Tried & Tested

Hotel review: The Regent Taipei

23 Jan 2019 by Michael Allen

Background 

We last reviewed The Regent Taipei in 2016. Back then, we called it “one of the best hotels in Taipei”. At Business Traveller Asia-Pacific, we’re not ones to let hotels rest on their laurels. So, being invited back in January 2019, we decided it was a good chance to check that the hotel was still offering some of the best service in the city.

Where is it?

Located in Taipei’s commercial Zhongshan district, the hotel is a five-minute walk from the Zhongshan MRT station and a 50-minute drive from Taipei Taoyuan International Airport. The hotel’s wi-fi equipped limousine service collected me from the airport, which made for a seamless and comfortable transfer.

What’s it like?

The hotel seems to be a favourite haunt of local, regional and even international celebrities. During our hotel tour, we were shown the presidential suite, from whose window the likes of Lady Gaga and Michael Jackson have reportedly waved to their adoring fans below…

I wasn’t lucky enough to espy any A-listers, but a fashion show was being held at the hotel during the night I stayed. Near where the show was being held, I saw a fashionably dressed woman, who the hotel staff told me is the star of some TV shows in Taiwan. We also passed several young men on the stairs who looked as though they had just come from the music video shoot for “Gangnam Style”.

The rooms

The Regent Taipei has 478 guest rooms and 60 suites. I was in a Deluxe Room, which was spacious, with a sofa and seat as well as a separate glass working desk and office chair. The mattress was a little hard for my liking, but this seems to be the case in many Taiwanese hotels.

Both two-pin and three-pin plug sockets are available, meaning you’ll likely not need an adaptor. The minibar has two bottles of Evian, Heineken, Kirin, Sprite, Perrier, Coke, apple juice, mango-flavoured beer and Taiwan Beer. You can scan a QR code to get free digital access to The New York Times. My room also had an attractive view of the city, particularly at sunset.

There was also a complimentary box of nine snack delicacies from different parts of Taiwan, though I couldn’t finish eating them all before my stay was up.

The bathroom is impressive, offering a large tub with bath salts, pillow and shelf on which to rest a drink or a book. The toilet is a bidet and you can easily adjust the temperature and pressure of the water. The bathroom also has a TV with international news, film and sports channels.

A highlight of the in-bathroom amenity kit is the tropical magnolia body lotion, which I applied liberally after my bath.

Executive lounge

Like my room, the 19th floor executive lounge had a good view of the city.

The lounge has three seating sections: by the window, in the centre and off to the side. I had breakfast in the morning and the staff seated me in the seats off to the side, but I found it depressing sitting with almost no natural light, and the staff promptly assisted with my request to move to a window seat, and even offered to raise the blinds for me.

The Taipei Times and The New York Times are available, as well as Chinese-language and Japanese-language newspapers.

The lounge offers a good selection of drinks and snacks, including some rather attractive cakes.

The dried fruits — starfruit, green mango, pineapple, guava and tomatoes — were a nice touch.

For hot drinks, there was a Nespresso coffee machine with six types of coffee to choose from and tea from Taylor’s of Harrogate.

You can have breakfast up here, too, which features a good selection, including an egg station.

If the lounge’s communal seating area does not offer enough privacy for you, there are two meeting rooms you can use, one smaller with armchair style seating…

…and one larger, with more formal hard seating…

Leisure facilities

The fitness centre is open 6am-10.30pm and the pool 6.30am to 10pm. You can also use the sauna between 7.30am and 11pm.

If you’re staying on a top floor, the gym can feel a little far away as you have to take two separate lifts to reach it. No one wants to have to walk through the lobby in their gym clothes.

One feature I did enjoy was that I could watch the TV news while running on the treadmill.

Wellspring Spa, situated on the top floor of the hotel, is open from 10am to midnight and offers various treatment programmes.

The rooftop swimming pool, which is fully heated all year round, is open from 6.30am to 10pm.

Regent Taipei claims to have launched the world’s first “Photography Butler” service at this hotel.

“Professional and passionate ‘Photobutlers’ will accompany Regent Taipei room guests to popular Instagram check-in spots in the hotel, tourists attractions and insider photo locations across the city and take memorable photos for guests,” the hotel says in a statement.

The service says it does away with the need for selfie sticks and having to give your phone to strangers to help take pictures.

It’s not all for the guest, though; the hotel has its own publicity in mind: “However, the service not only captures beautiful memories for room guests, but also directly encourages social media posting, thereby enhancing Regent Taipei’s social media and digital marketing.”

The service must be reserved in advance and guests can choose from 30 “insider Instagram-worthy spots” within the hotel. The butlers are not allowed out of the grounds just yet, though, and “scenic locations nearby the hotel will be available in the following phase”.

Here’s the photo (cropped to fit our style guidelines) that our butler took…

Food and beverage

The Regent Taipei has eight F&B options: Mihan Honke (Japanese), Azie (contemporary Asian and Western), Brasserie (buffet), Gallery (lounge bar and finger food), Robin’s Grill (steak house), Robin’s Teppanyaki (French-style teppanyaki), Silks House (Sichuan and Cantonese), and Lan Ting (Chinese).

The breakfast in the main dining room is reportedly very good and the hotel marketing team claimed people who are not even guests will come to eat it. But I wanted some peace and quiet in the morning, so decided to sample the executive lounge breakfast instead (see above).

Verdict

This still is, certainly, one of the best luxury hotels in the city, and has the feeling of being the place to stay if you’re a visiting somebody – or just want to feel like one. However, if you don’t mind a smaller, more boutique feel, I would say my stay at The Sherwood Taipei, which I reviewed earlier this month and is slightly cheaper than The Regent, was just as good. Novelty services like the “photobutler” may be a draw for affluent teenagers and 20-somethings (or those travelling on their parents’ dime), but for the average business traveller this is likely to be of minimal interest.

Fact file

  • Best for… Breakfast in the executive lounge
  • Don’t miss… The welcome gift box of Taiwanese snack delicacies
  • Price TW$6,412.50 (US$207.62) per night for a Deluxe Room with king bed in mid-February
  • Contact: regenthotels.com
Loading comments...
Be up-to-date
Magazine Subscription
To see our latest subscription offers for Business Traveller editions worldwide, click on the Subscribe & Save link below
Polls