Sheraton Taipei, Taiwan [Master Thread]

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Old Dec 19, 02, 8:57 pm
  #16  
 
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I've stayed at the Westin in Taipei this past August and had a wonderful time. Having never stayed at the Sheraton, there, I cannot make a comparison, though....

For what it's worth.

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Old Dec 19, 02, 9:16 pm
  #17  
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There is another recent thread comparing the Westin and the Lai Lai.

As a Platinum I always got at least an Executive room (which is effectively a junior suite) and often a real suite. Platinum recognition was always fine, though the "amenities" could sometimes be a bit tacky. As a Gold I believe you get a Deluxe room, which is just a bit bigger than a standard one.

Yes it is old, but it does still get used for the big government events because it is the best location relative to the political centre of the capital. (The Westin is in the financial centre perhaps 3 miles away.)

I like it, but it is very Chinese.
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Old Dec 19, 02, 11:18 pm
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Stayed in the Westin about a month ago and I can't say enough about the place and the service. Danny at the front desk went above and beyond and if you need anything while at the hotel he is your man. The Liu Yuan restaurant was excellent and I also enjoyed a good pint of Guiness at the in hotel pub(much needed after two weeks in Taitung with no decent stout). Have also stayed at the Hilton but much prefer the Westin.
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Old Dec 20, 02, 3:38 pm
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just bringing up this post again i'm planning to stay there over new year. i have been told the air conditioning system will be under maintainence for one day of my stay and only the fan will be available. what is the weather like in Jan in taipei? will it be bearable staying in this hotel if for 1 day the a/c isn't working??
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Old Dec 20, 02, 4:21 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by kawoh:
just bringing up this post again i'm planning to stay there over new year. i have been told the air conditioning system will be under maintainence for one day of my stay and only the fan will be available. what is the weather like in Jan in taipei? will it be bearable staying in this hotel if for 1 day the a/c isn't working??</font>
I wouldn't worry about air conditioning in January. It's going to be in the 40's to 50's (Fahrenheit) in January. You'll be looking for central heat, if anything.
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Old Dec 20, 02, 8:06 pm
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The Sheraton Lai Lai was probably really nice back in it's day, but compared to newer properties, it's nothing to write home about. Rooms are big but not plush. It definitely needs updating. Used to be that you could order all movies for one day for the price of one but they changed that a while back. If you're female they have an exlusive "ladies floor" for you. I've found service always to be excellent though and it has withstood the earthquakes I have experienced in Taipei.
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Old Dec 20, 02, 8:14 pm
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I've never NOT been upgraded at this hotel. Executive rooms, and suites are all spacious although not luxurious by any means. The bathrooms definitely need updating. I've also been there several times when they were hosting government functions....so that's true what you heard.
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Old Dec 21, 02, 9:44 am
  #23  
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Do a Search here and you will find many more comparisons and comments about this property. You will find there are at least three other threads from the past several months which may help you decide. Enjoy your time in Taipei, I found the Sheraton quite good in all respects, though showing its age in a quaint, not negative, way.
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Old Dec 21, 02, 2:52 pm
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I've not stayed there, but have enjoyed the F&B outlets at the Lai Lai. I found the restaurants to be good and the location of the property to be excellent. I wouldn't hesitate to stay there if a good rate were to come up. There are several better properties in Taipei though, such as the Crowne Plaza, Hyatt, and Westin.
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Old Feb 22, 03, 2:32 am
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Sheraton Taipei, Trip Report (Feb 2003)

The sheraton taipei is an older hotel, built in the early 1980s I believe, and is also one of Taipei's largest hotels (600 or so rooms I believe).

I stayed there for 4 nights in February 2003. Here is my report.

Arrived at the hotel late one evening after a flight from HKG on TG. Chiang Kai Shek International Airport is quite a distance from Taipei, around a 1 hour drive, so be prepared for this, I took the airport-city shuttle bus, the bus drops you right outside the side entrance to the hotel. THis is definitely the way to go, the fare was about US$5 each way. The buses leave regularly (every 15 mins or so), Taiwanese don't speak very good english, but if you say 'lai lai' they will know you mean the sheraton. Before SPG took over, it used to be the lai lai shangri-la.

Also another tip - change your money at the airport, the rate is quite competitive and they have no excess fee/service fee. You can get a money changer just as you exit. The airport is VERY dated... looks like it got caught somewhere in 1974..! but I believe they have a newer terminal as well, I arrived in the old one though.

Got to the hotel, they had my reservation in the system. I booked directly with the hotel (via email), they were very efficient and quite friendly. The rate was NTD$4,150 plus 10% service charge (they ALWAYS add this at hotels in Taiwan, so expect it). This equates to about A$210 or so or about US$130/night.

I am an SPG Gold (comp'd), here are the details on what I got, as I don't stay at Starwood properties often I'm really clueless if I got treated better or worse than other guests who are non SPG members.

Anyhow, they confirmed my rate, gave me my card, swiped my credit card and I was away. They gave me a room on the non smoking floor as requested. They gave me a room one level below the club lounge I believe, but was told the club lounge would be closed over chinese new year, as would be the pool because it was winter.

