After a nearly 2 hour wait to clear customs and immigration, I finally exited the concourse around 2:15 AM local time. I fired up the WiFi on my phone and called an Uber to take me to my hotel – the Sheraton Grande Taipei Hotel. After about a 45 minute ride, we arrived at the hotel’s circular drive entrance.
Introduction: Taipei Mileage Running Extravaganza
Review – American Airlines 767-300 Business Class – MIA-JFK
Review – British Airways Galleries Lounge – JFK
Review – Cathay Pacific 777-300ER Business Class – JFK-HKG
Review – Dragon Air G16 Lounge – HKG
Review – Cathay Pacific The Bridge Lounge – HKG
Review – Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge – HKG
Review – Cathay Pacific 777-200 Business Class – HKG-TPE
Review – Sheraton Grande Taipei Hotel
Review – The More Lounge – TPE
Review – The Premium Plaza Lounge – TPE
Review – The VIP Airlines Lounge (JAL Contract Lounge) – TPE
Review – JAL 767-300 Economy Class – TPE-NRT/NRT-TPE
Review – JAL Sakura Lounge (Near Gate 61) – NRT
Review – JAL Sakura Lounge (Near Gate 92) – NRT
Review – JAL 777-300ER Economy Class – NRT-LAX
Review – The Club At DFW Lounge (JAL Contract Lounge) – DFW
Review – JAL 787-8 Economy Class – DFW-NRT
As this was a mileage run on the extreme cheap, I decided I should continue that trend and booked this hotel using my SPG points. I paid 12,000 points per night for my 2 nights at this hotel, while paid rooms were going for ~$210 per night. Since it was after 3 AM by the time I finally reached the hotel, the lobby was deserted except for the night manager and an associate who were chatting at the desk.
The lobby was gorgeous with marble and natural wood everywhere along with plenty of seating options.
I figured since it was past 3 AM that it would be a quick and easy check-in. Boy was I wrong. I hold SPG Gold Preferred status with Starwood and usually everything is ready for me when I show up. This was my first time redeeming my Starpoints for a room, and it seemed to really confuse the desk staff. What should have been a few minute check-in at most ended up taking nearly 15 minutes.
Once I had my room key in hand, I headed towards the elevators and headed up to the 14th floor.
Once I exited the elevator on the 14th floor, it became clear just how huge the hotel actually is. This is the view from the hallway after exiting the elevators.
After exiting the elevators I turned left and made my way down the corridor.
Then made another left down another long corridor.
Then made a right down another long corridor, where my room was finally at the end on the right hand side.
After the great hike I noticed that there were dehumidifiers EVERYWHERE in this hotel. The hotel as a whole was pretty humid at all hours of the day, so if you are sensitive to this kind of thing, definitely keep this in mind.
Upon entering my room, I noticed that I had been upgraded from a Superior Room to a Deluxe Room which featured a slightly larger room and bathroom with a separate tub and shower.
Upon entering the room there were two small closets to the left which offered robes and slippers and the safe.
In between the two closets was the minibar and the water kettle.
The mini bar was well stocked and featured your usual assortment of beverages and snacks.
Entering the main area of the room was a large king size bed which was comfortable as usual.
By the window were two seats with a small table.
On the far side of the room was a desk/TV stand combination with a rather uncomfortable chair.
Waiting on the desk was a nice welcome amenity of fresh fruit.
Something I always appreciate when traveling is complimentary bottles of water and the Sheraton offered not 1, but 4 complimentary bottles of water in the room!
The bathroom was rather large and featured marble everywhere.
There was a nice stand alone shower that was separate from the bath tub – something I greatly prefer at hotels and in general.
The vanity was not as spacious as it should have been in my opinion for the size of the bathroom, was perfectly workable.
Waiting on the vanity were two bottles of water as well as a selection of amenities.
The amenities were your usual assortment of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion and mouthwash.
If I had a complaint though, it was that the bathroom smelled like asparagus that had been expelled from the body (sorry, but you know exactly the smell I’m talking about). I could not for the life of me figure out where the smell was coming from, but it was unpleasant to say the least.
Since I hold the American Express SPG Business card, I received complimentary access to the Executive Lounge at this property as a perk of the card. The Executive Lounge was located on the top floor and required taking the elevator near the check-in desk.
Upon exiting the elevator on the top floor, I turned left towards the lounge.
The lounge was pretty standard as far as lounges go and featured a nice variety of seating throughout.
There was also a fairly decent sized buffet available. There was a selection of cereals and fresh fruits.
Next to that was a selection of yogurts and some granola.
Across from the fruits and cereals was a selection of hot dishes including dumplings, sausages and eggs.
There was also a selection of salads, deli meats and cheeses.
As is common at Asian hotel buffets, they also had a selection of congee and miso soup.
Lastly, there was a selection of breads and pastries.
There was also a coffee machine that made your standard coffee drinks, as well as some juices.
I had some fruit and a few cups of coffee while answering some e-mails because I didn’t want to spoil my appetite for Fuhang Doujiang – a small breakfast place 2 blocks from the hotel. Seriously, try this place instead for breakfast. Don’t let the line out the door, down the stairs, out the door of the building and around the block scare you – I was through in about 15 minutes – and it was WELL worth the wait.They even have a sign on the door showing you how to line up for this place, so you know it’s popular and good!
I’d recommend the sweet soy milk cold, a sesame ball and the sao bing flatbread. The entire meal was less than $7 USD and was AWESOME.
After coming back from a day of sightseeing, I came back to my room not having had housekeeping done. I was gone all day and the housekeeping staff was in my wing a few doors down when I left for my day of sightseeing. This is something that really just does not sit right with me. I know the housekeeping staff has a list of occupied rooms and it may seem like a simple oversight, but it was yet another issue that I have had during my few stays with SPG properties. The front desk seemed to not care when I called down to inquire about it. Since I was only there for 2 nights and am not that messy of a person, I decided it wasn’t worth wasting my time – but it was still somewhat annoying that a basic tenant of a hotel stay was gomered.
I don’t know why, but I always seem to have bad luck with SPG properties. Not in the sense that my stay is ruined, but in the sense that random issues always leave me walking away wondering why I opted to stay at a SPG property over a Hilton property where at least there is some consistency. With that said, the hotel was perfectly fine for my stay as I did not end up sleeping too much. You also cannot beat the location in my opinion, which is a big plus for this hotel in my book!
What is your favorite hotel in Taipei?
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