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Review: W Taipei – a sophisticated hotel in the heart of Taiwan

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This is our review of the W Taipei hotel.

After two nights closer to Ximen in Taipei (at Hilton’s Hotel Resonance, reviewed here) we ventured downtown to the commercial hub of Taipei.

W Hotels have a mixed reputation, but what I like about them is that they always have character. Each location is unique and you can always rely on a W to say something – even if it isn’t to your tastes! Our guide to W Hotels is here.

The hotel website is here. Marriott provided my stay for review purposes but we paid for all other expenses.

Review: W Taipei hotel

Where is W Taipei?

On paper, the W Taipei’s location is excellent: slap bang in the middle of Xinyi, Taipei’s downtown-come-financial district. Taipei 101 is just a block away; a multitude of malls are within a few minutes walk.

Review: W Taipei hotel

That’s on paper. In reality – whilst I loved the views of Taipei 101 – this is a very commercial area. It’s good for shopping and in-mall dining but if you want a taste of the real Taipei you need to venture a little further into the residential districts. This is just one of the reasons I preferred the location of the Hotel Resonance.

Of course you can never have everything, but it is worth considering what you value more – local neighbourhoods or the glitzy shopping and office district of Xinyi.

Getting around from the W is easy enough: City Hall MTR station is just around the corner and will whisk you East or West on the blue Bannan line. A taxi from the main Taoyuan Airport takes around 40 minutes whilst public transport is over an hour. (Get a taxi or an Uber – it is much cheaper than in London.)

Inside W Taipei

Step inside the ground floor lobby – really just a temporary holding room for the lifts up to the ‘real’ lobby on the 10th floor – and it is immediately striking that the W Taipei is more mature (and dare I say it understated) versus other W hotels in the region.

Review: W Taipei hotel

Floors 2 – 9 are largely meeting spaces, conference rooms and ballrooms. On the 10th floor is the main lobby, a large restaurant as well as the outdoor pool (which W calls the ‘WET Deck’).

We arrived at a busy time – check out – and had to wait a few moments to be seen. I was fully expecting to be told that our room wasn’t ready but they managed to accommodate us after all.

Review: W Taipei hotel

Rooms at W Taipei

We were given a ‘Spectacular Room’ with views of Taipei 101 on the 27th floor (there are 31 in total). Due to another building only very few rooms on each floor have views of the tower so this was a nice surprise.

Review: W Taipei hotel

(In W nomenclature a Spectacular Room is roughly middle of the pack, sandwiched between entry level rooms and suites.)

There are 405 rooms in total, making this one of the larger W Hotels out there. Spectacular Rooms are 43 sqm and it shows. First up is an interesting and surprisingly spacious entry hallway:

Review: W Taipei hotel

This includes a double sided wardrobe, with access from the bathroom as well. There is a separate room for the TOTO automatic toilet (heated seats and automatic flush!)

Review: W Taipei hotel

The bathroom features a walk-in shower next to a large bathtub:

Review: W Taipei hotel

…. plus a single basin. Opposite is a unique towel rail ladder – finally someone gets it!

Review: W Taipei hotel

Toiletries are by MOMO and /skin regimen/.

From the bathroom you can walk straight into the bedroom via a sliding door:

Review: W Taipei hotel

Here you’ll find a large king bed with light controls and sockets on both sides. The right hand side of the bed has a particularly large bedside table/shelf-thing.

Review: W Taipei hotel

and

Review: W Taipei hotel

Opposite the bed is the TV and, underneath, a long spacious desk.

Review: W Taipei hotel

Meanwhile, by the window, is a padded seating area for two plus a mini bar, tucked away in the white cupboard. This is fully stocked with mini bottles of spirits, wines and beers.

Review: W Taipei hotel

and

Review: W Taipei hotel

Interestingly, no coffee machine is provided. Instead, you get a rather nice cafetiere / French press.

Other features include a phenomenal Bose speaker system with dedicated subwoofer – by far the best sound system I’ve had in any hotel.

Overall the room is warm and modern, with fairly neutral tones and lovely wood panelling. It’s almost understated to the point that you could forget you are in a W!

Pool, gym and more at W Taipei

Facilities at the W Taipei are extensive, as you would expect from an international five-star brand. These are mostly located on the 10th and 12th floors. The outdoor rooftop pool is on the 10th floor, next to the lobby, and is a substantial size:

Review: W Taipei hotel

There are plenty of loungers around as well as a large terrace at the rear. Based on the layout and DJ booth, I imagine is used for pool parties during summer months (this is a W after all!)

Access to the changing rooms and spa are via the main elevators or, if you’re by the pool, you can take a dedicated lift that avoids you trekking through the hotel lobby.

