It’s been a whole since I posted my last hotel review, which is partly due to the fact that it’s been ages since I pitched my figurative tent in any place for more than a day or two. Usually I get restless after two nights max, but in the case of the W in Taipei I stayed a full 5 nights. It was an excellent decision. From my experience, the W hotel is always a good choice. While it is not necessarily the cheapest hotel you will find, you really get your money’s worth, and can rest assured that you are staying in a place that is really rooted in its respective city.
For example, the hotel publishes a W Insider, sort of a city guide, full with recommendations for pretty much anything you may be looking for. It’s a bit like having a good friend in town that shows you around. One aspect I really love about the W chain is that every hotel is different and interprets the vibe of the country and city it is located in, which is also reflected in things like the interior design.
I loved the theme of W Taipei, even though – or mabe precisely because – it was less obvious than in other branches: The symbiosis of Nature and Technology. A fitting theme for Taiwan, and something I came to observe frequently: the Taiwanese are very much in touch with nature, and go to great lengths to recycle their trash. At the same time, the society is super modern, and geared towards production and export.
The W unified these poles in its theme in a great way: a lot of the hotel’s furniture is made form recycled plastic. But the theme is also expressed in more subtle ways throughout the entire place, be it in glass-rimmed circles which symbolize water-drops and lead the way to the pool or bamboo fittings, which are typical for Taiwan. Visitors that keep their eyes open will find endless creative references to the country. A very nice touch!
The W Taipei is located in the center of town, right in the heart of the shopping district, close to several major sights including Taipei 101, the second highest building in the world. Since the hotel itself is also a skyscraper, you get an unobstructed view on Taipei 101, which is very impressive indeed. On top of the great view, guests benefit from the proximity of endless shopping destinations. And in case you would like to venture into a different part of town, there’s a metro stop in the actual hotel building. On the whole, the location is top and I couldn’t think of a way to improve it.
As I came to expect from W, the rooms are stylishly and carefully designed, very clean. Each room is designed differently, with one shared aspect: a great view on the Taipei skyline. Waking up in the morning to the sight of the city through a massive panorama window feels incredible, so much so that I really find myself missing it. The over-arching hotel theme cascades through each of the rooms. Recycled jewelry shelves, decorative animals and lots of wood, all in stylish interplay. Most importantly, the beds are extremely comfortable. So comfy, in fact, that we slept in almost every day. We just couldn’t motivate ourselves to get out of our warm beds in the mornings.
The hotel includes a total of 5 bars and restaurants, among them the Yen Chinese restaurant, which has the reputation of being one of the best in town. The restuarant offers a modern interpretation of traditional Chinese cuisine, with a huge menu and some decidedly exotic dishes on offer. How about pig ear snacks, for example? Of course the menu also includes more ‘regular’ dishes like dumplings. Another highlight for me was the luxury gym. It is huge, perfectly equipped and with a 360° view on Taipei. They even had a punching bag.
On top of all that, the W regularly hosts events as diverse as a ‘farmer’s market’, in which local specialties are on offer, to tea parties with special themes. The only thing the hotel does not provide is boredom, the creative team makes sure of that!
The Bottom Line:
The W is not a budget chain, but for good reason. The hotel is an excellent choice, especially if you like to stay in a place with an decidedly individual touch somewhere between local culture and luxury standards. As I mentioned, the location is second to none, which makes discovering the city a breeze, with the added bonus of incredible views. The combination of these factors make for an outstanding experience in the very special city that is Taipei.
In collaboration with W Taipei