Brisbane’s Hotel Jen celebrated its first birthday recently and we were lucky enough to be invited to stay at the hotel, indulge in a cocktail mixology class, dine at the restaurant and learn all about their Sky Garden Bee Hive. It was a really fun weekend and we got to escape our suburban abode for a staycation in the big smoke. If you’re planning a trip to Brisbane and looking for a great place to stay that’s chilled out, comfortable and focuses on the simple pleasures, read my review to find out why Hotel Jen Brisbane could be the spot for you.
Hotel Jen is located on Roma Street in Brisbane. At first glance it may seem like it’s a bit out of the way and not really near anything, but that’s not true. It’ll take you 5 – 10 minutes to walk from the hotel to the Queen Street Mall, which gives you access to all the shops, restaurants, movies, cafes and everything else you could need during your stay.
Being in the heart of the city, but just far enough away from the hustle and bustle, the hotel gives visitors easy access to the major areas. It’s a quick stroll to explore the Roma Street Parklands, the city central, head down toward the Eagle Street Pier or head over to South Bank. If you’re in town for a sporting event, Hotel Jen is in an ideal spot as it’s super close to Suncorp Stadium and all the bars and fun of Caxton Street.
If you’re a local planning a staycation, you can park on-site at Hotel Jen with parking at a discounted rate for guests. Just be sure to get your ticket validated by the front desk. If you’re visiting from elsewhere you can get to the hotel from the airport a few different ways; a taxi will cost around $50 – $60, you can catch the AirTrain to central station for $16.50 or organise a transfer with Airport Con-x-ion’s shuttle service.
The first thing I noticed about the room was the size of it. Compared to a normal hotel room, they’re generously sized which gives you more room to spread out and get comfortable. The bed is a great size, really big and comfortable with three massive pillows on it that you just kind of melt into. There’s a television with local channels and a few cable basics like Fox etc.
Our room also had a table, chair and chaise lounge. I like having that extra seating space in a hotel room because I’m usually working while I’m there and hate just being confined to sitting on the bed the whole time. The windows in the room wrap around and really open it up, giving the room more space and light. It was nice to sit at the desk and work, watching the sun go down.
There are three different room types; deluxe, executive and one-bedroom suites. So you’ve got a few options to choose from depending on what you need size-wise, comfort-wise and in keeping with budget. The rooms have a modern but classic, comfortable feel to them, with everything feeling new and fresh.
The bathroom was compact but big enough to be comfortable and functional. My favourite thing about the bathroom was a very thoughtful little trick they’ve done with the shower curtains. I hate when you get in a hotel shower and the shower curtain touches you, it makes my skin crawl thinking of all the other naked bodies that shower curtain has touched. Well, at Jen they’ve installed a shower curtain railing that is curved, so the curtain curves away from you without leaking water all over the floor. GENIUS. It made me really happy.
Our stay was nice and quiet, no noise from other guests or crazy street noise. We felt really comfortable in the room and got a great night’s sleep!
Dining & Entertainment
On-site you’ll find restaurant and bar, Nest Restaurant. This place is honestly, seriously, awesome! The food here is Asian-inspired and it is absolutely delicious. I would even recommend just visiting Nest for dinner and drinks with your friends or family, if you’re after a great restaurant.
The must-try menu items from Nest are the War Chips and Pad Thai, with the must-try cocktails being the Royal Tea and Espresso Martini!
For breakfast, you can include an on-site buffet breakfast at Nest. I can find buffet breakfasts a bit under-whelming at times, but the one at Hotel Jen was really good. There was loads of yummy things to choose from and it was all tasty. Even the scrambled eggs in the bain marie were yummy! There’s also pastries, a toast station, cereal station, fresh juice and omelette stations and more. I found the food really fresh and tasty, with lots to choose from.
The coolest thing about the breakfast buffet is they actively encourage you to take food away with you, supplying cute take-away boxes and take-away juice cups with straws for you to stock up on snacks for the day. Very cool, Nest, very cool.
Another of my favourite things about the hotel is the Sky Garden, complete with bee-hives. Bees play a vital role in our existence by pollinating one third of the global food supply! Yep, that’s right, without bees we would lose a third of our food!! The guys at Bee One Third work together with Hotel Jen to run a very sweet little bee hive up on the sixth floor. There are great views of the city and it’s a cool way to learn how important the bees are. The kitchen downstairs rely on the hives for all their honey needs and honestly, it tastes so good!
They use the honey to inspire the food and cocktail menus and when you’re enjoying a honey creme brûlée, honey on your pancakes at breakfast or a honey cocktail, it’s made even sweeter knowing the honey came from the hard-working bees upstairs.
We had a great stay at Hotel Jen and really enjoyed ourselves. The hotel focuses on delivering the simple pleasures and they really do achieve this! Whether it’s sleeping-in on Sunday morning in your big comfy bed, indulging in a delicious plate of Pad Thai, drinking cocktails with good friends in the bar or maxing out on free wi-fi, Jen has all the simple pleasures covered.
A stay at Hotel Jen would be perfect for Brisbane locals looking for a Staycation weekend in the city. You can spend a few days in town shopping, eating at restaurants and getting your caffeine fix at one of the great local spots. It’s also a great spot for interstate or overseas visitors as it’s easy to get to from the airport and it’s simple, no-fuss accommodation that’s comfortable, enjoyable and close to everything you could possibly want to see!
My favourite things about the stay were the food and cocktails at Nest, the big comfy beds, the genius shower-curtain rail and the generous size of the rooms. The whole place has a typically Brisbane low-key vibe to it that makes staying there easy and enjoyable.
Phoebe Lee is a writer, award-winning blogger and travel lover sharing helpful travel tips, insight and reviews for regular people. Follow her adventures at home and around the world, right here on Little Grey Box and on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.