When I was asked if I would like to enjoy a staycation at Hotel Jen Brisbane for a sneak preview of their upcoming Valentine’s Day packages, I couldn’t say YES fast enough! A night in hotel luxury with a three-course meal and breakfast in bed? Yes please! Excitement ensued and then came the thought – but who would I share my lovers experience with? As a single gal, I don’t have a partner to share it with so, I invited my best friend to join me instead!
Hotel Jen is a relative newbie on the inner-city hotel scene, taking over a year ago from where Traders Hotel used to be. Part of the Shangri-La hotel family, the hotel has a contemporary design and fit-out, complete with friendly staff and a great central location. After checking in easily and quickly on Saturday afternoon, we eagerly took the elevator up to our Deluxe Room on the 8th level. It was a corner room, with large windows overlooking King George Square and allowing glimpses of the Brisbane River, only slightly dulled by the gloomy rainy weather. We were impressed by the large space which housed a chaise, dining table and chairs, a large screen television, ample storage and, of course, a giant bed! The bathroom was also large and had all of the basic amenities included – handy as I hadn’t packed any in my rush to get ready!
Upon check-in, we were told about their rooftop beehives and chef’s garden so we decided to take Scott up on his invitation to be shown them. We were taken up to the rooftop balcony on Level 6 and shown the adorable pastel beehives, set up by Jack Stone of Bee One Third, from which honey is regularly collected and served at the breakfast buffet and in several of the lunch and dinner dishes. Alongside the buzzing bees is a large rooftop garden with impressive plants growing eggplants, limes, tomatoes, an array of herbs and more.
Afterwards, we quickly got ready for our three-course dinner at Nest Restaurant, the Asian restaurant connected to Hotel Jen. We were shown to our reserved table and told we could order any three dishes off the menu; with delicious sounding options like Pork and Coriander Dumplings, Nest’s House Honey Peppered Beef and Nest’s House Creme Brulee, we had a tough time deciding! To help our decision making, we kicked off our meal with some amazing cocktails, expertly made by the in-house bartender.
After some serious consideration, we opted to share the Deconstructed Barbeque Beijing Duck Rolls, Thai Beef Salad, Pad Thai and Malaysian Vegetable Coconut Curry. The duck rolls were fun to make ourselves so I highly recommend them but it was all delicious and so generous that our stretched stomachs were aching by the end. However, space for dessert can always be found, so we capped off our evening with the Apple Rhubarb Crumble and Warm Chocolate Fondant – to say we were stuffed is an understatement! Somehow we rolled ourselves up to our room where we fell into the deepest sleep.
The next morning we woke and made ourselves coffee using the automatic pod machine alongside thoughtfully supply takeaway cups for those on the run. Luckily we had the luxury of staying in as breakfast was being delivered to us! A knock on the door saw the arrival of our special breakfast – Smoked Salmon Benedict, a cheese platter and apple juice plus a special gift from Love Lockets. What an amazing start to the morning!
Alas checkout time rolled around and we returned to reality, but what a wonderful way to spend the weekend!
Check out our image diary of the 24 glorious hours we spent at Hotel Jen: