After spending over 24 hours flying from Toronto to Taiwan’s capital I found myself half awake, stumbling like a zombie at Taoyuan International Airport. In an attempt to make my landing a gentle one, I was delighted to get picked up in a luxurious BMW car service. It was almost midnight as we raced along the highway. I could see a choir of skyscrapers welcoming me with a warm glow as a throng of scooters zipped past.
My home sweet home for the first few days would be the Taipei Marriott Hotel. Having recently opened its doors in September 2015, Taipei Marriott Hotel is one of the newest editions to the city’s crop of luxury properties. It’s located just north of the Keelung River in the city’s Dazhi District.
The hotel is a convenient home base for business travellers, offering access to Neihu Technology Park, Nangang Software Park and Taipei World Trade Center Nangang Exhibition Hall. For those playing tourist, the hotel is a stones throw from the National Palace Museum and National Revolutionary Martyrs’ Shrine.
Guests arrive to a jaw-dropping reception area where a massive mural pays homage to the hotel’s mascot, the beautiful butterflies of Taiwan. Directly across from reception you’ll find the posh Lobby Lounge which during the day splashes with bright natural light. Be sure to inspect artist Jen-Hung Liang’s sculpture (inspired by a dog) which guards the hotel entrance. You can smile up at your reflection as the moveable sculpture reacts to each of your twist and turns.
The hotel features 320 well-appointed guest rooms, including 54 suites. All guest rooms are well equipped with a safe, mini bar, 50’ LCD TV, work desk, sofa, luxury bedding and Thann bath amenities.
With a prime location on the north bank of the Keelung River, the Taipei Marriott Hotel offers unobscured panoramic views of downtown Taipei from each guest room. Looking out from my suite each morning I could see the blue and pink coloured rooftops of the apartment buildings below and in the distance, the city’s signature skyscraper Taipei 101.
If you’re looking to beat jet lag quick book a massage at the hotel’s sweet smelling SPA Above. Located on the 19th floor of the hotel, SPA Above’s couples suite features two massage tables, soak tub, private bathroom and postcard perfect view of Taipei 101. Rest, relax and rejuvenate as your body is lovingly treated with luxurious spa products by ESPA.
The hotel’s outdoor swimming pool offers a perfect spot to cool down on a hot and humid day. Soak up the sun or strap on your goggles for an energizing swim. Be sure to pop by at night when you can spot the Miramar ferris wheel glowing in the distance.
Wake up to the world each morning over a divine buffet breakfast. Located on the hotel’s main floor, Garden Kitchen offers an unobstructed view of the luscious green garden that surrounds the restaurant. Sip a frothy latte before prancing between salad bar, steaming dim sum station, classic French pastry pantry and do-it-yourself congee line.
Enjoy the pre-dinner cocktail hour at INGE’s, the hotel’s modern meets chic bar. INGE’s sits on the hotel’s 20th floor, perched over the city and offering panoramic views of the capital with Taipei 101 as a fitting centrepiece. Signature sip highlights include pineapple rum spiked Golden Treacle, lychee puree muddled Summer Cobbler and classically cool Dry Martini #2.
The Dining Place should be your go-to if keen on feasting on upscale Chinese. Chef Kao’s menu features classic Cantonese dishes with Sichuan fusion served in a luxurious and elegant space equipped with eight private dinning rooms. Sample old favourites like Sweet and Sour Pork and Roast Duck, or explore new indigenous flavours such as wild ailanthus prickly ash from Yunlin, cloud ear fungus from Chiayi County, Black-feathered chicken from Miaoli and honey peaches from Kaohsiung.