The room was huge (great, compared to my very very squeezy room at the Kowloon Hotel, Nathan Road HKG the day before). What a relief. THe decor was very 1980s and very chinese in look. They had a blue-grey bed cover, sliding wadrobe as you come in, pretty average toiletries.

A fruit basket was waiting for us with bannanas, apples, oranges, one bottle of water and ice. They do have broadband internet in the room, but it is around US$15/day or so.

THe bathroom had a bathtub and shower in one, a stool, shavers, toothbrushes, etc. There were two chairs and a table plus a weird outfit in the corner, almost like a mini kitchen with a hot water kettle where you push to get the water, various snacks (lots!), plus beverages. This I assume is their mini bar. From the window you could see the Mitsukoshi building, currently the tallest building in Taipei.

Had a good sleep that night, though I found there was a bad stain on the carpet near my bed and the controls for the alarm clock had the previous guests orange juice one it and it was very sticky. Pretty poor form.

The gym at the hotel is quite dated, but reasonable in size, and has views across taipei -- very beautiful. They have joggers, cycling machines, free weights, machines, a rower, and one gym instructor. They also have 3 tv's with cable. Near the gym they also have a hair dresser, and a manicure/beautican. As mentioned earlier the pool was closed, but they do have squash courts which were open.

They replaced the fruit basket and water daily which was great. I'm unsure if this is an SPG amnenity. They have around 4 or 5 SPG floors and they also have a womens only floor in the hotel.

Checkout was quick and smooth, one remark I do have, after walk in and out of the entrance at least a dozen times, only ONCE was the door opened by the bellmen. When I arrived there were 6 bellmen all standing near the desk, no more than 4 meters away from us, and none of them moved to

a) open the door for us when we were carrying our heavy bags
b) offer to help us with our luggage

This is really poor form.

Overall, I was reasonably happy with the hotel for the price, I only stayed at this hotel, because the Hilton which is in a better location is no longer a hilton property. The rumour has it from friends I have in Taipei is that Hilton pulled out, because the hotel was very sub standard. I walked past the hotel and was a little shocked they actually used to call that hotel a hilton property.

There is a train station right next to the sheraton hotel which can get you virtually anywhere in taipei.

The night markets in taipei are superb and I loved taipei heaps, definitely worth a visit by any FT who has the time. I'm going back again this year and will probably stay at the lai lai again or perhaps try the Hyatt or Westin (though the Westin is quite pricey i believe and not in the most convenient location).

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Old Feb 22, 03, 7:48 am
  #26  
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Thanks for the report. I spent 9 months living in the Lai-Lai in 2000 and went there regularly until about a year ago. I like it very much, but it certainly isn't modern and generically "international 5*".

The room you got sounds like a deluxe, which is a one-class upgrade. Platinums get an executive (which is a very big single room) or occasionally a two room suite.

One point on the aiport... there is also an ATM which has always been very reliable for me. Turn right as you exit arrivals in Terminal 1 (the old one) and it's on your right before the hotel desk (i.e. at the opposite end of the hall to the desk where you get tickets for the bus).

[This message has been edited by christep (edited 02-22-2003).]
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Old Feb 22, 03, 10:04 am
  #27  
 
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A great report! Thanks, kawoh.

I also stayed there last week for the first time in I don't know, maybe one or two years.

This was my perhaps fourth or fifth stay. A Platinum upgrade to a suite was given for all these stays, and the last time, a 100TWD voucher for meals and a coupon for a night club also came along.

I was politely asked to check in at a separate desk, opposite the check-in counter.

They still have the women's only floor? I was given a suite once on that floor before once. I am a man, btw. I didn't ask for a room on that floor specifically.

It was pinkish all over. One day I took an elevator from the ground floor. There was in the elevator a lady who apparently had a room, and next to mine, on the same ladies' floor.

Well, since 'our' rooms were on the same floor, she got off the elevator and so did I. And it turned out that I was following her and she just kept staring at me until I hit my room! It was really embarrassing. She must have wondered what I was doing on that floor.

I find the Hyatt much nicer, except the location. It's a bit way out. The gym is definitely better at the Hyatt and the Westin.

The Westin is fine with the Heavenly Bed. I can also take that location as well.

Taipei airport's new terminal is great. SQ and UA use it.
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Old Feb 22, 03, 3:59 pm
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Thanks Chiangi, christep, I forgot to mention - I was also given the free nightclub voucher and the NTD$100 room service discount, so this must be standard fare for SPG members.


[This message has been edited by kawoh (edited 02-22-2003).]
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Old Feb 22, 03, 9:51 pm
  #29  
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When I used to stay there the nightclub was always free entry to hotel guests anyway. Maybe not anymore.
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Old Feb 27, 03, 7:00 pm
  #30  
 
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Stayed there last week. Upon checkin, was told I am VIP (I wish I am) and was checked in at the desk across. No mention and didn't know they have club lounge. It doesn't matter since I arrived at 10pm and left 5:30am the next morning for an early flight. No fruit basket (indicated in my reservation) probably due to late checkin. Upgraded to suite. While the room is a little dated, very Chinese and I like it a lot. The hotel is downgraded to Cat2 this year so it is an excellent value using SPG *points.

[This message has been edited by OnePassLover (edited 02-27-2003).]
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