Asian Property Review Chief Editor Jan Yong checks into Taipei’s top hotel and emerges delighted by the five-star experience.

Grand Executive Suite bedroom with Taipei 101 view

The VIP treatment courtesy of Grand Hyatt Taipei started the moment I stepped out of the Arrival Hall of Taoyuan International Airport in Taipei. A well- dressed man with impeccable manners escorted me into a limousine for a very smooth 45-minute drive to the hotel.

I was given the Grand Executive Corner Suite with View – it has two views – one with the incomparable view of Taipei 101, still the tallest green building in the world – and the other, the view of the City Hall from the bedroom. I was told during every New Year’s Eve, the suites with views get fully booked up because these afford guests the luxury of watching both the fireworks at Taipei 101 and the concert in front of the City Hall – all from the comfort of the suite.

I was pleasantly surprised to find a bottle of wine waiting for me at the table as well as some local Taiwanese snacks such as pineapple tarts and dried fruits. The snacks are replenished on a daily basis and are indispensable if you have a habit of watching TV seated on the very plush and cosy sofa or from your bed.

The bed itself was exquisite – it reminds you once again how much better it is to stay in a five-star hotel than in any other types of accommodation. The soft and plush pillows and mattress are specially designed to make you fall asleep – I found that it was quite impossible to watch TV from the bed because of the tendency to fall asleep while in the caresses of the bed.

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It’s also all too easy to switch off into holiday mode especially when you have had a few drinks and had just stepped out of the showers with the fragrance of Salvatore Ferragamo’s Tuscan Soul shampoo and shower gel filling up the room. And when you are brushing your teeth, you notice the sink is a Villeroy & Boch, which you recall from your readings is also used on the Titanic and the Orient Express trains. And these are in addition to the spaciousness of the suite including the very stylish marble bathroom.

Every room also has a dining table and a sofa – “because we realise when guests wanted to eat, they didn’t have a proper table and chair,” explains Paul Ou, Marketing Communications Manager of Grand Hyatt. Guestrooms and suites range from 31 sq m to 220 sq m, and offer city, mountain or poolside views.

Grand Executive Suite bathroom

The next morning, I did a quick cycle at the fully equipped gym before swimming at the outdoor pool – the pool was mildly heated with piped-in music, perfect when the weather starts turning cooler in October. After that, I decided to try out the sauna and steam room which are next to the whirlpool. Overall, I had a very satisfactory workout in luxurious ambiance before catching a quick nap at the Relaxation Room.

The quiet environment has a zen-like feel and helps to cool you down right before breakfast.

Breakfast at the Café on the ground floor was a grand event filled with an abundance of good quality international and local cuisines. A hearty start to the day indeed.

The service throughout my stay was impeccable – efficient and friendly – indeed it was a showcase of Taiwanese hospitality at its best.


Built in 1990, Grand Hyatt Taipei is the first international luxury hotel in the capital and has hosted numerous celebrities such as Hugh Jackman, Lee Min-Ho, Bill Clinton, Snoop Dogg, Andrea Bocelli, Air Supply, Margaret Thatcher, Eagles, Beyonce, Kenny G, Linkin Park and many more.

Lobby atrium

It is today still the hotel of choice in Taipei for wedding banquets and special events. Its grand lobby has a beautiful atrium which allows natural sunlight in as well as water features which together, create an elegant ambiance upon arrival and doubles up as an innovative event space.

In 2016, Grand Hyatt Taipei opened a new thermal spa following a landmark renovation that stripped the city’s largest five-star hotel to its concrete core. The following year, it was voted the ‘No. 1 Hotel in Taipei’ in the annual Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2017.

Designed by architect Haigo T. H. Shen, who also designed Taipei Songshan Airport, Taipei World Trade Center complex and Taipei Convention Center, the hotel has achieved an iconic status in Taiwan’s history. It is the nearest hotel to Taipei 101 and is connected to it via a pedestrian walkway. The same pedestrian link extends up to 14 other malls in the Xinyi shopping area.

A short walk from the hotel brings you to Dr Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall while the Elephant Mountain easy trails are reachable within minutes by foot.

Grand Hyatti Taipei exterior night view

Grand Hyatt Taipei is also a popular MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) venue offering 13 meeting rooms including a Grand Ballroom and the Grand Residence, a unique residence-style multi-event venue. It can easily host a small seminar for eight as well as a large convention for 1,200 people.

The 850-room and suite hotel is owned by Singapore’s Hong Leong Group and is considered the most centrally located hotel in Taipei.


Taiwan is known for its great local fare but for those who like variety, where better place to go than the Grand Hyatt Taipei with its formidable army of experienced chefs?

At the popular Pearl Liang’s Cantonese Restaurant, the dim sum and seafood that I ordered were above average but if you have a chance, try its signature Cantonese Roasted Goose.

For dinner, Bel Air’s signature US Beef Tenderloin, Rossini Style is something you shouldn’t miss. The succulent beef was grilled medium rare to perfection and every bite melts in your mouth and makes you crave for more.

Pearl Liang – cantonese roasted goose

Yun Jin’s fine dining Chinese restaurant whips up a dazzling array of delicious offerings with the signature Pickled Vegetable Poached Seabass a winner. Each dish is meticulously prepared and presented and will definitely win over any delicate taste bud. The ambiance is elegant which adds to the sumptuous affair.

The Irodori Japanese buffet lunch has a huge selection with seafood being its most popular dishes. Being a sashimi fan, I had extra helpings of tuna and salmon sashimi. And unlike most other Japanese buffets, the sashimi here is prepared fresh on the spot by a sashimi chef.

The Cheers bar and restaurant is great for all-day dining and especially has a cheerful and jovial mood at night. Great for get-togethers with friends and family or with a loved one in a quiet corner.


With the November surprise election victory by the Mainland-friendly Kuomintang party, will this herald a new era in Taiwanese tourism?

Jan-Hendrik Meidinger

According to statistics from the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, Taiwan’s tourism deficit totalled NT$374 billion (US$12.13 billion) in 2017, meaning Taiwanese spent significantly more money abroad than international tourists spent in Taiwan. Will this trend change in the coming months following the change to a Beijing-friendly government?

Observers note that Mainland China inbound tourist arrivals have tapered off since 2016 when it saw a surge in visitors from the mainland. Politics has always played an influential role in cross straits relations and it remains to be seen how much this would impact inbound tourist arrivals from the mainland in the coming months.

Regardless of how this pans out, there are still many aspects of Taiwan that can be improved on to attract more tourists. It is lamentable that Taiwan is an underrated travel destination as it has everything to offer visitors, according to Jan-Hendrik Meidinger, General Manager of Grand Hyatt Taipei.

“Taiwan has everything to offer; it’s the most centrally located destination in Asia. In fact, Taipei should have a much bigger market share of tourist arrivals.

“I believe it has a lot to do with the underlying infrastructure, how truly welcoming are we to tourists,” Meidinger poses the million-dollar question.

The German national suggested that there should be more targeted public relations campaign for Taiwan particularly for MICE. This is because “the food is great, people are friendly and down to earth, the culture is interesting and Taiwan is a leading sports destination for cycling and watersports.”

Meidinger’s other recommendations include inserting English language onto signboards which currently are predominantly displayed only in Chinese language. “Taiwan also needs to catch up with its key competitors such as Shanghai and Hong Kong which are ahead of us in terms of the presence of internationally recognised hotel brands especially outside of Taipei.”


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