find the time for it. Then, out of the blue, my long-time wish was granted when I was invited to review the hotel. Sweet! Hotel Jen Manila has always been one of the most top-rated hotels in Metro Manila, and I wanted to try it out for myself.

Hotel Jen in Manila
Hotel Jen in Manila

Somewhere along the busy streets of Pasay City, along Roxas Boulevard, is the towering Hotel Jen Manila. The massive structure stands out in the skyline, yet its exterior is only the beginning of this four-star hotel’s splendor.

Hotel Jen Manila (check rates and availability) is a Shangri-La brand. There are over ten Hotel Jens across the world, including Penang, Maldives, and Brisbane. Another branch is expected to open in Malaysia in 2020. Its tall and wide building in the Philippines houses 312 rooms, and there is so much to love in a hotel that is just meters from the iconic Manila Bay.

Location

This hotel has an absolutely perfect location—right at the center of the metro, but its rooms are quietly tucked behind the building walls.

My view from the Club Lounge
My view from the Club Lounge

If you are looking for a quick weekend staycation, Hotel Jen is located near local landmarks like Star City, Malate, and Mall of Asia. If you are going to or coming from the airport, Hotel Jen Manila is just 20 minutes away from NAIA Expressway.

Arrival experience

I had some spare time and arrived earlier before the check-in time. Since my executive suite room was not ready yet, they guided me to the exclusive Club Lounge, a hotel facility that was accessible to guests staying at executive rooms. The Club Lounge offers free drinks and snacks all day and also has a special breakfast buffet. In the evening, the lounge has a cocktail hour.

View from the Club Lounge
View from the Club Lounge
Afternoon snacks at the Club Lounge
Afternoon snacks at the Club Lounge

After indulging in a glass of their welcoming drink, I was led to my room—Executive Suite Room # 1502, where the hotel’s general manager left me a signed welcoming letter.

Room

I had to wait for the hotel staff who assisted me with my luggage to close the door behind him before I gasped loudly and started taking photos of my room like crazy. It was a stunning 72 square-meter beauty with a separate living room area, a walk-in closet, and an en-suite bathroom with a bathtub.

View from my window
View from my window
TV in the living room
TV in the living room

My suite had a separate bedroom where a king-size lay—which was very appropriate for the size of my room. I had a lavish view of Manila Bay and Manila Yacht Club, or Roxas Boulevard, through the glass window. I knew that I was in the middle of the bustling streets of Manila, but I was comfortably enclosed in my air-conditioned, carpeted room, away from all the busyness. It was a nice feeling.

Executive Suite Living Room
Executive Suite Living Room
Living Room
Living Room

Outside my bedroom, I had an executive desk with an ergonomic chair to boot, an iPod dock, and a desk lamp. Just a few steps away was a Smart TV that offers cable channels and even movies-on-demand (for a fee).

TV and workdesk inside my bedroom
TV and work desk inside my bedroom
My bedroom for two nights Hotel Jen MNL
My bedroom for two nights Hotel Jen MNL
My huge bed at Hotel Jen MNL
My huge bed at Hotel Jen MNL

My minibar had complete coffee- and tea-making facilities, canned drinks, and a complimentary fruit cup. My bathroom had a huge tub, a rain shower, and a vanity area with Hotel Jen toiletries.

Hotel Jen minibar
Hotel Jen minibar

The hotel had left me freebies everywhere, which I really appreciated: complimentary bottled water, Hotel Jen’s Minibar Bag with nuts, soda, and other goodies, and Hotel Jen’s re-sealable bag that can keep toiletries.

Hotel Jen toiletries
Hotel Jen toiletries

My favorite facility in the room is the high-speed and unlimited Wi-Fi that needed no password to connect. This was super convenient for a digital nomad like me as I often have more than one device at a time, and switching from phone to phone was easier with such an arrangement.

Food

While in the hotel, I could eat either at the Club Lounge or at all-day dining Latitude Restaurant. I chose the former. Club Lounge’s dining options were not as wide-ranging as Latitude, but I loved the personal service, the wide space, and the exclusive view of Manila Bay. I also had some quality time at Cofee.com, the hotel’s in-house café.

Sunset and dusk over Manila Bay, seen from Club Lounge, on the 19th Floor of Hotel Jen, Manila, the Philippines.
Sunset and dusk over Manila Bay, seen from Club Lounge, on the 19th Floor of Hotel Jen, Manila, the Philippines.

