It was a coincidence at first, but I think It’s becoming a habit. I didn’t realize that I am booking flights that fall on my birthday. Celebrating my birthday isn’t really a thing for me that I considered it mostly as a regular day, but I think, recognizing it just gave me an excuse to book a flight and travel. Last year it was Cambodia, this year I went to Taiwan. (Check out my Cambodia Vlog series)
My travel buddy, Ruth, and I were supposed to travel to South Korea from Nov 10-15 (My birthday falls on the 12th). She was able to get a 3-year multiple visa, while I got denied on my very first Visa application. I accepted it very quickly, while Ruth took it really seriously. She even wanted to do an appeal at the embassy for we know that we have passed all the necessary requirements needed. My sister (who got a husband who works before in US embassy) told me that I might have been rejected because of the bulk in application that the embassy might have decided to prioritize those who have previous travel visas.
In our frustration, an idea came up, why not fly to Taiwan instead. After all, Taiwan is Visa-free! So with just a few days before the targeted date, we booked a flight via Eva Air. We were able to get a flight for only P8-thousand. I created a draft itinerary and was able to get a hotel as well.
So we did fly to Taiwan, and this is a portion of the story.
DAY ZERO – From Manila to Taiwan via Eva Air
Our flight was at 3:30 in the morning, I decided to do a half day at my evening shift job to get to the airport before 1:00 am. I felt it was just an ideal flight, especially that we wanted to use the day to start touring the city. Eva Air is a Taiwanese international airline based at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport near Taipei. The airline operates to over 40 international destinations in Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. It was the second largest airline and was rated by Skytrax as 5-star. My sister will love this airline for they got an existing partnership with Hello Kitty, thus they have a Hello Kitty Eva Air Jet. I wonder how it looks like inside.
We arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at around 6 in the morning. The sun was already up at that moment. Good thing there is no time difference between the Philippines and Tawain, so we do not really need to adjust our watches.
The first thing we did after getting our baggage was to exchange our Peso to New Taiwan Dollar. It was Php1 to 0.59 Taiwan Dollar at that moment. My P8-thousand was cut in half when converted.
On our way to the Grand place
The whole trip from the Airport to the Grand Hyatt Taipei Hotel took almost an hour. The duration of the trip didn’t really matter to us, after all, we were inside a limo. Funny that we were too silent the whole trip for we were trying to discern how to operate the control pad near our seat. Through the controller, I was able to move my seat and adjust the aircon; but I wasn’t able to figure out how to turn on the entertainment system. If only the driver could speak basic English and probably explain to us how to use it, it would have been better, nevertheless, the ride itself was already a fun experience.
The Grand Hyatt Taipei Hotel Experience
We did an early check-in at Grand Hyatt Taipei Hotel. Upon our arrival, I was amazed how the staff welcomed us. It was like they were waiting for a famous celebrity (or maybe a president of a company) that would stay in the hotel. Everything was already pre-arranged, as our car door opened, we were welcomed and escorted straight to our room. Inside our room, I just signed a few papers, I was given the keys and was told about some key information I needed to know about the room. No more falling in line, no registration or even dealing with our luggage, they made sure our arrival was arranged swiftly. We were even called courteously by our name. It was a true VIP experience, just how I imagined a first class hotel does it.
The Room (No, The Suite!)
Stunning. This could be the best word to describe our luxurious room (suite!). With a very spacious room (645-2,379 sq ft of space) Ruth and I could already play hide & seek. The Grand Hyatt Taipei Hotel Suite we got had one king size bed in a separate bedroom, a spacious sitting area, a dining area, a marble bathroom with a separate bathtub and a perfect view of Taipei 101, which is actually a stone-throw away from the hotel.
We got everything we needed. From the basic toiletries up to even having a complimentary bottle of wine and cookies. Triple-line telephones, Internet access, Wi-Fi and satellite channels are also available in every room. Our room (as well as the other rooms) is designed with a residential touch, where guest could easily adapt to make it his or her personal sanctuary. Blame the room for being so good that we felt like staying more inside than going out and exploring Taipei.
Another thing that we enjoyed about staying in the suite was the exclusive access to the Grand Club Lounge with daily breakfast, evening cocktails, all-day refreshments, and other benefits. One can also enjoy the convenience of online check-in and check-out when you book a room here in the hotel
- Check-in Time: 03:00 PM
- Check-out Time: 12:00 PM
Breakfast at Grand Club Lounge
Gastronomic Exploration at Grand Hyatt Taipei Hotel
Exploring the city of Taipei is really such an adventure, but also staying in this hotel could be foodgasmically exciting! Hotel Hyatt Taipei features some of the best restaurants in the city. We were able to visit all of them but was only able to dine in a few. After all, we only got a few days to stay here yet too many things to explore.
Grand Hyatt Cafe is famous in the city when it comes to buffet. As the restaurant manager toured me, I learned that most of the Taiwanese enjoyed dining here at the Cafe for its variety. Food choices were vast. One could enjoy feasting to Western, Chinese, Indian, and of course authentic Taiwanese dishes. Food choices changes eventually but for the month of December, Grand Hyatt Cafe highlights some of the famous Taiwanese dishes for local and foreign guests to enjoy.
If you are into trying some other cuisines, Grand Hyatt Taipei Hotel has the restaurant that would suit your taste. If you are into exquisite Japanese cuisine, you can visit Irodori while Bel Air Bar and Grill is renowned for its classic grilled items. For traditional Cantonese dishes, Pearl Liang is the place while Ziga Zaga offers daily live band performances from international singers.
Cheers is the perfect place for a quick meal or cocktails whilst Cha Lounge offers guests an elegant afternoon tea buffet with live piano performances. There is a also a Lobby Lounge that could offer simple light snacks accompanied by coffee and tea. Yun Jin, is the newest brand the hotel has that features authentic Chinese culinary journey.
Meetings + Events & Other things to do
Hyatt Hotel Taipei is located in the heart of the city. The hotel is in the financial center of Taiwan where multinational and local corporations are located. This could best explain why most of the guests at the hotel were in suit and tie.
With this kind of demand, the hotel manages to allocate an ample amount of spaces for this target market. As said, Hotel Hyatt Taipei is the most prestigious venue for meetings, conventions, conferences, weddings, banquets, theme parties and special events. The hotel has 13 versatile meeting rooms, including a magnificent pillar-free Grand Ballroom and The Grand Residence, a unique residential-style multi-event venue. Aside from that, all function spaces are professionally equipped with state of the art facilities.
After the very tiring conference or meeting, one can probably relax and enjoy a massage at Club Oasis Spa. If you wish for an invigorating swim or simply relax in the waters, the hotel got a unique temperature-controlled outdoor swimming pool.
Attractions near the Hotel Hyatt Taipei
As much as we wanted to stay inside our room, we would need to go out and explore the city of Taipei. Good thing is, our place is very accessible to all types of transportation. Aside from that, there are also a lot of attractions to explore near our place, that includes (of course) Taipei 101. Here are some of the things to explore near Grand Hyatt Taipei Hotel;
- National Palace Museum
- Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
- Xinyi Shopping District
- Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall
- Elephant Mountain
Will tell you stories about our trip, per location in a separate post. If it’s your first time traveling to Taiwan and wanted to know more about the place, food, ways, transportation and more, do visit my blog: