This is the second of eleven posts on Taiwan. Check out our other posts here:
- Time for Taiwan: An Introduction
- 5 Nights at the Haunted Grand Hyatt Taipei
- Sweating to Taipei’s National Sites
- Taking it to the Streets: Taipei’s Night Markets
- Hiking Elephant Mountain
- Taipei’s Cheap Eats: Savory Edition
- Taipei’s Cheap Eats: Sweets Edition
- Heading to Green Island
- Green Island’s Sites
- Hiking Taroko Gorge, Part 1
- Hiking Taroko Gorge, Part 2
Since achieving Hyatt diamond status, I’ve tried to maximize our travel returns for international trips – booking high quality, low ranked Hyatt properties. We had amazing luck getting the Park Hyatt Istanbul, a category 4 property, for the cash & points rate back in February, so I was excited to see what other properties we could visit.
While Hyatt has a relatively small footprint in Europe (basically just London & Paris, with a few other locations on the continent), it has a HUGE footprint in North Asia. Surprisingly, this doesn’t extend to Taiwan.
While Japan, China, South Korea, and Hong Kong are loaded with Hyatts, Taiwan only has the Grand Hyatt Taipei.
Topping several haunted hotel websites, the Grand Hyatt Taipei is rumored by locals to be built on top of a WW2 prison camp, and is said to have wandering spirits.
With 15 hours of jetlag between us and home, a few restless spirits were not going to stop Mrs. Selfish and I from getting a good night’s rest as long as the hotel delivered!
Getting there and booking the award
Mrs. Selfish and I landed in Taipei at 11pm, having flown to Taipei by way of Beijing, courtesy of Air China and EVA airlines. We immediately grabbed a cab for downtown, and 30 minutes and $40 later we had arrived at the Grand Hyatt Taipei.
The Grand Hyatt Taipei is a
category 4 category 3 hotel, which runs 12,000 points a night, or $75 and 6,000 points for the cash and points rate. Mrs. Selfish and I booked 5 nights under a mix of the two. Not bad, considering the basic room goes for over $300 a night!
The Grand Hyatt Taipei is a massive building, probably the largest Hyatt we’ve ever visited. Still, at midnight the lobby was dead and we were able to check-in very quickly.
I emailed the hotel ahead of time to request the Grand Club Premier King, and was excited to hear that it was available a few days before our trip.
The room is massive at over 538 square feet. Unfortunately, it is also impossible to photograph. Half of the room is a nice living room/office area.
The bedroom side is even better and came with complimentary water bottles. Water in Taiwan is supposed to be pretty safe, but Mrs. Selfish and I are extremely paranoid, so I was glad for the water.
The bathroom was probably my favorite feature, and was equipped with a bathtub and free-standing shower. The amenities were among the nicest I’ve seen in a hotel and even featured a soap bar that nearly the size of a normal bar. Unheard of, right?
The biggest feature of the room, however, was the view. We were lucky enough to get a room directly across from Taipei 101. While it was rainy and crappy during the day, it was clear and brilliantly lit at night!
Breakfast and the Lounge
While I’m a sucker for a great view, I’m an even bigger sucker for a great lounge – and the Grand Hyatt Taipei has one of the best lounges I’ve ever experienced.
Breakfast was excellent, and consisted of Western and Eastern spreads. There’s a full yogurt bar and pastry area.
Hot food is also plentiful. In addition to the usual pre-heated bacon and sausage fare, these also have an omelet bar and dim sum. You can also get soup on demand and even fresh, warmed soy milk.
The lounge also has a wide selection of fresh juices, which are kept stocked all day, including Mrs. Selfish’s favorite, watermelon juice.
Since we were recovering from jetlag, Mrs. Selfish and I often found ourselves back at the hotel in the afternoon, which allowed us to take advantage of the happy hour. The happy hour was loaded with plenty of hors d’oeurves, sweets, and a decent alcohol selection.
The highlight of the lounge, however, is the view. While it’s hard to see the top of it, the proximity to the Tapei 101 tower is definitely appreciated!
A drink with a view!
While the Grand Hyatt Taipei is certainly a large hotel, at no point did it feel like we were overlooked. The room was excellent, the service was excellent, the view was spectacular, and the lounge was one of the best I’ve ever seen. At 15,000 points a night, this place is a steal!