On a week-long business trip to Taipei, I had to switch to this hotel for the weekend from the Grand Hyatt. So, a completely different proposition but good in its own way. It's part of the Civil Service conference venue, so caters mostly for conferences held in the centre on the same site, but apart from the hotel. There was water dripping form the ceiling of the foyer when I arrived and I had to alert the desk staff one of whom casually put a 'wet floor' sign over it and carried on but it seemed to have been sorted an hour later.
The front desk service was otherwise good and the hotel is spotless. I had a spacious room on the 12th floor, with a separate lounge. There was just water in the minibar and the tea is limited to the jasmine variety only. The en-suite was spotless if a little dated but the shower dripped constantly and pretty loudly. The place has a more efficient than luxury feel and has an almost office-like quality and is comfortable rather than elegant.
I had just breakfast in the hotel which was a pretty average buffet arrangement but it did serve black tea and toast along with juice but some of the dishes were stone cold. Plenty of fresh fruit however.
The location is very good, not too far and a very pleasant hour's stroll from the centre of Taipei. The nearest MRT station is Taipower, so the journey takes no more than 15 minutes to Taipei central station, with the Chiang Kai Shek memorial less than 10 minutes away. The hotel is an easy ten minute walk from the MRT. The staton is located on a busy street which has lots of shopping until late and has burger places and a couple of Starbucks.
Back at the hotel, make sure to check out the artwork, mainly prints and small sculptures by a famous Taiwanese artist, Liao Shiou-Ping. They are fantastic. The hotel also has some very nice quiet grounds and a courtyard with some water features. It has a very spacious and quiet business centre which includes a good CD and film library. There is also a cafe in the conference centre.
Overall, a very good stay, not luxury but clean, efficient and comfortable. Be prepared to eat nearby however.
- Also Known As:
- Howard Civil Service International Hotel Taipei
- Howard International Hotel