This Taiwanese owned, Japanese style hotel opened in early 2017 and is located approximately 40 minutes from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. We took the MRT airport line direct to Taipei Station from where we connected to a service along to Sonjiang Nanjing station located just five minutes walk from the hotel. Step free access is available at all metro stations making it easy to transport our large suitcases. The nearest exit from the metro station to the hotel is Exit 5 but it’s best to use Exit 1 which is slightly further away when transporting luggage as it has lift access.
Arrival and check-in:
On arrival at the hotel we used the ramp access to avoid having to carry our suitcases up a few steps and were greeted with smiling faces in the bright, spacious entrance lobby. Our check-in was speedy and efficient with the clerk speaking perfect English. We’d reserved a superior room and were soon taking the lift up to the 10th floor.
The hotel has 116 guest rooms located over 14 floors. The rooms on each floor are themed with the four seasons featuring cherry blossom in springtime, lotus flowers in summer, maples in autumn and winter plums. To me, the most exciting part of checking in to a new hotel is tapping the key card on the door reader and stepping inside the room. First impressions mean so much as the room will be our home away from home for several nights, in this case for an entire week.
Well, what can I say, the room looked even nicer than its appealing photos on the website and we knew instantly that we would be happy spending time in it. Our spacious high floor room had a large window from where we could look down on the bustling life of central Taipei from the comfort of our attractively upholstered window seat.
The rooms are soundproofed and we didn’t encounter any street noise or sounds from neighbouring rooms during our stay but it might be a good idea to request a room on a high floor to be certain you are away from traffic noise as the hotel is located on the corner of a busy junction. We usually request a high floor as these often benefit from better views than nearer to ground floor level.
The king size bed was fitted with superior quality bed linen and both the mattress and pillows were very comfortable, sending us off to sleep in seconds. All rooms come equipped with a fridge, hospitality tray, air-conditioning, super fast wi-fi, two televisions, complimentary water, bath robes, slippers and a hairdryer.
The huge marble bathroom was a joy to use with its large walk-in shower cubicle and separate deep bath tub fitted with its own television and bath side controls.
There’s also a Japanese style electronic WC with heated seat and other functions and a huge illuminated fog free mirror which always stayed clear even when the bathroom was hot and steamy. Near the door was an electric do not disturb/please make up my room indicator that are becoming more common these days and so much better than the cardboard signs to hang on the door handle which sometimes fall off.
The hotel has a restaurant serving food throughout the day. We didn’t eat there as we wished to try various different places around the city but we did enjoy breakfast in the restaurant each morning.
The modern decor features some very large communal tables in the centre of the restaurant with smaller tables seating two or four around the edges. We sat in the window each morning enjoying the views whilst tucking into our dumplings, noodles and other dishes. On several mornings we chatted with two ladies from Japan enjoying a short break in Taipei. They had both visited England and enjoyed reminiscing about their U.K. holidays.
The large buffet comprised a mixture of both Western and Asian cuisine with several of the hot dishes changing daily. The selection catered for all tastes with cereals, toast, yoghurt and fruit for those not keen on starting the day with local delicacies.
The restaurant staff were very friendly and helpful, restocking the buffet frequently and keeping the tables spotlessly clean. Guests are requested to clear away their own breakfast trays and place them in racks near the kitchen door before leaving the restaurant (in the style of IKEA). We didn’t have any problems with this as it only took a minute and was hardly difficult.
Out and About:
Yangmingshan National Park
This volcanic park is located across Taipei and New Taipei City. It is easily reached by Bus 260 from Taipei main station which terminates at the flower clock. The park is at its best in May when cherry blossom and Cala lilies are in bloom. There are numerous trails of differing lengths and it’s a pleasant place to explore whatever the time of year.
Beitou Hot Springs
From Yangmingshan National Park I suggest taking a minibus to the nearby hot springs where visitors can follow a trail and feel the hot steam rising from the stream.
Visitors can also pop into the adjacent Beitou Hot Springs Museum (free entry). The public bathhouse was constructed in 1911 and was at that time, the largest n East Asia. After being used for several purposes, was opened as a museum in 1998. It was interesting to view the original public bath (no longer in use) and to learn about the hot springs.
Before leaving Beitou we explored its public library which is absolutely gorgeous. It’s been included in a poll of 25 of the most beautiful libraries in the world and with its traditional wooden balcony its easy to see why.
Accessed from Taipei 101 metro station. At a height of 509.2 metres, this was until 2010 the world’s tallest building. This iconic tower has a pale green tinted glass exterior over 8 tiers of pagoda like shapes creating the impression of bamboo. The lift takes only 37 seconds to ascend 89 floors to the indoor viewing deck.
Whilst there, don’t forget to take the steps down one floor to inspect the huge damper. Taiwan straddles the Pacific Ring of Fire, an arc of fault lines occasionally erupting in earthquakes. Typhoons are also common in this region so vibrations in Taipei 101 are dampened by suspending a massive steel ball from the 92nd floor to reduce lateral vibration.
Take the MRT to Xiangshan and follow signs to the Xiangshan (Elephant Mountain) trail. It takes approximately 25 minutes to reach the summit by way of a vertical stone staircase. Reaching the summit, walkers are rewarded with some stunning views over the city and of Taipei 101. We actually followed the trail twice, once in daylight and the second time to watch the sun set as we enjoyed the walk so much.
Taipei Zoo & Maokong Gondola
Take the MRT to Taipei Zoo Station and enjoy wandering through the attractively landscaped zoo gardens.
The Zoo is located on a hill and if you leave by its upper exit you can enjoy taking a ride on the Maokong Gondola up to the hilltop village of Maokong. After making a brief stop at the Zhinan station to view the temple, continue to the top station. Strung along the narrow road are numerous cafes and street food vendors.
Visit the Tea Promotion Centre (approximately 25 minutes walk from the gondola station) which offers tastings of three varieties of Taiwanese tea.
In the Exhibition Hall one can learn everything about tea from picking the leaves to brewing methods. Afterwards visitors are able to enjoy complimentary cups of Oolong Mountain tea in the garden overlooking the plantations.
Luxuriously appointed rooms, good breakfast buffet choices and a convenient location helped to make our week long stay in Taipei a memorable one. I would have no hesitation in booking this hotel again on a future visit to Taipei.
Green World Grand Nanjing Hotel, No.8, Sec.3, Nanjing E. Road, Zhongshan District, Taipei City 104, Taiwan
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