World - - MAGAZINE -

Tai­wan is un­ques­tion­ably one of the Ori­ent’s “undis­cov­ered” jewels. Com­pact in size, its moun­tain­ous cen­tre is fringed by a beau­ti­ful coast­line with white sandy beaches. Its main gate­way is Taipei City, just over an hour’s flight from Hong Kong. In what is pos­si­bly the finest lo­ca­tion in Taipei City, in Xinyi dis­trict, be­neath the tow­er­ing Taipei 101, sits the Grand Hy­att Taipei. Newly re­fur­bished at a cost of US$100 mil­lion, the ho­tel of­fers up 853 new rooms and suites, each fin­ished to the high­est stan­dard. Guest rooms are toned in muted greys with nat­u­ral wood ac­cents and re­flect ex­traor­di­nar­ily good taste. Many have stun­ning views of Taipei 101, a con­stant re­minder of the splen­dour of one of the most beau­ti­ful build­ings any­where in the world.

The Grand Club, oc­cu­py­ing two up­per floors, is an ex­clu­sive bou­tique ho­tel within the ho­tel. Guests there en­joy per­son­alised ser­vice and have ac­cess to the Grand Club Lounge, which serves com­pli­men­tary break­fast, all-day tea and cof­fee and evening cock­tails. There are no fewer than 10 restau­rants and bars scat­tered through­out the Grand Hy­att Taipei. High tea is served ev­ery af­ter­noon in the Chia Lounge, while in the Pearl Liang Res­tau­rant master chefs pre­pare all man­ner of dim sum dishes as well as the fresh­est seafood, tak­ing ad­van­tage of Tai­wan’s in­cred­i­ble ocean bounty. My favourite din­ing spot had to be Irodori, a buf­fet-style Ja­panese res­tau­rant where elab­o­rate and au­then­tic dishes are pre­pared in an open kitchen be­fore your eyes. Moun­tains of large crabs sit next to king prawns, tem­pura and sushi. Guests may take ad­van­tage of the meet-and-greet and limousine ser­vice from Taoyuan Air­port. A shiny black BMW 7-Se­ries will whisk you through the city traf­fic and de­liver you to the ho­tel, where you’ll be wel­comed with typ­i­cally friendly Tai­wanese hos­pi­tal­ity. The Grand Hy­att Taipei, then, is a great ho­tel and a rest­ful haven to re­turn to af­ter your days and evenings ex­plor­ing all this lovely city has to of­fer. – Mark Llewellyn­

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