Last month, I visited Taipei, one of the most thriving cities in Asia. I hadn’t been to the city for far too long, and quite frankly, I’d missed everything about it—its buzzing streets and its food, most especially. I surely wanted to be in the middle of the action, so I was glad I stayed at W Taipei, which based on what I read and actually experienced, is the most exciting hotel in Taiwan.
W Taipei’s awesome location couldn’t get any more central. It’s right above the Taipei City Hall Station, where the MRT and buses stop. And being in that part of the city meant being near to shopping, nightlife, and the business district in Xinyi. Plus, Taipei 101 is within walking distance.
Accessibility is, of course, never a problem. Aside from the MRT and city buses, taxis and Uber cars ply the area nonstop, and buses that go directly to the airport in Taoyuan pass by the vicinity.
W Hotels, now part of Marriott International, is one of the most exciting and most prominent contemporary lifestyle hotel brands in the world. It combines “personality and cutting-edge style of a boutique hotel with distinct positioning” and provides “insider access to what’s new and next, offering a unique mix of cutting-edge design and passions around design, fashion, music and fuel.”
That said, W Taipei, one of the more recent additions to the bustling Xinyi District, is both edgy and playful. It is where contemporary art pieces litter the hallways, where electronic music is played in public areas, and where the staff are charming and young.
I was upgraded to a spacious Spectacular Room, which had a view of Taipei 101. As expected with a room at a W hotel, it was chic and colorful. And there was no shortage of daylight, thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows.
The room came with a comfy bed that was undoubtedly lovely, and aside from the amenities expected from a luxury hotel, it had a Bose sound system, a cool lounger by the window, and rather uniquely, a mini mixology lab in a glass case. The bathroom, meanwhile, was immaculate, and I liked the orange color scheme. By the way, W Hotels provide Bliss Spa bath amenities, which I really love.
Being a five-star hotel, W Taipei offers a range of facilities, including a spa named AWAY, a gym named FIT, a business center named WIRED, and a store that sells W merchandise. Not to be missed is the picturesque swimming pool named WET.
FOOD AND DRINK
I had breakfast at The Kitchen Table, the breezy, cheery all-day dining restaurant of the hotel. Its breakfast spread of Western and Asian fare, while not as extensive as other five-star hotels I’ve stayed at, was of high quality and was actually tasty.
I likewise had the pleasure of having dinner at the stylish Yen Restaurant at the hotel’s top floor. Bringing in his brand of “nouvelle Cantonese cuisine” is Chef Wo Hoi Ming, who led Xian Tao of The Ritz-Carlton Osaka in achieving its one-star Michelin status. Aside from its acclaimed food and drinks, the restaurant boasts of stunning views of the city and of Taipei 101.
The Penghu tiger prawns seared in chardonnay sauce and the Cantonese-style stewed beef ribs were both exceptional. Another highlight was the Braised e-fu noodle with scallop, crabmeat, chives in chicken broth.
W Hotels provides Whenever/Whatever service across its properties worldwide. At W Taipei, the staff were friendly and upbeat, and they handled requests efficiently.
VALUE FOR MONEY
A Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) category 6 hotel, W Taipei is one of the priciest hotels in Taipei right now, but it’s quite understandable, given the quality of the rooms and facilities, as well as the level of service it provides. A piece of advice would be to make reservation in advance, as it would not only mean better rates, but it would also guarantee a room—the hotel frequently gets booked out. SPG members get preferential rates on top of extra perks when booking direct through the hotel’s website or spg.com.