Hotel Check: Les Suites Taipei Da-an (TAIPEI)
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
There are two Les Suites in Taipei; the Da-an property – the subject of this review – is nine years old, while the Ching-Cheng property is seven. Both are design-led in character, but the latter seems to have a bit more space for landscaping and even has a slim patio with parsoled tables.
Les Suites Da-an, however, holds its own in the chic department with polished interiors, carefully chosen art pieces and a striking flower arrangement in the small lobby. What is it with these boutique hotels where every setting seems ready for a photo shoot?
WHERE IS IT?
The car ride from Taipei Taoyuan International Airport takes about 40 minutes to this downtown hotel, so if you didn’t get enough sleep on the plane, here’s some extra time to get in precious shuteye. Take advantage.
(For the first-timer, the sight of an enormous red Oriental structure rising from the hills along the way does create an impression. That’s no palace – which you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking it was – but the Grand Hotel, the brainchild of Taiwan’s legendary political couple, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and Madam Chiang, who felt a venue to entertain visiting dignitaries was needed. A must visit, if only to gawk at the opulent interiors or try a meal at any of its restaurants famous for Chinese regional selections.)
Les Suites Taipei Da-an sits along Da-an Road, which is one of several perpendicular to the big street of Chung-hsiao that’s home not only to one, but two Sogo Department Stores as well as brand-name shops. The nearest metro is Chunghsiao Fuhsing Station. Don’t be hesitant to use Taipei’s efficient and easy-to-use public transport system – if in doubt about directions, just ask the very helpful staff.
HOW MANY ROOMS?
There are 59 guestrooms divided into these categories: Standard, Corner Suite, Deluxe Twin, Deluxe Suite, Superior and VIP Suite, following uncluttered lines and sheathed in earth tones with chocolate and beige dominating.
I was assigned a Deluxe Suite that measures 50sqm and features a king-size bed and opaque sliding doors nicely dileneating the rest and work sections.
Ensuite bathroom with only a shower; vanity dresser, powerful hairdryer, fax-printer machine, cable TV programming and a china and utensils cabinet (while stylish to look at, I couldn’t figure out at first what it was meant to be) among others.
RESTAURANT & BAR:
Restaurant Les Lounge takes on various functions during the day: breakfast room (where the spread is extensive), high-tea parlour and chill-out roost. For the hours in between meals, five laptops are placed on the tables to provide guests and their visitors a quick opportunity to check emails.
Just one meeting room able to accommodate up to 14 people, which guests can use for two hours free of charge.
A small gym is found on the ninth floor and is equipped with just the basics: two treadmills, a stepper and weigh-lifting parapharnalia.
Those in need of a spa treatment won’t find any such service in the hotel, but instead can get a number of suggestions from reception for places to get de-stressed.
Despite limited facilities, I appreciated this boutique hotel’s attentive service and tasteful ambience. All worth returning to.
For a stay in the middle of August, Best Rates start from US$159 for single occupancy.
12 Da An Road Sec 1, Taipei 106, tel 886 2 8773 3668, www.suitetpe.com
Margie T Logarta