Knowing most W hotels in the world, staying at the W Taipei was still pleasantly surprising. It surpasses the praised W Hong Kong in quality of property and service significantly.
Check in was good.I was blown away by the W insider (Jessica), who did an amazing job. She was prepared when I arrived, knew my profile, even my interests and could recommend to me many places to go regarding food, sight seeing and shopping, specifically to my taste.
Through the chatting about food venues and places for going out the check in took quite more then half an hour, which I didn't mind at all, even arriving with a red eye at Taipei and quite tired at the hotel.
The early check in, even while the hotel was fully booked, is positively worth to be mentioned.
The hotel itself is very new, still in top shape and conveniently located at City Hall in the posh financial district of Taipei. So with the MRT just 50m away you have an easy access, at arrival as with visiting different places. Taxis (competing for an early death by driving) are so cheap though that the MRT is not the best solution all the time.
The large (one bedroom) 'Marvelous Suite' I had came in top shape and with lots of different areas to sit, work, lounge... I made use of that a quite a bit. In my opinion this is mentionable since many high end hotel provide hardly usable working and lounging spaces in the suites. The interior designer working for the W had a good hand and cultivated a modern 50s style, like a very welcome synergy of 'Mad Men' came to 2013... with amazing results. I love the living room of that suite.
The bedroom is roomy, bright and conveniently furnished and comes with gimmicks like iPod/Phone dock (no USB for Android thoug, bad) or the the "white noise machine", which I actually used due to the noise from the bar downstairs up until 3 am in the morning - the bar in the W is a very happening place right now in Taipei.
Also very annoying, there are power plugs in the bedroom but just Asian connectors - and I was not in the mood calling for an adapter at 3 am in the morning... still I needed my alarm for the morning. So plugin the phone in at the desk and hoping the get awake from that is not in the field of high quality I otherwise experienced here.
The bathroom is quite amazing, good water pressure, the sinks a little splashy though. You can get easily wet pants by washing your hands. I loved the great working Japanese toilet seats.The bathroom amenities were restocked every day, if used or not. The women at home will be happy about that, since the 'W shampoo' and 'Body Butter' belong to the most desired product from my journeys.
Splash / Pool:
For Taipei and the area the hotel is located, they did a good job of a decent pool with inviting appeal. Just don't expect a garden or a cozy feel. It is still a W we're talking about. So think more in 'cool style'... good enough that on one side the outer part of one of the hippest bars in Taipei is located there.
I was not impressed by the breakfast buffet at all. The coffee was decent but not great. The croissants hard, old, tasteless, just terrible, the butter just lousy. The fruits were kinda OK but I would expect a lot(!) more in quality. The sausage and cheese I tried more out of curiosity were weak also. The warm food looked OK. But I did not find a decent rice soup, although they had muschi congee style stuff, which I guess Chinese prefer over the Thai style rice soup.
All in all, for an European (French/Italian) taste for breakfast it was quite weak. An US fella or British guy, who enjoys eggs and whatever in the morning might see that differently.
The service I experienced is amazing. Greeted by name pretty much anywhere, getting a table as a guest of the hotel at the highly demanded and hip "in-bar" for which people in fashionable outfits lined up on Saturday night, provides the feeling of a 'valued guest'. The hotel staff speaks perfectly english and was highly motivated to do their job to the best of their ability and beyond.
House keeping did a terrific job, of cleaning the room and being available without being annoying. A tech guy provided me with VGA and HDMI cables to connect my notebook to the big TV. Also he was helpful in his approach and capable of speaking enough english for th etask which is rare in Asia. Normally the communication with these guys is more using 'hands and feet'.
Bar on 31st (the dry Tanqueray Ten Martini "washed"....):
My negotiations for the perfect martini of my desire was quite successful, they even had my favorite Gin in stock, the rare 'Tanqueray Ten' and despite the missing 'Noilly Prat' for vermouth (please get this!!!), the cocktail came out quite decent. For the second round the bartender came himself to my table to check upon my opinion and if he can improve it anyhow for my liking. That is highly appreciated. The olives were a little weak but that is common in Asia.
The complementing view on the 31st floor towards the 101 (it was the highest building in the world from 2004-2010... or somewhat like that) together with more then decent cocktails and a conversation with a friend not seen for five years is a memory I cherish from that stay.
Value for money:
The price tag is hefty. Ok, during my stay the hotel was completely booked which contributed to that issue I guess. But in general this W competes in price with the W in Hong Kong and wins that a most often... that does not make sense. Taipei is in general a lot cheaper then Hong Kong. Even the W in Singapore comes more reasonable... I don't get this thinking at all.
Not sure if I will be a regular in the future or will try another property another time to find out different values for money.. the Le Meridien Taipei is quite a contender for that... but my next stay in the W in a few weeks is already booked. So they must have done something right and probably not only one thing :)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- In the Xinyi District, home to W Taipei, there pulses a neon current, creating a sanctuary where serenity meets energy. Here, an endless stream of people, ideas and technology fuses Taipei's rural surroundings with its urban core. From the vibrant markets, theatres and nightclubs to the iconic Taipei 101, everything-even the sky- is electrified. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- w Taipei Hotel Taipei