Many 3- to 4-star hotels in Taipei city which are within 300 meters of a MRT station cost USD100/night. I was pleasantly surprised to find an offer in Agoda for 5-star Imperial Hotel Taipei (華國大飯店) at USD92/night for Superior Double, without breakfast. Imperial’s website rate for Superior room was TWD8,000/night (USD275).
Imperial was an old hotel built in the 1960s but recently refurbished, and was formerly an Intercontinental hotel. Our corner room on 12F had new bathroom fittings and furniture. It had a king bed with 4 pillows, LCD TV, free wifi, hairdryer, safe, kettle, minibar, bathrobe. The work table was well-lighted with table lamp and ceiling LED lights, and a multi-plug electrical socket which was a nice fixture for international guests. However, it was puzzling that the bed had only one bedside table and lamp. The other side had electrical socket, but the side table was missing. Room was large with 2 wardrobes and 2 aircond vents and controls.
The bathroom was big, with bathtub, separate shower cubicle, magnifying mirror, and a very long wash basin counter. The Toto toilet had bidet with electronic controls, but instructions were in Chinese.
Imperial has 12 floors served by elevators. 13F is the Fitness Center. There is no swimming pool. Club rooms are on 10F-11F. The function rooms and breakfast room are on 2F. The restaurant, bar and bakery are on 1F. The building is completely non-smoking. Staff were helpful with information, and quite obliging. Official check-in time was 3:00pm. Although our flight arrived at 5:30am, and we were in the hotel lobby by 7:00am, we could not check-in because the room was unavailable. We left our bags with the bell captain, and explored the neighborhood. By 12:30pm, our room was ready.
Imperial is on Lin Shen North Road, about 200 meters north of the Zhongshan Elementary School MRT station (中山國小站). The Matsusei and Wellcome supermarkets on Shuangcheng Street Lane 19 are 1 block south of the Imperial. On Shuangcheng Street (雙城街) itself is a food street and a small shopping alley. About 10 meters north of Imperial is a bakery that sells pineapple cake (鳳梨酥) named after Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou. About 200 meters north is the Riviera Hotel and another 100 meters east of Riviera is an entrance to the Taipei Expo Park.
We took the Kuo-Kuang express bus (TWD125, 30mins) from Taoyuan International Airport to Taipei Railway Station, and then took a taxi to Imperial. The AirBus West Line bus from Airport was supposed to stop almost at the doorstep of the Imperial, but the schedule was not regular. On our last day, we waited almost 45min at the bus stop to go to airport, but gave up and instead took a taxi to railway station and then the bus to airport.