Breakfast at Club Lounge

Hotel Jen Club Lounge
Hotel Jen Club Lounge
Breakfast Bread Selections
Breakfast Bread Selections
Breakfast Club Lounge
Breakfast Club Lounge
Club Lounge Breakfast
Club Lounge Breakfast
Club Lounge Breakfast Breads
Club Lounge Breakfast Breads

Their breakfast menu is available from 6 AM to 10:30 AM. Here’s a breakdown of what is offered: pastries, French toast, waffles and pancakes, cereals and yogurt, bacon, sausage, and hash brown. For Filipino food, they had classic tocino, longganisa, daing na bangus, and egg—which are cooked to order depending on your preferences. I also made my own breakfast salad with their morning salad-making station.

Lunch at Latitude

The restaurant at Hotel Jen, Manila, the Philippines.
The restaurant at Hotel Jen, Manila, the Philippines.
Breads at Latitude
Breads at Latitude
Pasta Section at Latitude
Pasta Section at Latitude
Crispy Pork Belly
Crispy Pork Belly
Roast Chicken
Roast Chicken
Seafood at Latitude
Seafood at Latitude
Slow Roast Beef Brisket
Slow Roast Beef Brisket
Fruits and Dessert Section
Fruits and Dessert Section
More Desserts at Latitude
More Desserts at Latitude
Langka Sansrival
Langka Sansrival

This restaurant had both Western and Filipino dishes, and my favorite was their Beef Kare-Kare. It had a really nice taste of home, and the bagoong sauce that came with it went perfectly well with the peanut buttery taste of the stew. Their menu’s other notable dishes included Prime Rib Steak (a restaurant signature dish) and their Langka Sans Rival, a genius twist to a classical tropical fruit.

Cocktails and Dinner at the Windows by the Bay

Manila Bay Sunset
Manila Bay Sunset
Cheese Section
Cheese Section

At night, the Club Lounge is opened to other guests starting at 7 PM, and the Club Lounge turns into Windows by the Bay. The lounge is especially stunning at night. Guests staying in Executive rooms such as myself were entitled to have free skewers, salads, sushi, cheese, coffee, and tea, from 5 PM to 7 PM.

Coffe.com

Coffee.com coffee shop at Hotel Jen, Manila, the Philippines.
Coffee.com coffee shop at Hotel Jen, Manila, the Philippines.
Coffee.com at Hotel Jen
Coffee.com at Hotel Jen

Besides the lounge, my second favorite go-to during my stay at Hotel Jen was Coffee.com, their in-house café. It had a very casual and cozy ambiance, and I had a fair amount of cakes, pastries, and savory bites to choose from. They offered so many drinks too, not just coffee. They also had fresh fruit drinks and even hot and cold beverages. Did I mention that their WiFi here was high-speed and FREE?

Facilities

One of the key hotel facilities is the outdoor pool, which includes poolside service, too. Just a few meters away is the 24-hour Fitness Center, which can be a recreational facility if you’re a health buff and don’t want to skip on leg day.

Hotel Jen Manila Swimming Pool
Hotel Jen Manila Swimming Pool

The hotel also has available spaces for business meetings and events like weddings, honeymoons, and parties.

The website also has a very comprehensive travel guide. Besides the basic directions to the nearest tourist destinations, they also have a Night Light Map, which details fun, “touristy things” that you can do in Manila after sundown.

Departure

I loved everything from day one to the last. My checkout process was smooth, and the staff was as courteous as ever. I really appreciated the assistance with the luggage.

I forgot to mention that almost half of the staff I met knows my name. I remember hearing about this from a fellow traveler I met overseas. She told me that she loves “Traders Hotel” (the former name of Hotel Jen because everyone knows her name. PS. It’s a good compliment, actually. It made me feel I’m home during my entire stay!

Overall Review

Manila Hotel Jen
Manila Hotel Jen

I am giving this four-star hotel more than four If I can. I immensely enjoyed my stay: my executive suite was dreamy, the fast Wi-Fi in my room and in the various parts of the hotel was very convenient, and the view of Manila Bay was just remarkable. I have stayed in many hotels both locally and overseas, and Hotel Jen Manila’s humble charm as it stands against the sunset of Manila Bay sure is something that I would definitely come back to anytime.

Hotel Jen Manila
Address: 3001 Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Telephone: +63 2 795 8888
Online Reservations and Discounted Rates, visit Agoda

Also Read:

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.