Grand Hyatt Taipei = Decent Hotel But Not The Best In Town

1   Not Recommended

Room 2524 , Grand Suite
July 12, 2018 by
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Room 2524

Grand Suite

Liked:
Location
Service
Food
Amenities
Room

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Room
Grand Suite

I had a short 1-night stay at Grand Hyatt Taipei with a cash booking at the last minute.  I stayed at Sheraton Grand Taipei last year and I wanted to try some place else to compare, and the Grand Hyatt was only charging a modest price premium compared to the Sheraton Grand and the Westin.  

Location

The location of the GH is excellent, immediately next to Taipei 101 and only a short walk from the subway station.  That is probably the strongest point of the hotel because it’s very centrally located in the city.  You can reach the hotel from the airport with public transit. The train from the airport takes about 40 minutes to Taipei Main Station.  Then you can transfer to the subway red line although it’s quite a bit of a walk in the main station to reach the subway.  The GH is 7 stations away from the main station.  All in, it takes over an hour to reach the hotel.  

Room

I did not use a Globalist Suite Upgrade Award because my stay was short, but I was upgraded to a suite nonetheless. Interestingly I got suite #2524 which @cooltyler complained about in his comments in this thread a few months ago. I don’t know about the term “throwaway suite” and I cannot compare with other suites in the hotel, but I can definitely see where he’s coming from.  The Sheraton Grand was not modern by any stretch of the imagination, but I think my suite at GH was worse.  The wall between the living room and the bedroom is a cheap thin wall sheet which does not look well painted.  The layout is certainly not the best for example the hallway from the bedroom going to the main bathroom.  When you walk through the first door, you immediately face a wall, turn left and you are in a narrow corridor / closet, then the bathroom is through another door further on the right.  The position of the TV in the bedroom is not ideal either.  It’s on the wall on the side of the bed instead of being in front of the bed where there is a wall with nothing on it.  The bedroom is not very large and feels a bit cramped.  The power plugs are near the floor behind the night tables which is not what you would find in a more modern hotel.  On the plus side, there is a half bath at the entrance of the room, which is convenient. However even there the layout is odd - I don't think the wall between the toilet and the sink is useful.

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I wonder how many other suites in the hotel have the same size and layout as room 2524.  Is it the only suite with that design, and they use it mostly for Globalist suite upgrades and not for people paying cash for a suite?  If so, it would give credence to the “throwaway suite” label.  Perhaps I sound picky and who should complain about a free suite upgrade?  But the issue is that I am comparing with my previous stay at Sheraton Grand which was 7 nights, not 1, and I got upgraded to a suite there too which was generally nicer, roomier, and had better design.  

On a positive note, the bed at GH was very comfortable and I slept well.  

Dining

Breakfast is only offered in the Club Lounge for Globalists (6:30am-10:30am during the week, until 11am during weekends).  You can pay 990 TWD for breakfast in the restaurant and Globalists get a 10% discount so 900 TWD which seems on the expensive side.  Also I was advised at check-in that the restaurant can get crowded so I went to the lounge.  I found the lounge to be quite nice.  I expected a small lounge given previous comments by other posters about the difficulty to find a seat, but the lounge is large with many nooks and corners, each with tables.  If you have a group of 4-6 people you could have a semi-private area.  The downside is if you are alone or a couple, you might get someone sitting quite close to you.  There is also a long table cafeteria-style in the middle of the lounge.  I did not find the lounge crowded at all.  For both the breakfast and happy hour, the lounge was no more than 30% full.  The food offerings during happy hour (5:30pm-8pm) were good but not great.  The Sheraton Grand is clearly better particularly in terms of hot food choices. To be fair, the Sheraton’s strength is the lounge so if comparing GH with other Starwood hotels, the Grand Hyatt might fare better.  GH has a noodle station with a chef which was good, but the rest of hot food was so-so. I enjoyed the cold chicken salad and they have a good selection of desserts.  They had Chandon sparkling wine, two choices or white wine, two reds, and spirits.  The breakfast was a notch below happy hour and was nothing to write home about. There was an omelette station but no noodle dish or noodle soup.  Similar to the evening, hot food choice was limited and not on par with several other Asian hotels, and once again if I compare with Sheraton Grand, the GH lounge breakfast leaves to be desired.  

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Gym

I went to the fitness gym and it was excellent. There is a small room with free weights and a larger room with several treadmills and weight machines.  They have only 3 elliptical machines which was surprising but given that I was there during the night there was nobody else there other than cleaning staff.  

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Overall

Overall I would say it’s not a bad hotel and if I only had status with Hyatt, I would return.  I would gladly take the suite upgrade, even if the suite is not the nicest I have seen, and I would enjoy the Club Lounge benefits.  However as long as I have status with Starwood, that is probably where I will end up next time.  If I wanted to be in a similar location as GH, I would probably try the W or Le Meridien to compare with GH.  If not, then I know Sheraton Grand is ok and usually cheaper than GH.  The Westin is also another alternative but in a less desirable location. 

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