Courtyard Taipei = Great Value on Points Redemptions

100   Recommended

Executive King
November 27, 2018 by
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Executive King

Liked:
Location
Service
Food
Amenities
Room

Stats
Room
Executive King

Courtyard Taipei opened three years ago and was 20k pts per night before August, but since then it has come down to 12.5 pts per night. I have stayed at Sheraton Grand and Grand Hyatt Taipei before, however because of a cheap points redemption and because of great reviews of CY on TripAdvisor I decided to give it a try.  

Location

For the journey from the airport to the hotel I thought the quickest way was to take the airport MRT from the airport to Taoyuan HSR Station and then transfer to take the HSR to Nangang Station.  The total trip was supposed to be less than one hour compared to 80 minutes for the bus.  However it took more than one hour and the HSR was extremely crowded at rush hour on a Friday evening so very uncomfortable where people on the train could barely make their way to the toilet and there were suitcases blocking the way everywhere.  Also you need to pay separately for the airport MRT and then again another ticket at Taoyuan HSR station and there was a lineup there so the wait to buy tickets extended the total travel time quite a bit, not counting the time to change from MRT to HSR.  

On the way back we took bus 1843 from the Nangang bus station which is no more than 20m from the hotel door and you don’t even have to step foot outside – you just walk across the shopping mall.  The bus route is direct to the airport without a transfer for 80 min total but we found it far more convenient and more comfortable – we were almost alone on the bus on a Monday at 4pm and had free wifi and could sit down unlike in the train.  It was night and day compared to HSR.  Also I was led to believe that the bus ran only every hour but according to the schedule I got at the hotel it is more frequent than that and the wait difference with HSR is not as much as I thought.

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I found the location of the hotel quite good being connected to a shopping mall, train station, MRT station, and bus station. It’s only four stops away from City Hall station where you have Taipei 101 within walking distance and a great shopping area.  

 

Room

There were no suites available online for my dates so I did not expect a suite upgrade and I did not ask.  However when I check several dates far into 2019 I am not seeing any suites online so I am not sure if these are just not shown at all for sale so perhaps there were suites when I stayed at CY after all and I was not upgraded, I don’t know.  Anyway we got a room on the top floor (30th) which is the same as the lounge floor so this must be the “Executive King” room type.  I was quite impressed with the room considering this is a CY.  The room is large for a non-suite and given that the hotel is new, I found the room significantly better than at Sheraton Grand which is starting to get up there in age. 

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In the room you have a mobile phone with internet available that you can take with you in the city.  What a great perk to have to stayed connected while exploring the city. Also you can make free phone calls to China, USA, Canada, HK, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea.  There are not that many hotels where I have been which provides this kind of phone for guests, the others being Hyatt Regency Hong Kong Sha Tin and Grand Hyatt Bangkok.  It is not something I would expect from a Courtyard.  

If there is one drawback to the room it’s air conditioning as mentioned by several others in the thread.  The AC does not seem to respond to temperature controls at all – it kept blowing cold air regardless which temperature we set the room at so the room was way too cold and we had to manually turn on and turn off to keep the room at a comfortable and relatively stable temperature.  Obviously this is not doable in the night so we had to keep it off or otherwise we had to sleep with the bathrobe since it was so cold in the room.  

Dining

As Platinum we had the choice of breakfast in the restaurant or in the lounge, which is in contrast with several Marriott legacy hotels where you are limited to the lounge.  The choice in the restaurant is quite nice and it was not as chaotic as some other hotel breakfasts I have seen.  

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Breakfast in the lounge is more peaceful and we found choice acceptable there.  For happy hour in the lounge there is food from 5:30pm to 7:30pm and drinks are a generous 4 hours from 5:30pm to 9:30pm.  If I compare to Sheraton Grand then for sure the lounge at Sheraton is far better, in fact some people think it’s one of the best Sheraton lounges in the world.  So a CY cannot compete.  But once again for CY standards the one in Taipei is better than anticipated.  There were several options of hot food including a soup station manned by a chef.  The choice was different every day and in fact the options were even changing a few times during the two hours because when they ran out of something, on occasion they replaced it with another dish so I was positively surprised by having quite a bit of choice available.  One negative about the lounge food is that it was sometimes redundant with food offered for breakfast.  Choice of alcohol was decent including sparkling wine.  Generally speaking the lounge is bright and airy and a nice place to spend time.  However on Saturday evening the lounge was very crowded and there were many children there so not the most pleasant experience.  On Sunday evening it was significantly more quiet.  That reminded me a bit of our experience in Conrad Seoul where several locals book a staycation on Friday and Saturday evenings which means the lounge is packed, and then from Sunday to Thursday the lounge returns to normal.  

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Overall

Overall for 12.5k pts per night this is very good value and it’s hard to complain about the small issues.  Would I pay cash rates similar to Sheraton Grand for this hotel? Probably not; the rooms are nicer at CY but suite upgrades are possibly easier to get at Sheraton and the lounge is superior at Sheraton too.  Some might find the location of Nangang better for their purposes and if you care about crisp and modern rooms then maybe CY is a good choice relative to Sheraton Grand where the non-upgraded rooms are nothing to write home about.  

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This review lives in the Courtyard Taipei [Master Thread] thread.
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