The urban and quirky Hotel Jen brand, part of the Shangri-La group, is inspiring guests to ‘Leave Boring Behind’ and travel like they mean it with its Local Rituals brand activation a part of its new and excitingly unique ‘Follow The Voices’ campaign – an insight into each city’s best hidden gems.

For the kind of traveller who likes to roam off the beaten path or who prefers an authentic experience rather than exploring cliché tourist spots, this is for them.

Hotel Jen’s exclusive Local Rituals concept provides its guests withthe best-kept secrets by a local resident – from boutique stores to cultural hotspots – all to be shown through the hotel’s guided tours. It doesn’t end there, however. Travellers shouldn’t just see a city, but should also hear it.

Hotel Jen, therefore, invites visitors to discover a city through the voices of the people from trusted locals, through an immersive audio experience on their respective phones or devices.

This will be a location-based neighbourhood audio guide highlighting interesting and unexpected places, and the insider stories that make them a must-visit.

“Our guests are passionate about discovering new places, cultures and experiences. We want to help them Leave Boring Behindthrough unconventional perspectives, lesser-known insights and spontaneous moments,” said Marisa Aranha, vice president of sales and marketing for Hotel Jen.

“Being well-travelled has got nothing to do with destinations on a list and everything to do with personal growth through discovering meaning in every place.”

Here are some of the must-sees from nine different Hotel Jen locations across the globe.

Hotel Jen, Hong Kong: Cultural walk at Man Wa Lane (Chop Alley) & Lobby Bar Games
Throughout the activity, participants will be able to explore the traditional craftsmanship, unique history and culture of chop making in Chinese characters as demonstrated by the experienced stamp stall owners. This activity reflects Hotel Jen’s key beliefs, which is to support the local culture, and to closely connect with its neighbouring community. In addition to the Chinese stamp-making illustration, Hotel Jen will set-up mini local games at the Lobby Bar during happy hour every Tuesday and Thursday, whereby department heads will interact with guests to introduce Chinese checkers, aeroplane chess, mikado and other games – all reminiscent of childhood memories as a local. Those who win the game will also receive a complimentary drink or delectable snack.

Hotel Jen, Beijing: Hutong bicycle tour
Explore the old Beijing hidden gems in the hutong through the typical Beijing transportation method – the bicycle. Stop at historic attractions and experience the fascinating ancient Beijing culture.

Hotel Jen, Shenyang: Heritage Food Journey
Sample authentic dishes, such as Guo’s sweet dumplings, signature noodles presented by Chef Zuo, Laobian dumplings, Yang’s cooked food, spicy hot pot and Chinese rice dumplings. Guests can enjoy the food, as well as participate in a cooking class to learn insider tips. The chef’s team will show an example where guests can thencook for themselves. Indicators for each station will also be present to further explain the local food culture and demonstrate a local citizen’s real life.

Hotel Jen, Puteri Harbour, Johor: Kite Exhibition
Hotel Jen, Puteri Harbour, has partnered with Pasir Gudang Kite Museum, locally known as Muzium Layang, to exhibit one of Malaysia’s profound heritages, the wau. Hotel guests and patrons will get the chance to make the wau themselves and learn about its history. The hotel will also provide guests with complimentary kite and information/history of Malaysian kites. Patrons will get the chance to fly their own kites near the hotel, as well.

Hotel Jen, Tanglin & Hotel Jen, Orchardgateway, Singapore:Experience the Kampong Spirit & Playing of Local Games
Guests are invited to get a taste of the simple pleasures of Singaporean culture when they are taken on a trip down memory lane to see how locals would have fun before the takeover of the digital age. Patrons can take part in typical games, such as chaptek, five stones, country flag erasers, pick-up sticks and paper ball. The aim of this activity is to inspire and teach travellers about the local ways of fun and delicacies from Singaporean history and highlight the kampong spirit where everyone comes together and tries to beat each other using skills and strategies they have learnt from experience.

Hotel Jen, Manila, Philippines: Display in the Lobby
Since the assigned activity for Hotel Jen, Manila, is the Philippine traditional weaving, the hotel has sought the help of renowned fashion designer Renee Salud, who advocates for the use of indigenous (mostly weaved) materials in all of his fashion shows to project a distinct “Philippine look”. Hotel Jen Manila will set up 4 illustration panels to introduce the concept of traditional weaving and have eight models to display the clothing before the fashion show.

Hotel Jen, Brisbane, Australia: Aussie Tucker
Guests have the opportunity to indulge in a traditional Aussie-style barbecue and tasting event at the hotel’s sky garden. The mealincludes Australian meats, honey from on-site beehives and native plant tasting. The hotel will also provide ongoing backyard BBQ kits for guests to borrow from reception, so anyone can enjoy BBQ at any time.

Hotel Jen, Penang, Malaysia
With the hotel exhibiting and selling traditional Peranakan/Nyonyahand-made accessories and kebaya (Nyonya embroidered attire), guests may expect a one-of-a-kind pop-up booth in the hotel lobby. Penang is known as one of the original birthplaces of the unique Peranakan civilisation, which includes Malay, Chinese and European cultures. It is also home to a number of well-preserved and prominent Nyonya-heritage mansions, which produce Nyonyatraditional delicacies and unique pieces with exquisite craftsmanship.

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management