Taipei, Taiwan
W Taipei
Starwood | W Hotel | Category 6
10 Zhongxiao East Road Sec. 5 Xinyi District, Taipei, Taiwan MAP
Hotel Review

Review: W Taipei, Taiwan [SPG]

Taipei is a valuable luxury hotel market, with reasonably priced upscale luxury hotels from SPG and Hyatt. Owned by Starwood and located a few minutes from Taipei City Hall Station and Taipei 101, W Taipei has long been one of the most extravagant, iconic, and pricey hotels in the heart of the city. It isn’t cheap, so expert Alvin had the chance to check out this beautiful hotel.

Pro: Delicious breakfast. Comfortable beds. Nice gym.
Con: Amenities aren’t so satisfying.

During the Marriott and SPG merger, the chain decided to crown the W brand as one of their “distinctive luxury hotel chains”. Having stayed at numerous W properties in Asia, I was very keen to check out the W Taipei, as it’s known as one of the world’s best W properties. While this was my second stay, my first was five years ago, before I’ve had the chance to learn more about the hotel market and try out dozens of hotels, each with their own ups and downs. I was excited to see how the W Taipei stood out from its competition.


 W Taipei Exterior and Lobby

W Taipei Exterior

The W Taipei has a rather glitzy exterior that lights up beautifully at night. On the day of our arrival, we pulled up to the driveway and were welcomed by very friendly bellmen who continued to initiate small talk with us during the course of our stay. The hotel also has a great reception area on the ground floor, though the real lobby is on the 20th floor, featuring a few reception desks, as well as a WOOBAR.


W Taipei Lobby

The check-in counter was rather muddled with our choice of rooms, and with the WiFi passwords corresponding to our last names she had a hard time figuring out the right combinations. It wasn’t a hard job, but it seemed like a hectic day, so I won’t blame her. Finally, though, my dad and I were assigned room 2117, which was a Wonderful Twin room.

On the way to our room, I noticed the hotel’s futuristic hallways, which were distinctly modern Taiwanese with mild hints of the brand’s signature red. 

W Taipei Hallways

The room featured an entryway, which forked right into the rather open bathroom and forwards into the rest of the room.

W Taipei Room

I thought our room was a decent size, though it was beautiful. It featured two extremely comfortable W Beds, a chaise longue and a “normal” chair, a comfortable desk for working, and a flatscreen TV.

The chaise longue by the window was very comfortable – well-padded, though it could be longer or could use some sort of an ottoman.W Taipei Wonderful Room Chaise Longue.

W Taipei Wonderful Room Chaise Lounge

The chaise longue by the window was very comfortable – well-padded, though it could be longer or could use some sort of an ottoman.W Taipei Wonderful Room Chaise Longue.

W Taipei Wonderful Room Side Bar

Further amenities in the room included a minibar in a fridge with charged items, as well as packaged coffee. My favorite was a white noise machine, which definitely would be helpful to people who don’t sleep well in silence. There were several soothing presets of noise that could be played while drifting off to sleep, which definitely is a nice option.

W Taipei Wonderful Room White Noise Machine

The room also featured awesome windows with great views of the city, though unfortunately they were partially obstructed by an adjacent building.

W Taipei Wonderful Room View
W Taipei Wonderful Room View

W Taipei Wonderful Room Bathroom

The toilet consisted of a really open design – the shower was located in a nook at the back of the bathroom, behind the sink area, which featured a sink and a closet. The entire bathroom featured an abundance of natural light, which I loved. The toilet was separately enclosed.

W Taipei Wonderful Room Bathroom
Taipei Wonderful Room Bathroom Sink

I was a fan of the massive separate shower and tub offered, and the water pressure from the shower was really good. I was impressed by the fact that the shower controls were located on the other side of the shower area from the showerhead, so I wouldn’t get splashed with cold water every time I turned the shower on. That’s attention to detail, which I appreciate.

W Taipei Wonderful Room Bathroom Tub

The separate enclosed shower featured a Japanese toilet that automatically opened upon entering the room. It featured more controls than a 747 cockpit.

W Taipei Wonderful Room Toilet
W Taipei Wonderful Room Bathroom Toiletries

Despite the toiletry blunder, I thought the room was perfect. I always appreciate comfortable beds, and the design of the room was gorgeous. Furthermore, I thought the room was immaculately well-stocked with amenities, down to the minibar options and white noise machine, with exception of the subpar toiletries. Overall, this is a room that I would look forward to returning to every time I visited the W Taipei.

Breakfast at The Kitchen Table, W Taipei 

Our package included breakfast at The Kitchen Table, which turned out to be a highlight of the hotel. The Kitchen Table is a gorgeous restaurant with lots of table seating.

W Taipei The Kitchen Table
W Taipei The Kitchen Table

The breakfast spread at the hotel was AMAZING. There was a huge variety of food items to choose from, including fresh waffles and pancakes, salads, juices, hot items, eggs, and even ice cream. What more could you ask for?

W Taipei The Kitchen Table Food Spread
W Taipei The Kitchen Table Food Spread
W Taipei The Kitchen Table Food Spread
W Taipei The Kitchen Table Food Spread

Not only did the spread offer ten flavors of ice cream, but each flavor was very, very good. Belissimo!

