Monday, 26 January 2015

W Taipei, Taiwan - December 2014

Taiwan is well known for its New Year Countdown with fireworks from Taipei 101.
This was my first trip to Taiwan and the main purpose was to watch the fore-mentioned fireworks.

Why choose this hotel?

The location at City Hall station is excellent and offers underground access to the hotel.

The route is a little complicated which requires one to navigate through the department store.

The door opens into the hotel area on the ground floor.

The property offers great views of Taipei 101 on the appropriate side.

Online reviews of this hotel are very positive.

The Management

W Hotels under Starwood.

Getting to the Hotel

For this trip, I took a cab from the airport which was about 30SGD/25USD.
Otherwise, the convenience of the metro with a link to the airport should be easy.

The hotel is on the upper levels of the building and one needs to take the elevator to the front desk on level 10.


The Hotel

The alternative vibe of W is evident in this hotel from the decor and the lighting.

The ground level has the big W and a "chain" holding the drop-off point.

The colour scheme is purple, red and magenta as expected in the brand.

Corridors were well-lit although a little on the dimmer side. The pictures make it look brighter than it really is.

The music was loud but thankfully not jarring.

The Rooms

Rooms with views of Taipei 101 are in a special category. They are extremely popular and were fully reserved for the year end at the time of booking.

For this trip, I was in a Marvelous Suite which is frankly rather huge.

The suite has 1 large toilet which has the usual translucent doors with a bathtub facing the city, as well as a smaller one beside the front door.

The toilet bowl has a bidet system and lights up in the dark!

The minibar is hidden in a column near the entrance.

The rabbit looked nice but a little out of place.

I was intrigued by a 'White noise' emitter by the bed but it didn't sound natural enough.
Available modes include rain, ocean and TV white noise!

W Hotels are stocked with Bliss Products which are also available at the department store next to the hotel.

Other items in the room include complimentary water and cocktail set.

Views from the room were not particularly impressive.

The TV in the bedroom was surprising big (with a bottle of water for comparison.)

Beside the table is a panel with universal power points and access to the various Bose speakers placed in the room.

The Food and Drinks

We had breakfast at the Kitchen Table and it was very crowded. Thankfully the queue moved pretty fast but service was slightly slow due to the crowd.

The range was good with Chinese and Japanese options. Ice cream was available for breakfast too.

Variety of flavoured cheese and butter

Egg station

The honey was in a Taipei 101 stand.

The food was of a good standard generally.

We had drinks at the bar on the top floor and the view of Taipei 101 was good but marred by the poor weather.

A Chinese restaurant, Yen, is located next to it which I did not manage to visit.

The Wet Bar was closed for a private event and looked really impressive.

The bar is at the same location nearer to the front desk.

The Pool 

The pool was closed as the weather was cold and it was converted to a skating rink. Skates can be rented free of charge as hotel guests.

The Gym

The gym is rather big and the number of machines is good. The space for free weights training was definitely more than a usual hotel.

I was asked not to take pictures of the guests in the gym by the gym staff which I agree with and usually actively avoid.

The Spa

The spa is located near the gym but I did not use the treatment facilities.

A wrist tag is supplied which is used to open the door as well as the locker.

The Service

The service is probably the most outstanding feature of the hotel.
I received a pre-stay email and Charles at the front desk was most helpful.
He was very eloquent and charming and apparently very popular.

Alex (Director of Sales), who sent the pre-stay email, also came by to greet.

Vivian was also very genuine and cheerful.

Checkin and checkout was a little on the slower side but was by no means distressing.

All the staff encountered during the stay were cheerful and all smiles.

A pack of candies is given freely to guests as well.

SPG members are also given a complimentary palette of cheeses, nuts and pastry.
Weirdly, the cover does not fit the palette....

In Summary

W Taipei is great to stay (location, service and beautiful rooms) but the rates are on the high side.

View rooms of Taipei 101 are very popular and excellent for the New Year Countdown fireworks.
It would be wise to book early.

Happy Travels!

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