A city bustling with commerce and tourism, Taipei has its fair share of modern hotels that have sprouted over the last few years. Not wanting to be left out is the Grand Hyatt Taipei, which recently completed a massive renovation that gave its 853 rooms and suites a fresh look. We went there to try the world-class hotel out and loved every moment of our stay.
Although getting from Taipei Taoyuan International Airport to the hotel is fairly easy (the shuttle bus stops right outside the hotel), we had a limousine arranged both ways. The representative was already waiting for us at arrivals, and he escorted promptly us to our car. The ride to the hotel took maybe a good 45 minutes on Taiwan’s well-developed and virtually traffic-free highways.
In terms of location, the Grand Hyatt Taipei’s main selling point is its link bridge to Taipei 101. Being close to the landmark means also being close to malls, restaurants, tourist attractions, and nightlife hotspots in Xinyi District. Also near the hotel are a metro station and bus stops that connect the area to the rest of the city and its airports.
One of the hotel staff was especially anticipating our arrival, and she escorted us into the lobby, which admittedly, impressed me. It was like being time warped into the 90’s when hotel lobbies were much grander and more ostentatious. But that’s not to say the lobby was outdated at all; it certainly looked like it kept up with the times, thanks to recent renovations.
For we were staying in a Grand Club Room, we bypassed the front desk at the lobby, and we were led to the Grand Club Lounge for check-in. We arrived way before the standard check-in time, but luckily, our room was already ready, so we were handed our keys in no time.
As mentioned, we were allocated a newly-renovated Grand Club Room, which was steps away from the Grand Club Lounge. It epitomized what I wanted in a hotel room—an overall modern feel blended with local (read: oriental) influences. I thoroughly liked the trendy color scheme—earth tones interspersed with vibrant hues of orange—and I wasn’t able to get over the fact that our view was that of Taipei 101 next door.
The room, as expected of a Grand Hyatt property, covered everything every traveler would need—from the cozy king bed with a luxurious duvet and feather pillows to the media hub with 47” LED TV. The immaculate bathroom, set in marble, had an awesome rain shower and toiletries by June Jacobs.
Aside from the room itself, what we thoroughly enjoyed was the Grand Club Lounge, an elegantly-appointed space that serves breakfast, afternoon tea, evening cocktails, and all-day refreshments. We popped in during evening cocktails, and we were impressed with the spread, which consisted of hot and cold dishes, hors d’oeuvres, desserts, and a great selection of beverages. Clearly, an upgrade to a club room with lounge benefit is worth spending money for.
We had breakfast at Café, a marketplace-style buffet restaurant with an attractive contemporary design. The morning spread consisted of an extensive variety of Asian and Western dishes.
We also had lunch at the famous Yun Jin Chinese Restaurant, which, like much of the hotel, also underwent a makeover. At the helm of the kitchen is a team from various parts of China like Sichuan and Hangzhou who bring with them their region’s cuisine.
Highlights during our lunch included Dujiangyan-style marinated chicken with sesame sauce, herb-braised beef shank, boiled cod fish dumplings with celery, and sweet lotus seed paste cakes with purple yam.
Although we split our time enjoying our room and sightseeing, I had the chance to go around the hotel the morning we were checking out. And to say that it lives up to the “grand” in its name would be an understatement. Aside from having 853 rooms and suites, the hotel boasts of nine restaurants (including not one but two Chinese restaurants), a swimming pool, a state-of-the-art fitness center with wet areas, a spa, MICE facilities, and a grand ballroom. The place is huge.
But despite the hotel being of its magnitude, the staff, especially from the Grand Club Lounge, delivered friendly, personalized service. This set it apart from the other big hotels we’ve stayed at.
IN A NUTSHELL: WHY STAY THERE
The newly-renovated rooms are gorgeous and well-appointed.
The Grand Club Lounge is impressive in terms of design, food and drink selection, and service.
There’s no shortage in terms of facilities and dining options.
The hotel’s level of luxury justifies the hotel’s admittedly costly rates.