We spent one night at the Grand Hyatt Taipei for New Years Eve. I secured a rate for a Club Room for 15,000 Hyatt points because I heard that the club rooms were newly renovated. I only have Hyatt Platinum status from the Chase Hyatt credit card, so I wouldn’t be guaranteed lounge access or an upgrade. I could have paid 12,000 Hyatt points for a normal room, but I thought 3,000 Hyatt points for a club room with lounge access was quite reasonable.
New Years Eve is quite crazy in Taipei, but still very organized compared to some of the chaos we have in the states. They close down most of the streets by 7PM in the Taipei 101 district, so no taxis will take you to the area. We tried to take a taxi at around 3PM and they still wouldn’t take us. We ended up taking the bus and subway with our luggage to get to the Grand Hyatt Taipei, which was fine by me.
We arrived at the hotel at about 4PM for check-in. The front desk acknowledged my Club room and surprisingly also mentioned I had two breakfast buffet tickets. I’ve heard that the Grand Hyatt’s buffet is awesome from Hungry Girl’s guide to Taipei, so I was quite excited.
Our room was on the 18th floor and was newly renovated. Our view of the city was the backside of the hotel (opposite of 101). It was a decent view, but not as great as the view I had at the Conrad Tokyo (review to come) I liked how the window shades were all powered by a button. The decor is modern and the bathroom featured a separate bathtub and rainshower.
The location of this hotel is very convenient to the MRT subway line and right next to department stores, movie theaters, and other shopping stores. Taipei 101 is only about a 5 minute walk away. This area is probably the most upscale and nicest area of Taipei. Even so, food is still quite cheap in US standards.
Unfortunately I did not take pictures of the club lounge. The club lounge is located on the 22nd floor and has nice booths where you can hangout and eat a snack. I missed the free evening drinks, but picked up a few soft drinks. I love how in Europe and Asia, there is usually a free happy hour in the lounge.
For the New Years celebration, we ended up going to a New Year’s party that was at the hotel itself. New Years Eve is quite a big celebration in the Taipei 101 area, although its not as widely celebrated as Chinese New Year.. Basically Taipei 101 turns into a huge Christmas tree and shoots fireworks out of the building for about 5-10 minutes. From the Grand Hyatt, our view was great and didn’t have to stand for hours to save our spot. I haven’t been to Time Square, but I don’t think I’d enjoy waiting hours in a spot and jump through hurdles to use the bathroom.
Breakfast was served in the restaurant on the first floor buffet style. People in Asia like to go all out on their buffets and this buffet was no exception. Even though we ate around 930am, they already had plenty of lunch options. I ate some of the western choices then some of the Asian choices like you tiao with soy milk. They had a honeycomb that dripped fresh honey, which was sooo good. Unfortunately, from my foodie adventures in Taipei, I was always stuffed 24/7 in Taiwan.
The Grand Hyatt Taipei is a great hotel especially for only 12,000 Hyatt points. The going rate at the time was about $450, so we got a great deal. I was able to easily transfer Chase UR points from my Chase Ink Bold to Hyatt to book this hotel. The location of the Grand Hyatt Taipei hotel is very convenient to shops, restaurants, and transportation. I would definitely recommend this hotel for the leisure points traveler. Staying at the Grand Hyatt Taipei and watching the New Years Eve fireworks at Taipei 101 made 2013 memorable.
The next portion of our trip skips our flight on Cathay Pacific from TPE-KIX on economy class because it wasn’t that interesting. I was quite sad to leave Taipei because our stay felt quite rushed, but I knew Japan would be very exciting. Stay tuned to the Hyatt Regency Kyoto!