Hotel Check: Howard Plaza Hotel (Taipei)
What’s it like?
The hotel is one of Taipei’s best established properties. With its large room inventory, range of meeting spaces, dining options and location, it has been a firm favourite with business travellers.
Entering the lobby, you will see a buzzing atrium with its Rainbow Terrace outlet, full of locals as well as hotel guests. The Seven Scholar’s Lounge is likewise a busy corner in the evenings with a sports bar feel to it.
Where is it?
Located in Taipei’s business district, the Howard Plaza is about 50 minutes from Taipei Taoyuan International Airport, depending on traffic. An airport bus to the hotel costs NT$145 (US$4.70) but there is often no bell-desk service at the drop-off point, which may be inconvenient if you have a lot of luggage. There is a limousine service for NT$1,890(US$62), and taxis will cost less than half of this. The hotel is also five minutes from Taipei Central train station and within 10 minutes drive of the 101 Taipei Financial Center, the Taipei World Trade Center and Taipei International Convention Center, making it ideal for business travellers, trade show visitors and conference delegates.
How many rooms?
There are 606 rooms in total, including 470 non-smoking rooms and 101 suites.
The in-room safe is big enough to store a laptop. There is a coffee/tea maker in all rooms as well as a minibar. There is also a telephone in the bathroom. Each room has a sizeable workdesk with ample room for your computer. The bedding is luxurious, with comfortable pillows and a bolster. Other room highlights include a large-screen TV with dozens of channels and good internet connections.
The Taiwanese love their food and the Howard Plaza doesn’t disappoint, offering an array of options with seven restaurants: the Yangtse River serving Shainghainese, The Formosa (Taiwanese), the Pearl River (Cantonese), Le Louvre (French gourmet), the Rosewood (fine dining), Les Champs Elysees (western-style buffet) and Miyama (Japanese).
The ever-popular Rainbow Terrace Atrium on the lobby floor and The Seven Scholars Lounge, which is always packed at the end of the work day.
Business facilities: The hotel has 17 conference and meeting rooms that can comfortably accommodate up to 700 guests, making it one of the most flexible hotel venues for business meetings and corporate conferences. There is a business centre on the lobby floor with a range of services, such as photocopying, typing, mail and other business services.
The hotel has a sauna, an outdoor swimming pool and a gymnasium. Golf and tennis facilities are also close by – ask at the front desk for details.
Super Saver prices for a midweek stay in July start from US$124 for a Standard Double Room, without breakfast.
A very convenient location, with a tremendous range of food and beverage options all under one roof. Rooms are slightly old-fashioned but very functional. My only negative experience was that bathroom facilities were not up to the level you would expect from a five-star hotel in Asia.
160 Renai Road, Section 3,?106 Taipei,?Taiwan, tel 886 2 2700 2323, http://taipei.howard-hotels.com