As part of ITTN’s Finnair Flight Check to Singapore, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, which has five hotels in the city, offered Neil Steedman the Hotel Jen Tanglin.
‘Singapore’ may conjure up an image of a vast container port or of a high-rise business district, both of which exist in reality, but this 722 sq km island city-state with a 5.6 million population at the southern tip of the Malay peninsula is also a ‘garden city’, including the 74-hectare Singapore Botanic Gardens, a 150-year-old tropical garden and Singapore’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Situated within walking distance of this wonderful amenity, and of the top of Singapore’s famous Orchard Road (to which there is also a free shuttle bus), and a 30-minute, $22.50 (€14) drive from Changi International Airport is the 4-star Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore by Shangri-La, previously known as Traders Hotel.
Reception is at ground level, with the friendly and efficient staff wearing tailored white blouses and blue jeans that reflect the ‘smart casual’ ambience of the hotel. A $100 (€63) deposit was requested. A British Airways crew checked in soon after me.
Also on Level 1 is the J65 restaurant where an excellent breakfast buffet provides a wide choice of Malay, Indian and English dishes, including an omelette station and bread&butter pudding with custard – which always gets bonus points from me.
At Level 2 the hotel is connected to Tanglin Mall, with its four levels of shops, restaurants, a supermarket and food court.
Level 4 provides the hotel’s main facilities, including a spice garden, fitness room, health club and spa, hair and beauty salon, 30-metre swimming pool, and Ah Hoi’s Kitchen.
Ah Hoi’s Kitchen
This Chinese restaurant specialises in seafood and offers a choice of indoor or outdoor seating overlooking the swimming pool – but be aware that diners are permitted to smoke at the outdoor tables.
The cuisine, choice and service are good and food and drinks are relatively good value, as prices in Singapore are not low. For example, my refreshing fizzy homemade lemonade was $7.50 (€4.70) and a Tiger beer was $16.00 (€10.00).
Ten starters ranged from $8-$15 (my six-piece satay of chicken, pork and beef was very tasty), seven soups were priced from $8-$10, eight fresh seafood from $18-$40 (including pineapple fried rice with chicken and seafood), 10 main courses from $12-$26, vegetables $9-$14, 12 noodles/rice at $15 (except for lobster and beehoon at $35), and six live seafood at seasonal prices.
The 565 guestrooms, which have fast and free wi-fi, range from 25 sq m Superior Rooms or Deluxe Rooms (the latter are on upper floors and have optimal city or pool view), three types of suite – the 50 sq m Executive, 63 sq m Deluxe, and 75 sq m Premier – and the 25 sq m Club rooms with complimentary breakfast, 24/7 Club Lounge access, and unlimited use of the business centre facilities.
Disabled and elder friendly rooms are also available on request, subject to availability.
The 24-hour room service menu includes 12 mains, ranging in price from $18 for Singapore Laksa (thick rice noodles served in rich spicy coconut gravy with boiled egg, chicken and prawns) to $42 for a 250-gram Australia Rib Eye or a Marinated Lamb Rack.
In summary, the 4-star Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore by Shangri-La is a conveniently located and relaxing hotel offering good value to holidaymakers or business visitors – and don’t forget to visit the nearby Singapore Botanic Gardens.