I am a massive fan of the Traders hotel chain for any non expense account check-ins – I love the very sleek, urban one in Honkers – but it would be fair to say that the Traders we have here in Singapore, nestling next to Tanglin Mall, is somewhat tired. Hold on to your hats though…all that is about to change.
Welcome Jen – Traders’ new name, new brand and brand new image. They launched last night with the unveiling of their new hotel at Orchardgateway (the pool shot, above, is from here). Beautifully central and beautifully priced, they have jaw-droppingly good promo rate (see end of post for full details) and lots of lovely money-saving quirks.
Meanwhile, the existing Cuscaden Road Traders is undergoing the rebrand as we speak and will be unveiled and renamed Jen sometime next week. It has had a facelift rather than a complete overhaul but having snooped around their Orchardgateway creation, I am sold.
Unlike most hotels, these guys don’t give you the feeling that they are out to screw you over. I loved their positively spartan minibar policy which is hotel-wide: the fridges in every single room only contain bottles of complementary mineral water. Hurrah! It is a general rule in our family that minibars are a no-no; there are no mitigating circumstances (does anyone not feel the same?). Here, instead of being filled with horribly over-priced snacks and drinks, fridges have space for you to *actually* use them as a fridges – to stash away any food you might have bought or tao pau-ed (taken away).
Should you be of the minibar persuasion, these chaps have thought of you and installed vending machines selling noodles, snacks and drinks. But here’s what I loved: everything in it costs the same as what you’d expect to pay in a 7-Eleven.
Laundry – don’t do it in a hotel if you can help it (same rule as minbar; I wash my underwear out in the sink much to Mr Changmoh’s annoyance) but if you do do it, here you can fill this entire bag – as full as you possibly can – for the flat rate of $30 (£15). I can definitely live with that.
The no-nickel-and-diming theme continues: wifi is free, there are mobile phone charging stations throughout the hotel and instead of having a paper delivered to your room, guests can sign up to Jen’s free app Press Reader that has over 2,500 digital magazines and newspapers on its database and can be used free of charge whilst you’re inside the hotel. Yes, UK Vogue is among the titles – I checked whilst having my tour.
The other thing that made me smile – I know it will do well here in Singapore – is that if you do pay for breakfast you are allowed to, no, encouraged to take away whatever you want from the buffet. No more stuffing hard boiled eggs and bread rolls in to your trouser pockets – here they give you a takeaway box. I don’t know any other hotel where you can leave breakfast with a fresh cup of coffee in your hand.
The cheapest room (above) costs just $215 ++. It costs $260++ with breakfast. There is a current promo rate – only available online – of $150 which ceases as of tomorrow, 17th September 2014.
Jen will be rolling out in Singapore, Hong Kong, China, the Philippines (Manilla) and – here’s an unexpected destination – the Maldives.
For up to the minute booking details and deals, here’s my trusty favorite, booking.com or visit Hotel Jen’s website here. Traders on Cuscaden Road is still appears on the Shangri-La website as Traders and will do until its relauch next week.
Explore the world, not just your hotel.
All images are my own, except the pool image which is courtesy of Jen