GTHQ Jaunt Journal – Hotel: Grand Hyatt Taipei – Taipei, Taiwan
Location: No. 2, Songshou Road, Xinyi District, Taipei; Next to Taipei 101 and high end shopping mall
Ni hao! Taiwan is a fascinating country with amazing people. We have been to almost 80 countries and territories and only a handful stand out as being orderly, clean and having great customer service. Taiwan impressed us. We stayed at the Grand Hyatt Taipei which is one of Hyatt’s Category 4 properties. We arrived around noon by train from Tainan. The initial impression of the hotel was good and only got better when we took advantage of the spa and gym.
We booked a Grand King room which was 33 sqm and had a city view looking north towards Taipei’s city hall. The décor was Asian (big surprise J) and had a spacious marble bathroom with a separate tub and glass walk in shower. Normal amenities in the room and nothing stuck out as special.
As you enter the Grand Hyatt Taipei you are greeted with a massive foyer, fountain and staircase with shopping gallerias on both sides. Due to renovations the check in area is to the right rear of the lobby next to the concierge office.
The hotel is well located next to the 101 Taipei building and high end shopping area.
After some light shopping, we took advantage of the gym and sauna at the Hyatt in the evening. The gym is divided into two separate areas. One area contained aerobic and stretching machines while the other had mostly weights but there was no set rule of equipment in either room.
The spa area contained a sauna and a hammam and the spa area was fantastically well kept. There is a swimming pool on the 10th floor roof top. We took a dip around 8 PM in December when the weather outdoor was a frigid 20C/68F and the water in the pool was about 23C/74F J Nice view of the city from this vantage point.
We arrived in Taipei and spent around 30 hours there before a flight after traveling throughout the country for a week and the staff was kind enough to let us check in early around 11:30 am. The service was courteous and friendly by the majority of personnel. Requests were handled quickly and genuinely.
A few tips about Taipei:
- Taxis are relatively cheap
- At the Taipei 101 mall you must eat at the Din Tai Fung restaurant. It’s a 1 Michelin Star restaurant, amazing food and very inexpensive – $30 for two people (5 dishes); you cannot reserve so expect a 30 minute wait
- We loved their food: try the Taiwan Beef noodle soup (at a local restaurant if possible) and their bubble tea
- The Metro is very easy to use. Select your finishing metro stop and it will tell you how much your ticket costs.
- High speed rail will get you from Taipei (north) to Kaohsiung (south) in less than 2 hours for about $70 US in business class.
You can also find inexpensive massages although not as cheap as South East Asia. We tried several which were amazing. The last one we tried was a well-known chain called 6 Senses Spa. Let’s say that my massage was completely different from my wife’s. While she thoroughly enjoyed hers, mine was a bit less relaxing. My massage was the most blissful painful experience I have ever enjoyed suffered through. I normally ask for very hard pressure but this masseuse not only applied extremely hard pressure and pointy elbows but he found every pressure point and pain point I had. Not kidding. Ninety minutes of ex…cru…cia…ting PAIN. I can take my licks and pain but this was torture. I almost got to the point of stopping… almost. Call it pride or stupidity but I’ve never asked for less pressure and I wasn’t going to let this break my streak. As I laid there making noises while my wife was laughing at my pain, I tried to lessen the pain by reflecting on the fact that in the long run this would benefit me. I hurt for days…
If you’re in the northern part of Taiwan, you definitely need to go visit Yehliu National Park. There are some amazing lava and stone structures eroded by sand, sea and water. Overall we enjoyed our time in Taiwan and at the Grand Hyatt Taipei!
The Good: Service and spa, proximity to sightsNormal Nightly Cost: $364 USD – My Cost: $0 – Hyatt Visa free night
The Bad: Nothing stands out
The Ugly: Nothing