01. Introduction: To Taipei with Star Alliance and SkyTeam business class awards
02. United Airlines 737-900/ER first class San Diego to Los Angeles
03. Asiana A380-800 business class Los Angeles to Seoul
04. Incheon Transit Hotel
05. Eva Air A321 regional business class Seoul to Taipei
06. Grand Hyatt Taipei
07. The quiet serenity of Taipei during Chinese New Year
08. China Airlines Dynasty Lounge, TPE, Terminal 1
09. China Airlines 777-300/ER business class Taipei to Seoul
10. KAL Prestige Class Lounge, ICN
11. Korean Air A380-800 Prestige Class (business class) Seoul to Los Angeles
12. Delta Connection CRJ-700 first class Los Angeles to San Diego
Oh geez. I’m really starting to feel a lot like “that guy” now. You know…the stereotypical traveler from the US who goes abroad and eats nothing but McDonalds. Or the person who travels to a different country and doesn’t even make an attempt to try and speak the language. Or how about the guy who travels the world and stays at the same sterile US-based hotel chain wherever he goes? Uh oh. That one hits a little bit too close to home…
All my stays at Hyatt hotels (Denver, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, etc) are really starting to add up and I know I’m risking backlash from other seasoned travelers about how I’m not being adventurous enough with my accommodation choices. I know. I’m trying to be a little more swanky when it comes to hotel stays, I promise, but these darn Hyatt’s keep popping up in the best locations smack dab in the middle of wherever it is that I want to stay. And that’s exactly what happened for this trip to Taipei. Let me explain:
I knew absolutely nothing about the city of Taipei before making this reservation, so I did what I normally do whenever I need to do some quick research about a place and figure out where the best place to stay is for my particular itinerary: I checked with the fine people of FlyerTalk. It was there that I learned that for a Taipei newbie like me who wanted to stay in the heart of the city in a busy location, the Grand Hyatt was hard to beat. As a matter of fact, everyone kept saying that it’s the perfect choice for a traveler’s first trip to Taipei due to its central location and easy access to public transportation.
Ok then. Is that a good enough excuse? It sounded pretty good to me.
The Grand Hyatt is indeed in a good location, and right away I felt like I made a pretty good choice. It should be noted that Taipei don’t really have much of a central hub – it’s very spread out, and it doesn’t really have a “big city” feel like Hong Kong or New York. However, this Hyatt is located adjacent to the Taipei 101 Tower and observatory which, to me, is actually a very centralized location with a lot of shopping and dining options within walking distance in every direction.
As you can see from these pics, it’s a very nice and modern property. If you stay here, make sure you reserve an upper level room facing the Taipei 101 Tower. All of the other views from the other directions aren’t as interesting IMHO – just a lot of spread out “city” with not much else.
I enjoyed my stay at the Grand Hyatt quite a bit. And everyone on FlyerTalk was right – it is the perfect hotel for first time visitors, and I didn’t see any other hotels in the immediate area that made me think that I made a bad choice. The experience was typically Hyatt of course, meaning that it felt like a big corporate hotel with not much personality. This isn’t a bad thing of course, as some familiarity is comforting thing when you’re weary-eyed and far from home. But part of me does regret that I didn’t go for a more interesting boutique hotel over this very safe and predictable option.
But hey – at least I didn’t eat at McDonalds.