W Taipei The Kitchen Table Food Spread

Other favorites at the breakfast spread included some very good pastry options…

…as well as some freshly baked bread, including some nice garlic bread…

W Taipei The Kitchen Table Food Spread

…different types of cereal, in case one wasn’t enough… 

W Taipei The Kitchen Table Food Spread

I was especially crazy about the chowan mushi, as well as the pancakes and strawberry basil jam with a little dab of ricotta I added on top, which was amazingly delicious.

W Taipei The Kitchen Table Food Spread

Overall, the breakfast spread continues to be one of the most impressive aspects of the hotel. The service by the tables matched – everyone was friendly, helpful and greeted us each morning. The only rather underwhelming aspect was the guy working the juice bar, who seemed rather disorganized – but again, when there’s a juice bar to start with, I can’t complain.

W Taipei Gym

Another impressive aspect of the hotel would be the “FIT” gym, which was technically only open from 7 AM to 10 PM, though I had no problem accessing it at 1 AM in the morning. It featured extensive equipment, by far the best gym of any hotel I’d been to this year. There were many treadmills, elliptical machines, and also a range of machines and dumbbells. There was even a Smith machine for use, which was really useful and the first time I’d seen that a hotel.

W Taipei Gym
W Taipei Gym

Bottled water, however, was only provided during the gym’s “open hours”. While that is kind of petty, the gym also sells Fiji water and Red Bull, so they have to lock up the fridge when no one’s looking after it. There was still water from a water cooler available 24/7, though, which I appreciated.

W Taipei Gym Drink Selection

W Taipei Service

Service at the hotel was considerably better than our previous stay in 2013. The staff I all interacted with weren’t always very polished, but they were consistently very friendly. In terms of small touches, they gave us popcorn every night, which I really appreciated.

W Taipei Popcorn

Pool

On the day of our arrival, the staff provided us with a letter explaining that the WET pool and bar would be closed for the duration of our stay due to the typhoon that had just trampled Taipei before our stay (fun times, I know). It was located on the lobby floor (the 20th floor) and seemed to be a nice place to have fun on a good day.

W Taipei “WET” Pool

W Taipei Lobby Bar

On one of the days we were staying, we went down for breakfast a little too late, so the entire Kitchen Table restaurant was packed. We were therefore invited to eat at the Lobby Bar, which was a comfortable, inviting space that seemed good for some drinks. The tables were a little low for breakfast, though it was technically peak season when we were there, so I’ll let the hotel slide for that. 

W Taipei Lobby Bar
W Taipei Lobby Bar

It was nice to be back in Taipei for a while, though for the most part, due to how busy I was, I spent my time in my hotel room working. I didn’t mind that, however – I still got to visit the “highlight” of the trip, Shifen, on a beautiful day. However, the days where I stayed in were rather gloomy and rainy.


Bottom Line

While the W Taipei isn’t the newest hotel in the region anymore, I loved the W Taipei. The rooms were very well appointed, and the breakfast spread was amazing. The staff here were very friendly, and I loved the gym – while the pool was closed for our stay, it looked amazing as well. I highly recommend staying at the W Taipei, though I’ve heard that Taipei’s other chain hotels are really nice as well, so would check those out for a future stay.

AwardTravel Protip 1
Transportation to/from the airport?

Taipei finally has its MRT system connecting the airport and the city within a 40-min ride. For a full Taipei Airport Metro guide please see: https://www.awardtravel.com/blog/reviews/trip-reports/review-taipei-airport-express-train-taoyuan-airport-mrt/

AwardTravel Protip 2

W hotel Taipei faces mountains on one side and the urban scene without 101 building on the other. Only if you book for Room Spectacular, then you have a view to 101. So if you have Gold memberships in your hand, might as well give it a shot to see if you can upgrade to Room Spectacular.

AwardTravel Protip 3

Hotels that are most luxurious will provide turn down service. Usually, the janitor will adjust the brightness of the room and close the curtain after cleaning in the evening. Some hotels will offer night snacks at this point to high-tier members, such as fruit plate, chocolate, or even red wine. If you are not in the mood for turn down service, don’t forget to put on the do not disturb tag at the door nob of your room.

AwardTravel Protip 4

For recent years, W Hotels has been kicking into the market of younger generations, and their Woobar in the lobby is their most vicious weapon. As a double-sided sword, the atmosphere that W Hotel is trying to portray brings noise to the property. So it would be more suitable for travelers who fancy fashion and urban vibes to stay in this brand.

AwardTravel Protip 5

There are a few, but not that many, hotels chains that station in Taipei, Taiwan. Among those hotel chains, SPG and Marriott are taking the majority: Courtyard, W hotels, Westin, Sheraton, Four Points, Aloft, and even Design Hotels all have a place in Taipei. IHG only have one property in the suburban area. Although Hyatt only has its Grand Hyatt located in Taipei, Park Hyatt and Andaz are going to march in Gate of Taipei when 2020.

Alvin is a 16-year-old student/travel blogger who loves flying and explores the world.

Comments

© 2018 AwardTravel.com All Rights Reserved