Opened in September 2014, this luxury property belongs to the FIH Regent Group and is the second international hotel in the city after the Shangri-La.
WHERE IS IT?
Located in Tainan’s West Central District close to the Shin Kong Mitsukoshi department store and a range of historical landmarks. It’s about a 15-minute drive from Tainan Airport and 30 minutes from Tainan High Speed Rail Station and the high-tech Tainan Science Park.
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
The Silks Place brand focuses on incorporating the local culture and characteristics of its surroundings in its design. The hotel has a large, high-ceilinged lobby that’s filled with traditional Chinese elements from the nearby Tainan Confucian Temple, which was the first scholarly temple in Taiwan. Two large “welcoming” drums face each other, and tall, traditional wooden blinds separate the arrival and check-in areas. The latter consists of the front desk and T Bar – serving a range of teas – that are formed by a single long slab of grey stone. I was greeted with a cold winter melon welcoming tea, which was very sweet – symbolising the Asian concept that “sweet is rich”.
There are 190 rooms and 65 suites. My Deluxe room (this category is spread across floors 5 to 11) was 40 sqm in size, and was decorated with Chinese calligraphy brushes and a hanging lampshade shaped like a brush – continuing the scholarly temple design. Wood is the main design element in the rooms, rich browns and dark grey satin cushions creating a warm atmosphere. A long couch next to the window was a relaxing place to unwind, with a view through the wide window of the city and the swimming pool.
The “work desk” was really just a round table, but was large enough to place a laptop and documents, and two international power sockets were located conveniently close to it under a flap in a wall bench stretching under the wall-mounted TV. The bed measured 180cm x 200cm, which is only a problem if you happen to be 190cm tall like me. The need to lie diagonally was mitigated by the fact that it was soft and comfortable. However, I was woken earlier than I wanted by copious sunlight leaking into the room between the wall and curtain.
The bathroom is not particularly large, but sliding panels that can be opened wide allow natural light into the area, making it feel spacious. An attractive marble slab houses the sink, there’s a bathtub and separate shower, and bath products are by Wellspring. The hotel generously offers free minibar drinks to all guests.
Silks Lounge is on the 14th floor, and is open to guests staying on executive floors 12 and 14. Space is limited in the lounge, but it provides two laptops in the dining area, and there’s a meeting room next to the food corner. Though afternoon tea is not free for executive guests, it was still busy when I stopped by.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS
Silks House is a Chinese restaurant serving dim sum and local specialities like the signature “Seven Seafood Dishes”, which includes fresh shrimp, oysters and abalone. T Bar on the ground floor is a social gathering place offering an array of Eastern and Western organic teas, and on the same floor, Robin’s Grill and Teppan presents teppanyaki, grilled premium beef and fresh seafood. Glass House is located next to the swimming pool on level 4. Its signature drinks are the “36 shots tea cocktails”, mixing Chinese and Western teas with different spirits.
A six-metre-tall pillarless ballroom is located on level 2, equipped with multimedia equipment and LED lighting. Five meeting rooms can also be found on levels 2 and 4.
In addition to the outdoor swimming pool, level 4 has a kids’ play area and a spacious gym with fitness machines and plenty of room for warming up and stretching.
The attractive design demonstrates the cultural characteristics of Tainan throughout the property. A range of high-quality eateries and bars, plus adequate business facilities and a good price, create an appealing package for both leisure and business travellers heading for this city in southern Taiwan.
Internet rates for a midweek stay in a Deluxe King room in mid-January start from NT$3,740 (US$118) per night including taxes
No 1 Heyi Rd, West Central District, Tainan City 700, Taiwan; tel +886 6213 6290;