Inside the changing rooms you’ll find gender-segregated saunas, hot tubs and relaxation areas. As is typical in Taiwan you are expected to strip down to your birthday suit to use these facilities.

You’ll also find a large gym on this floor – probably one of the larger hotel gyms I have seen – so you should be able to get a decent work out in!

Review: W Taipei hotel

Breakfast at the W Taipei hotel

There are two restaurants at the W Taipei – one on the 10th floor by the lobby and another on the 31st floor at the top of the hotel called Yen.

Review: W Taipei hotel

To give them credit, breakfast is served in Yen, so if you don’t have a view of Taipei 101 from your room you can see it from up here.

The breakfast buffet is spread throughout the room, so it is worth having a wander before you settle on anything. It includes a table dedicated to salads and cold cuts, including smoked salmon:

Review: W Taipei hotel

The usual pastries and breads, as well as honeycomb honey:

Review: W Taipei hotel

Yoghurts, fruits, cereals and more are also available. When it comes to hot items, there’s an egg station, congee station and Taiwanese noodle soup station whilst bacon, sausages and pre-made eggs benedict are all out.

Review: W Taipei hotel

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a hotel with a bit of personality in Taipei then the W Taipei is a great option. The hotel scene in Taipei is not the most exciting for a city of its size (although an Andaz is coming, which should give the W a run for its money) and the W does the job.

As W hotels go, the W Taipei is a mature and considered approach to the brand, offering classier style than some of its more garish counterparts.

What I think it does really well is combine the personality of the W brand without going overboard and veering into tackiness. It feels sophisticated.

You might want to consider the W even if you’re put off by some of the other Ws around, and indeed the hotel seems to be equally popular with business travellers during the week days and partygoers / weekend trippers at the weekend.

Rates start at £215 per night whilst Marriott Bonvoy redemptions are from 65,000 points per night. You can find out more, and book, on the hotel website here.


How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (December 2023)

There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.

You can apply here.

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20,000 points sign-up bonus and 15 elite night credits each year Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.

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You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:

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The conversion rate from American Express to Marriott Bonvoy points is 2:3.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Marriott Bonvoy points

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (13)

  • Budva says:

    I stayed there earlier this year and loved it. It really is a great location. Room furniture and cupboards had a flat pack feel but service was excellent. There was a very broad demographic staying there at the time also.

  • Roberto says:

    If you book a transfer with the hotel + staying in the upper range of suites, you will be met at the lower lobby by someone from reception.

    We were met by the lovely Ms. Ping who asked if there is anything that needs the hotel’s attention. Responded by us by “firm pillows, mint tea, extra bottles of water”. She was talking in her mobile earpiece, we were escorted from lower lobby to upper lobby, a short tour of the hotel facilities and when we reached our room, all requests were executed to perfection! W Taipei’s modern internal bluetooth communication system for guest wishes was an eye-opener for us !

  • Novice says:

    This looks good.

  • Mike Hunt says:

    “Here you’ll find a large kind bed”. – oooh I do love a kind bed !

  • Greenpen says:

    It is the variability of W that makes it a difficult chain to use. In Singapore the W Sentosa was great but the Bangkok one awful! And their room descriptions are even more baffling than the usual deluxe, executive, superior nomenclature others have.

    One of my main complaints with top hotels is being able to sort out their room grades. Bigger rooms are cheaper than broom cupboards, two seemingly identical rooms have a vast difference in price.

    Anyone. Help with Marina Bay Sands which I want to stay at in February? I can’t make head or tail of their various room descriptions!

    • HH says:

      Don’t stay at MBS unless you’re after a ‘Russian mafia meets Instagram influencers’ vibe (the Novikov crowd, in other words). Lunch at the Wolfgang Puck restaurant on the rooftop was enjoyable though, including a walk past the aquatic zoo they call their rooftop infinity pool.

      • @thirdpassport says:

        … and make sure your travel insurance covers selfie stick-related injuries. There are a lot of selfie sticks in the pool area.

    • SBIre says:

      MBS room types are very confusing and have only gotten worse with the “collections”. I think it is best to search by date and sort by price. Having said that, I stayed there a few years ago and wanted a club room with late (6pm) check out, which seemed to be sold out, but I contacted the hotel directly via email (room.reservations@…) and they sorted me out, and gave me a huge upgrade when I arrived. If you want a pic at the pool, go early (before breakfast). Otherwise enjoy the people watching – it’s hilarious!

  • meta says:

    As Rhys noted, the area around Taipei 101 is practically dead. The only thing that’s good is that is closer to hiking trails. You are better of staying in either Ximen or Zhongzhen, especially near Taipei Main station. You can also do in-town check in at that station (certain airlines only I think).

  • Chris says:

    The best room views of Taipei 101 have to come from the Shangri La. We have not long come back from there big rooms, roof top pool overlooking all the main areas.

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