Sheraton Grand Taipei

100   Recommended

Exec Premier
August 14, 2018 by
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Exec Premier

Liked:
Location
Service
Food
Amenities
Room

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Room
Exec Premier

We stayed at Sheraton Grand Taipei last year and were pleased, particularly due to the excellent Club Lounge.  Last month we stayed at Grand Hyatt to compare and concluded that we get better value for the money at Sheraton Grand, so we returned, this time for a 3-night stay.  I initially considered going to the Westin because point redemptions were not available at Sheraton for our dates and I had two Platinum free night cat 1-5 certificates to burn.  I thought if we cannot redeem points at the regular rate, then I won’t be able to use my free nights certs, however my ambassador worked her magic and was able to get me two free nights and I paid for the other night.  My other hesitation about going to Westin is that the hotel is going to close at the end of this year so I was reluctant to stay there.  The free night certs could not be used at Le Meridien or W because those are cat 6 hotels.

We arrived at the airport around 5am and I was surprised to find out that the train to the city is not running until 6am.  It seems odd that they do not match the train schedule with the flight arrival schedule, but anyway we took the taxi to the hotel which cost 1200 TWD.  We were allowed to eat breakfast in the lounge at 7am and then we got our room keys at 10am.  

Location

As many others have mentioned in the thread, the location of the hotel is good as we can walk from the main train station to the hotel, and there is also a subway stop on the blue line right in front of the hotel.  The location around Taipei 101 (Meridien, W, and Grand Hyatt, among others) is generally more expensive than the area around Sheraton Grand, and I can understand someone who wants to pay a premium to stay near Taipei 101, but personally I think being close to the main train station is just fine for our purposes.  When going back to the airport, we walked from the hotel to the main station which takes about 15 minutes and the train to the airport costs 160 TWD per person.  The walk is not the shortest but at least it’s flat and you have an elevator to go from the street to the station.  If you are not a big walker then as others suggested a taxi from the hotel to the main station is probably wise.  

Room

Last year we got upgraded to a suite on a 7-night stay but unfortunately this time the hotel ended up being full; we got upgraded to an Executive Premier room, not a suite.  The Exec Premier room type is a bit larger (40 sq m) than the entry level room (32 sq m).  Obviously the overall experience is not as nice without a suite, however I would say that the room we got was fine.  I was glad to have the extra space over the basic room; the room has a sofa at the end of the room near the windows.  There is no DVD player unlike in the suite.  There are international power plugs near the working desk and on one side of the bed, but under the night table on the other side of the bed. Unlike a previous report by @lingua101, I was able to nap in the afternoon after a transpacific flight because at least in my room, the curtains blocked the light completely.  This is not a new and modern hotel and you can see it from the pictures, but the room was generally in good condition.  The bathroom is perhaps more refreshed than the rest of the room.  There is a stand-alone shower of a good size in the corner and a Toto Japanese-style toilet with several settings.  You can find the standard Le Grand Bain amenities, and the hotel provides useful extras which I appreciate such as mouthwash, razors, toothbrushes, an umbrella, etc.  Despite not getting a suite this time around, since I recently got upgraded to a suite at Grand Hyatt I can compare nonetheless.  One of the reasons I wanted to try a different hotel last month is that the suite at Sheraton Grand is fine, but it will not wow you since the hotel is somewhat older style.  I thought perhaps the rooms at Grand Hyatt would be better, but based on the suite I got at GH, my conclusion was that the grass is not greener over there.  Hence our return to Sheraton Grand this month.

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Dining

Oftentimes for breakfast I compromise between the better spread in the restaurant vs a more quiet environment in the lounge.  At Sheraton Grand the situation happens to be quite different than other hotels.  We went to the restaurant once for breakfast.  Most tables are in a heavy traffic area, but we got assigned a nice table by the window in a quiet area.  They had left lots of empty tables in that area whereas the main area was hectic, so I am not sure if table assignments depend on your room number and they keep the window area as quiet as possible?  On the other hand, the food options in the restaurant were only so-so relative to other restaurant breakfasts in Asia.  As mentioned in my opening comments, the strength of the Sheraton Grand is the Club Lounge, and not only for happy hour but also for breakfast. In fact, breakfast in the lounge is better than breakfast in most hotel lounges.  I enjoyed having a fish dish for breakfast and the large sushis available daily.  My takeaway for this hotel is that we’ll stick to the lounge for breakfast even though we can have a quiet spot in the restaurant; we are more than happy in the lounge with an excellent spread there.  Happy hour in the lounge is also quite good and timing is better than the norm with 3 hours for drinks.  They have sparkling wine from Chile, two choices of red wine (one Bordeaux, one Chilean) and two choices of white wine.  I found the wine to be better than what you find in most hotel lounges. They have some liquor available as well, including a cocktail which changes daily (one night was Bee’s Knees, the other was Sea Breeze) although only available in limited numbers for roughly the first hour and not restocked after.  Hot food selection is just as good and varied as when we stayed last year, but I noticed a minor downgrade for desserts however; last year were there several choices of small size luxury desserts available but this year was thinner. I would also note that the lounge felt more crowded than last year.  On the last night we arrived at 5:45pm so a bit late given that drinks start at 5pm and food starts at 5:30pm.  The only table we could find was a table for 4 so we took 2/4 seats.  Shortly thereafter a man came to sit down next to us because he did not have a spot elsewhere.  It’s one thing to have strangers sit at a table close to you, but he was literally next to my wife.  Not a big deal because he kept to himself and was quiet, but I am simply noting that an over-crowded lounge takes away partially from the experience.  I guess this particular lounge is becoming victim of its own success.

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Overall

Overall we had another fine stay, but in the future I will continue to keep my options open and we might try different properties depending on dates and rates available.  For example the points redemption at Courtyard was already quite good at 20k MR points, and it is about to drop to an even more attractive level at 12.5k MR points.  That is half of what Sheraton Grand will be (25k) and the Courtyard is a more recent hotel getting good reviews and also has a lounge (although most likely not as nice as Sheraton).  So the Sheraton Grand remains a good choice, but I will also be interested to try other properties.  

 

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