Grand Hy­att Taipei

Business Traveller (Asia-Pacific) - - TRIED & TESTED - Tam­sin Cocks

BACK­GROUND With 853 rooms and suites, the Grand Hy­att Taipei is cur­rently the largest ho­tel in Tai­wan. It was one of the first ma­jor in­ter­na­tional brands to open in the Tai­wanese cap­i­tal back in 1990.

WHERE IS IT? In the com­mer­cial Xinyi district, di­rectly ad­ja­cent to Taipei 101, the Taipei In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion Cen­tre and the Taipei World Trade Cen­tre. There’s easy ac­cess to the MRT at Taipei 101/World Trade Cen­ter Sta­tion on the red Xinyi line, and the air­port is around 40 min­utes away – the ho­tel of­fers a limou­sine trans­fer ser­vice in a wifi-en­abled BMW with a choice of mu­sic and in­for­ma­tion via a tablet.

WHAT’S IT LIKE? The ex­te­rior is rather im­pos­ing and mono­lithic, but the en­trance lobby is mag­nif­i­cent, with or­nate chan­de­liers, bub­bling wa­ter foun­tains adorned with fresh flow­ers and a three-storey glass atrium that al­lows light to pour in. The space was bustling with people – un­sur­pris­ing given the 99 per cent oc­cu­pancy rate dur­ing our stay.

THE ROOM The en­trance to my Grand Ex­ec­u­tive View suite was pos­si­bly my favourite part: you’re greeted by a tran­quil Ja­panese aes­thetic com­pris­ing light-wood floors and walls, dark-wood pan­elling, an or­chid on the hall­stand and a brush­stroke paint­ing.

The liv­ing room and din­ing area is ex­tremely lux­u­ri­ous and invit­ing – the over­all feel is very res­i­den­tial, with homey knick-knacks such as art­work, mag­a­zines and books, and a Ne­spresso machine and good cof­fee and tea se­lec­tion. The views from my suite en­com­passed a panorama stretch­ing from Taipei 101 to the Sun Yat Sen Mu­seum and un­fin­ished Taipei Dome.

The cir­cu­lar din­ing ta­ble, rather than tra­di­tional work desk, is in­ten­tion­ally de­signed to of­fer busi­ness trav­ellers a more com­fort­able in-room din­ing experience, but there’s still a help­ful pull-out panel with two uni­ver­sal sock­ets, USB and other ports, plus a bag of ca­bles (though wifi was fast and easy to use).

Hav­ing a sep­a­rate bedroom and un­ob­tru­sive dress­ing room area re­ally makes your stay feel in­fin­itely more home­like. A com­fort­able bed and ex­cel­lent black­out blinds eas­ily con­trolled via a bed­side master panel were plus points, but a small gripe was the faint sound of the traf­fic lights beep­ing on ro­ta­tion ev­ery minute or so.

The mar­ble-en­sconced main bath­room has a free­stand­ing bath­tub, glass-par­ti­tioned smart toi­let and shower sec­tions, and floor-to-ceil­ing win­dows on two sides. It felt a lit­tle ex­posed, but au­to­matic blinds are avail­able for pri­vacy.

RESTAU­RANTS AND BARS There are 11 F&B out­lets in the ho­tel. High­lights in­clude the Ja­panese buf­fet at Irodori – an ex­tremely popular lunch op­tion for guests and lo­cals alike; Bel-Air, the ele­gant fine-din­ing steak restau­rant, whose beau­ti­ful, trans­port­ing in­te­rior boasts pri­vate al­coves and a wa­ter fea­ture el­e­ment; and Yun Jin, of­fer­ing a mix of Chi­nese cui­sine, with lo­cal Tai­wanese spe­cial­i­ties and popular Sichuan op­tions.

Café of­fers a fan­tas­tic in­ter­na­tional buf­fet spread – but be warned, with 99 per cent oc­cu­pancy comes a snaking line to be seated at peak times. Ziga Zaga is the Ital­ian eatery and night­club, a lively spot for drinks in the evening with a life band and cock­tail list. Book­ing at all restau­rants is rec­om­mended.

MEET­ING FA­CIL­I­TIES Club lounge ac­cess is af­forded to all room cat­e­gories from floor 20 and above, plus all suites. It’s a large venue with com­fort­able seat­ing op­tions. The break­fast buf­fet, though smaller than Café, is per­fectly ad­e­quate (and far less crowded), with hot op­tions and an egg sta­tion, fruit, breads and juices. The ho­tel of­fers 13 func­tion rooms and a grand ball­room for about 600 people in a ban­quet set­ting.

LEISURE FA­CIL­I­TIES Club Oa­sis on the fifth floor fea­tures two 24-hour gyms and ex­er­cise stu­dios, the Oa­sis Spa (pro­fes­sional treat­ments although I was slightly dis­ap­pointed to see the treat­ment rooms were sim­ply re­pur­posed gue­strooms), and an out­door heated pool sur­rounded by a spa­cious deck and palm trees.

VER­DICT It was a plea­sure stay­ing at the Grand Hy­att Taipei, with thought­fully de­signed ac­com­mo­da­tion, pre­mium fa­cil­i­ties and an ex­cel­lent lo­ca­tion. If any­thing this ho­tel is too good, at­tract­ing sky-high oc­cu­pancy that can cause some con­ges­tion at meal times.

The en­trance lobby is mag­nif­i­cent, with or­nate chan­de­liers, bub­bling wa­ter foun­tains and a three-storey glass atrium that al­lows light to pour in

PRICE In­ter­net rates for a Grand Ex­ec­u­tive View suite in mid-June start from NT$22,754 (US$746) in­clud­ing tax and sur­charges

CON­TACT 2 Song­shou Road, Taipei 11051, Tai­wan; tel +886 2 2720 1234; taipei.grand.hy­

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