Somehow I have always avoided the Grand Hyatt in Taipei in the past- yes, maybe in part due to the superstitious sayings of how it is seemingly haunted (almost everyone I know that had stayed there in the past has a story to tell). Out of convenience and the lack of alternatives, was finally given the reluctant chance to see for myself on my recent hopover to Taipei. The hotel lobby looked impressive - grand and spacious, with a small fountain right in the middle (?) of the hall. Promising, I thought.

My room was, however, a plain letdown – worn down and cramped, with a substandard washroom. I was surprised with the poor upkeeping, especially when compared to Sherwood or Shang, the two alternatives around town. When I complained to my colleagues, who are all frequent visitors to this hotel~ I realized I probably caught the short end of the straw. It seems while the furnishing in their rooms were tired and worn down, it was much more spacious than mine. Guess I have not used my Hyatt Gold Passport frequently enough in the past.

Check out the bare bathroom. Had a glimpse of one of my colleague’s rooms and found the bathroom of a much higher standard, with a proper separate shower cubicle and bathtub. The one I had in my room was an awkward shower head fixed on top of the normal bathtub you have at home.

Only got 40 min in-between meetings to grab a meal, so ordered the fastest room service available on the menu - Taiwanese-style braised pork rice (滷肉飯). This arrived promptly on a nicely laid out platter, with chili soy sauce and preserved veg accompaniments on the side. This was pretty decent, both in terms of appearance and taste, although I'd prefew the hawker stall one any time.

Best part about the Grand Hyatt Taipei is its location, as it is within walkable distance to the 101 office building and shopping complex, neo19, Warner Village, New York New York, and World Trade Center, and also the multitude of nearby office buildings. 

Unrelated to Grand Hyatt, if you were in town, the observatory tower of 101 is definitely worth a visit. Am normally not much of a fan of such activities (perhaps 'cos of the many skyscrapers we have in HK), but cocktails at 101was definitely the highlight of my trip. Afterall, 101 is still the tallest building in the world (for now). It took us an impressive 39 secs to reach the 89F of 101, where the observatory tower was situated, and the nightview was magnificent. (Sadly I didn't manage to take any pics, as we were running late for dinner~ next time perhaps).

Another plus of the Hyatt is the outdoor swimming pool, which is temperature controlled and with underwater stereo. Sherwood does not have a swimming pool, and the one at Shang is less fanciful.

We did drop by the Grand Hyatt's nightspot Ziga Zaga for a nightcap after visiting nearby Room 18, but couldn’t escape fast enough from the nearly deserted, depressing lounge.

Hopefully this entry helps HKFoodie realise why everyone always make a mad rush for The Shang over Hyatt when reserving a hotel in Taipei. Quality of service and also the room is way higher than that of the Hyatt. I like The Sherwood for its more personal touch too.

PS. Rarely do I eat the in-flight food, but I thoroughly enjoyed my croissant, which was warm and crispy, perfect with the butter and marmalade. Apparently, an air hostess told me that whether the in-flight food is delicious or not depends very much on the crew's decision on the time taken to reheat the food on the plane. This time, it was perfect!

2 Sung Shou Road, Taipei

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