May 17, 2017 01:00 By Phoowadon Duangmee Special to The Nation Taipei Taiwan 3,580 Viewed
Right in the centre of the Taiwanese capital's most fashionable district, the Grand Hyatt Taipei blends elegance with first-class service
STANDING TALL in Xinyi, Taipei’s most fashionable district, the Grand Hyatt Taipei couldn’t ask for a better location. A stone’s throw away from Taipei 101 Tower, City Government, Taipei World Trade Centre, National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, Eslite, the city’s largest bookstore, the night market and malls galore, it offers the best beds in town for travellers whether they’re here to seal a deal or (in my case) to explore the city.
True to its name, the Grand Hyatt Taipei accommodates 853 guestrooms, large even by Chinese standards. But size isn’t what the Grand Hyatt is all about; service and hospitality are.
An installation in wood shows off the artistic side of the Grand Hyatt Taipei’s lobby.
I stay at the Grand Hyatt for three nights on my trip to Taipei. My room is 1728 – a Grand Suite Room on the 17th floor.
“A bottle of red from Bordeaux is yours with our compliments. Hopefully, you will enjoy it while you’re here with us,” says the young man who shows me around my room.
“Thank you very much and I am sure I will enjoy both your hospitality and the wine,” I reply, noting that the bottle in question is a Marquis D'Alban Bordeaux Merlot Cabernet 2015.
Stylistically, the suite is a cross between contemporary and modern Chinese design. The living area has a comfortable sofa and low table facing a large flat-screen television on the wall. On the other side is a desk equipped with Internet connectivity. Apparently, the suite is designed for both leisure and business travellers.
The bedroom, hidden discreetly behind a sliding door, is roomy and comfortable and the king-sized bed is definitely inviting with fluffy duvets and a neat pile of pillows. A painting breaks up the pale light brown walls with upholstered panels, and light streams in through the windows.
Grand Executive View Suite Bedroom
The Junior Suite has two restrooms – a small one off the living area and the luxuriously larger one next to the bedroom. A spacious shower stall with regular and rainfall showerheads is separated by a glass partition. There is one large mirror framed in tile above the vanity where bath amenities share space with a fragrance diffuser.
The Grand Hyatt offers different types of guestroom, varying from the cosy standard room with king-size bed and spacious marble restroom to the top-of-the-range President Suite. All rooms are equipped with supersized office desks, free wi-fi connectivity, a lavish mini bar and an Nespresso coffee machine. Those who check into the Suite category will be pampered with Ferragamo bathroom amenities.
“Staying in a suite also gets you access to the Grand Club, the executive club house, where you can enjoy pre-dinner cocktails and wine, private breakfast and more,” says Sammy Carolus, Grand Hyatt Taipei’s general manager.
“You can even use a meeting room for one hour. This is complimentary for executives and ideal for briefing with local counterparts.”
However, you don’t have to be an executive to enjoy your time at the Grand Hyatt Taipei. Foodies will quickly find out that the Grand Hyatt is a dining destination by itself.
“We have more than 10 restaurants and outlets. By November, we will add a Thai restaurant into the list. Thais and the Taiwanese share a lot in common when it comes to food,” adds Carolus, who moved from Thailand’s Hyatt Regency Hua Hin to Grand Hyatt Taipei.
The hotel serves a buffet breakfast at Cafe, its all-day dining venue. Inspired by an Asian marketplace even down to the mouth-watering aromas and bustling scene, the restaurant offers everything from noodle soup and fermented tofu to olives and ham.
Chinese delicacies can be found at Pearl Liang, which serves a mainly Cantonese menu, and at Yun Jin, which focuses on a broader range of gourmet treats. Ironically, my favourite restaurant at the Grand Hyatt is Irodori – a Japanese restaurant offering a wonderful buffet with rare delicacies and wide selection of sake. Their sushi and sashimi are such a treat!
Grand Hyatt Taipei is next to Taipei 101
“To many business travellers, Cheers might be an ideal for quick lunch as it offers a blend of highly refined American, Italian, and French cuisine,” says Paul Ou of Grand Hyatt Taipei who invites me to Cheers for a post-dinner treat.
“It’s also a popular watering hole offering a fine selections of drink. I often stop by after work for a drink before calling it a day.”
I couldn’t agree more. Fuelled by live jazz, the two of us do considerable damage to a bottle of Kavalan, Taiwan’s Single Malt.
My fellow residents are a mix of business, diplomatic and leisure travellers, among them the president of a South Pacific nation. I also bump into large groups of visitors from Thailand. During exhibition and trade events like Taipei International Cycle Show, says the general manager, all 853 rooms will be fully booked.
“The Grand Hyatt is also popular during the New Year’s Eve Party when Taipei 101 stages the firework,” adds Carolus. “If you stay with us, you’re right at the heart of the show.”
AT A GLANCE
High point: Elegant hotel with lots of luxury treat in the heart of Taipei
Low point: None
Pay for it: See website for the best details
Find it: Take a short walk from Taipei 101 in Xinyi District