The Grand Formosa Regent is a 5-star luxury hotel in Taipei, a city that unfortunately despite it’s modernity, is solely lacking in number of quality 5-star hotels. I have always tried different hotels in Taipei everytime I come here for business trip because previous stay are always not satisfactory. Previously I have tried Sheraton and Shangri-la and both has fallen short of my expectation. So this time, I tried the Grand Formosa, esp I have a certain fondness for the Four Seasons Chain.
The Grand Formosa Regent is technically a Regent hotel but is managed by Four Seasons. I’m not sure how this actually work out as the actual hotel experience doesn’t have the Four Seasons touch but is nevertheless good.
I arranged for the hotel to send a limo to pick me up from airport. It’s a BMW 7 series. The ride was superb. The driver was chatty and helped me catch up with what’s the latest in Taipei. The ride was about 40 mins and on arrival, my “butler” escorted me to my room for an in-room check-in. The luggage was swiftly brought up to my room. No fuss, no hassle.
The 45m2 Taipan room is the standard club floor room of the Grand Formosa hotel. It’s decorated in a minimalist modern contemporary style. First impression the room seems a bit bare but it has all the necessary amenities. The bed was King Size and the mattress was slightly on the hard side but otherwise very comfortable. There’s a LCD TV complete with DVD player. A glass top work desk with plugs conveniently located on the side. There’s a good size closet for additional luggage and clothing. A fully marble bathroom comes with separate shower and deep soaking tub with Hermes toiletries. I was particularly pleased to see a full size laptop safe. Both wired and wireless internet is provided and it’s very fast.
One minor hassle I discovered is that the power voltage is 110 volts and only one adapter was provided. This was quickly rectified when I called housekeeping to bring up more adapters and a transformer.
If I had to nitpick, it will be that there should be an iPod dock in the room and also larger size towels in the bathroom. Water pressure in the shower cubicle’s overhead shower is lacking. The Tv is too small for the room. Also, sound proofing isn’t excellent. I can hear movement next to and above my room. However, it isn’t distracting like in the Sheraton.
The Club Lounge
The Grand Formosa called their Club Lounge “Tai Pan” for a good reason. In Chinese tradition, the word Tai Pan refers to a powerful and influential businessman that commands the respect of his peers. The hotel intends to convey this impression to it’s staying guests that choose to stay at the TaiPan floor. The Taipan Lounge boast large sitting areas with direct views of Taipei skyline ( including the fame 101 tower ), computer rooms for internet access, dedicated concierge and reception area as well as a separate food lounge.
Food served in the Club Lounge is of consistent high quality. There’s always bottled drinks ( beer, coke, mineral water etc ) and cookies in the lounge for guests to help themselves to for a quick snack. The afternoon tea and evening cocktails features a variety of tasty bite size tidbits that are quickly replenish by the efficient Taipan lounge staff. Deserts include selection of fruits, cheese cakes and yes, HaagenDazs icecream! This is the first time I have seen a hotel serving free flowing ice-cream of high quality. And not just one flavor but four to choose from. No other hotels I have stayed in has ever served free flowing ice-cream. Very original! All food are served buffet style and no limitation on quantity, including the ice-cream.
The breakfast is equally impressive. Everything is fresh. Great Coffee, excellent pasteries that comes with gourmet butter and good selection of jams. Honey-glazed ham, huge frankfurter sausages, mini-beef patties, eggs done to your liking, porridge, cereals, the list goes on and on. And you can also order freshly baked waffles.
This is one of the best club lounge I have experienced especially for the price paid. Only one experience I wasn’t happy about, being charged NT$230 for a small cup of coffee consumed by one of my business guest visiting me at the hotel. After staying for 3 nights and racking up more than NT$30,000 in room charges and other services, I think it’s ridiculously stingy for the hotel to be so calculative.
The Common Areas
This hotel reinforce it’s luxury status by having a DFS duty free shop and a luxury boutique mall right inside the hotel. Everything one can think of like Hermes, Channel, Dior etc… are all located within the hotel at the basement. Right outside the hotel is the flagship store of Louis Vuitton, Dunhill and Gucci. For those that like to shop for luxury goods, the location is perfect and basically they don’t even need to leave the hotel compound.
Like so many Taiwan hotels, there’s a large selection of eating outlets. I didn’t eat at the hotel restaurants ( since the lounge food was so good, what an irony for the hotel management ). They all appeared to be very crowded and popular.
The hotel’s location is also good, with a subway station within walking distance and all major tourist attraction can be reached by subway or by taxi.
I have received consistently good and efficient services while staying at the hotel. Service attitude however range from very friendly to lukewarm depending on which staff I am dealing with. In particular, I think the Concierge can be more helpful. I wanted to make a trip to the famous Yangmin mountain and was asking the concierge for information and they couldn’t provide me with anything specific except very general answers. They don’t even have a map of this popular destination.
The staff English ability can do with a bit of improvement. I usually have to resort to speaking in Chinese in order to make them understand me quickly.
Without doubt, this is the best hotel I have stayed in Taipei, beating both the Shangri-la and Sheraton that also charged similar rates by miles. I find no major faults except the nitpicks mentioned and lots of things to commend upon. Staying here is a luxury experience, if not exactly the top of the line like those in Hong Kong and Tokyo but for the price paid, no complaints at all! And staying here for business at the Taipan floor means all your needs are taken care of. Is it perfect? No. But it’s damn close. Make a few more improvements and this hotel is on the way to greatness. I award this hotel a high 4/5.
- Also Known As:
- Regent Taipei Hotel
- Regent Taipei Hotel Taipei
- Taipei Regent
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Regent Taipei has 538 of the most spacious and attractively designed rooms in Taiwan. Standard amenities include the pressure relieving Wellspring Bed, a pillow menu, feather duvet, large marbled bathroom with deep soaking tub and separate shower, 24-hour room service, complimentary wireless Internet, satellite TV, stereo, in-room safe, and mini-bar. On the top floors of Regent Taipei is TAI PAN Residence & Club, an all-butler hotel that coalesces the traditional Oriental milieu with contemporary comfort, where one can Experience Modern Chinese Lifestyle. Also found in the hotel are the Wellspring Spa urban resort, the state-of-the-art Health Club & Sauna, complete meeting and banqueting facilities, a rooftop pool, the Regent Galleria that provides a world-class shopping venue to cater to the needs of global luxury travelers, and eight world-class restaurants that offer traditional and innovative cuisines. ... more less
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