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There’s a new hotel chain I have noticed during our travels in Asia – Hotel Jen. Part of the Shangri-La hotel group, they always look fresh and innovative and I have wanted to try one out.
I was very happy when we had the chance on our trip to Johor Bahru, particularly as the location on Puteri Harbour looked beautiful and perfect for us to explore Legoland Malaysia, Thomas Town and Sanrio Hello Kitty Town which was the purpose for our trip.
Being part of the Shangri-La group, I had high expectations of Hotel Jen Puteri Harbour and I am happy to say that it exceeded all of them. From the moment we walked in and were greeted by super smiley and friendly staffed who seemed genuinely happy to see us, we were very pleased to be staying at this hotel. Everything was of a high standard from the rooms to the facilities to the restaurants.
I later read that one of the aims of the Hotel Jen brand is to make you feel like you are staying with a friend and to be less formal than more traditional hotels. Hotel Jen Puteri Harbour had this philosophy working perfectly and it suited us well.
Our first impression when walking in the Hotel Jen Puteri Harbour was that it was very modern, new, stylish, light and airy. There was definitely no stuffy hotel feel.
The next was of all the space. Hotel Jen Puteri Harbour is spread over three blocks of hotel rooms joined with enclosed walkways often with good views. We were in block 3 which was furthest from reception but closest to the pool and Thomas Town.
There are many facilities at the Hotel Jen Puteri Harbour, just as you would expect from a 4 star hotel
There are many restaurants and bars, including one on the top floor by the pools with great views over the harbour. There’s also the “On-the-Go” restaurant where you can buy nutritious meals in packaging to take away
There are three gorgeous infinity pools – see them above. It’s a stunning place to relax with views out to the Johor Straits and Singapore. Near the pool there’s also a gym with floor to ceiling windows so you can take in the view as you run, a day spa and steam room.
In addition to the hotel restaurants, there’s also shops and restaurants in the ground floors of the hotel buildings ranging from sushi trains to a super heroes cafe to a Belgian restaurant.
I found a facility I particularly liked at the exit to our block of the hotel. There was a whole row of vending machines – selling snacks and drinks as well as essential supplies, like cables and headphones for popular electronic items. The prices were actually cheaper than the nearby shop and this is a great alternative to an over priced mini bar in the room.
I also loved their laundry service – you can pay by the piece but why would you when you can get a whole bag done for RM70. We were so annoyed when we saw this as the bag was big (it would probably fit all our clothes!) and we paid more than that for self service laundry in Singapore! It’s probably the cheapest I have seen in a hotel and the bag system works out so much better for a family.
We had a complimentary upgrade on arrival to a deluxe harbour view room which we appreciated. The views were awesome (see top photo) and helped relax us after a busy day. I recommend paying the extra for this room type.
The room itself came with a big king size bed plus a single sized day bed by the window – meaning we had plenty of sleeping space for the four of us. There was also plenty of cupboard and baggage space, tea and coffee making facilities, a bar fridge, big TV with cable, water and safe.
The room had a cool, modern design and felt light and airy.
There was fabulous wifi and I love how Hotel Jen makes a point of advertising that they have “fast, free WiFi everywhere, always” as this is so important to us. When logging in, we could also access the PressReader app with 2,500 online publications. I liked this twist on the traditional newspaper at the hotel room door.
Hotel Jen is located right on Puteri Harbour – as you can see from the harbour views. There are restaurants and shops all around. Puteri Harbour is about a 20 minute drive from Johor Bahru and it took us an hour to get here from central Singapore.
The best part about this hotel’s location is that it’s only a 5-10 minute shuttle ride from Legoland and it’s literally steps away from Sanrio Hello Kitty Town and Thomas Town. If you are like us and here to see these great attractions then the hotel’s location is perfect! And we appreciated being somewhere with nice views to rest at the end of our busy days.
We had a fabulous stay at this hotel. It suited our needs perfectly and was also a nice place to hang out. It is also a very cost effective alternative to staying in Singapore if you want to visit the attractions on the Malaysian side of the border, such as Legoland.
Hotel Jen is advertised to be for a new “Jeneration” of travellers. We found it young and fresh while still being very efficient, easy and informed. The layer of casualness in this hotel compared to many other 4 star hotels added to an extra level of comfort for us which made our stay more enjoyable. I always feel slightly uncomfortable walking into huge, formal hotel lobbies with young kids. This was much better! Especially as they achieved this without losing any class or feeling like we weren’t somewhere special.
Quite the opposite really, we always felt like we were very welcome and somewhere very special at the Hotel Jen Puteri Harbour.
I would not just return to this hotel, but definitely will be looking into visiting more of the Hotel Jen brand.
Disclaimer: Our stay at Hotel Jen Puteri Harbour was subsidised in return for writing an honest review on our site. As always, our opinions are our own.