[Hotel Review] Hotel Jen Penang by Shangri-La


I’ve actually kind of stalked this place every since it transformed from being a Trader’s. Online pics of it showed the refurbished vibrant colors and youthful outlook. I thought to myself I will try this property one day!

So when JetStar offered a promotion of $100 per pax, I snagged 4 seats a full 4 months ahead and booked this property for 2 nights as I wanted to try DoubleTree Hilton for the first (bad move haha).

The hotel lobby is actually really lovely:

Address – Magazine Road, George Town, Penang, 10300, Malaysia. Website.

Contact – +60 4 2622622. Email: hjp@hoteljen.com.

Price – MYR704++ (SGD95++) for a Club Deluxe room and MYR944++ (SGD$150++) for an Executive Suite under the member’s Advanced Purchase rate. Considering this includes Club Lounge access for 4pax, the price is an absolute steal! I emailed the property prior to request for a connecting room and was told that the Suite can only be connected to a normal Deluxe room so I agreed to “downgrade” the hardware but lounge access will remain for 4pax as what I’ve paid for.

Getting There – we arranged for a taxi from DoubleTree and cost us approximately MYR45. Still not bad a price as there were no Grab drivers available that morning.

Location – The property is located in the jalan magazine area of Georgetown – still George town but a 5-10mins (depending on traffic condition) ride from the main malls eg Paragon, Gurney Plaza etc. Right next to the hotel is 1st Avenue Mall but other than a few random shops, there is nothing much to see.

Check In – This was a TOUGH experience.

We arrived at 10:30am, went through all the formalities, and was told the room is not ready yet as the previous guest is only checking out at 12noon and they’ll take about 2 hours to refresh the room, and they’ll be ready by 2pm. But not before I asked to confirm that Club Access is for 4pax and the answer is nope, only for 2pax (apparently since the system showed the Suite connects to a normal Deluxe room instead of Club Deluxe due to the ‘downgrade’). I was prepared to pull up the email in writing but they figured it out soon enough.

So we headed out to explore the town, and reached back about 4:30pm.

I asked to collect the keys to our rooms and was asked once again for my passport (by a different person). I thought this was just for ID reasons.

UNTIL they asked me for another pax’s passport. I was puzzled but handed it over nonethelsss, but reminded them that I had already checked in earlier and only need to collect the keys.

THEN, the staff read out a 3rd pax’s name and asked if she is present. Huh??! I wonder why but sure I said she was.

THEN, I was given keys to one room and was told the other room is not ready yet. By then I have had enough and asked what happened to the 2pm promise? She didn’t seem to know any background and sought to clarify what I meant. So I repeated myself and asked to know what happened in the 4 hours between check out time of 12noon and now. She ended up making some calls, and another gentleman came out to address the situation, but not before he told me official check in time is 3:00pm. But it was 4:30pm!

So I had to repeat myself again. And soon after that, he told me the room is now ready.

I am still wondering what happened. Frustrating!

Room – the rooms were a huge change coming from DoubleTree earlier.

  • Executive Suite (52 – 78SqM), Suite 1027 – living room was decked out in vibrant colors with functional use of spaces, complete with a nespresso machine and pods in it. A huge TV, a TV console, an incredibly comfy sofa bed, and a lounge chair completed the chill vibe of our stay. The space also contains a half toilet.


  • The master bedroom of the Suite was also very nice with a plush king bed, another lounge chair, a adequately sized bathroom, as well as a functional wardrobe. Cleanliness is not an issue all round.


  • Deluxe Room (28SqM), Room 1026 – very nice use of the relatively compact space with 2 comfy twin beds places side by side to maximise space. A work desk, a window bench, and a clean functional bathroom completed the space for a nice holiday.

Club Lounge – our favorite spot for the entire 3-day stay. And a life saver for our late flight out as we camped here for 3 hours after having to check out our room at 3pm but only needing to depart for the airport at 6pm.

Boosting the same vibrant colors seen throughout the property, the lounge is in a rectangular in shape and carries various types of seating available, though I find it at times hard to find a proper table of 4pax as the tables would be hogged by 1pax or 2pax.



Evening cocktails and breakfast at the Club Lounge saw reasonable alcohol offerings of red / white / beers / cocktails. Food saw 3 hot dishes (but a lot of carbs), appetisers, small selection of cheeses, and desserts. Coffee tea cookies are available whole day. For the price I paid, I certainly wasn’t complaining!


Breakfast at Café Jen – Breakfast was rather chaotic with a super slow egg station (poor chap!) and busy buffet stations. Felt like a functional space with canteen ambience. We skipped up the Lounge for breakfast on day 2 and it definitely felt much better.


Facilities – I briefly checked out the pool and the gym located on level 4 and it was okay-ish for a city hotel and were relatively occupied. Nice spot to work those street food calories away if you need to!

Service – William in the Club Lounge was fantastic – friendly, proactive, and efficient. But other than that, it was rather lacklustre. One case of someone else who was in place of William when he ended his shift – the lady simply sat at the counter and watched her mobile with no intention of any service. When other guests streamed in, she mustered a weak “hi” while remaining on the spot, then continued watching her mobile. Terrible impression.

I did get some mars chocolate as service recovery for the check in experience though, which was nice of  them.


Check Out – I had to return the Suite by 12noon and the room by 3pm. But we were given access to the Club Lounge until our depart at 6pm, so we were able to take some bites even on our last evening there which was nice.

In summary,

a very reasonably priced property in the heritage town. Would definitely stay there again! But I will remember to temper my expectations about the service for sure.



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