- JX732 SIN-TPE – Economy (A350-900)
- Taipei Hilton Sinban
- Galactic Lounge, Taoyuan Airport
- JX731 TPE-SIN – Business (A350-900)
With the inaugural flight out of the way, it was time to make my way to my home for the next 3 days! This stay ended up with more hiccups than I anticipated though but I survived.
Address – No.88 Minquan Rd, Banqiao District New Taipei City, 22050, Taiwan. Website.
Contact – Tel: +886 2 29583000. Email: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org.
Location – Located in the Banqiao district, the property enjoys quite a convenient spot even though its considered far from the touristy sites. In the immediate vicinity is the Banqiao station where you’ll get access to the High Speed Rail (HSR – 高铁) and Taipei Metro (捷运) which pretty much gets you anywhere in Taipei. Within walking distance are a number of departmental stores to get your shopping fix eg Mega City, Global Mall, and Eslite Bookstore Lifestyle. There is also a 24-hr massage place directly opposite the hotel but note that they only accept cash payments. A smattering of convenience stores and local eateries are also in the area.
Price – TWD3,485++ per night for a King Guest Room booked via Hotelux under the Stay Longer and Save promotion which accords 15% discount and 50% off breakfast. I covered the entire stay of TWD12,076 with a redeemed Hotelux voucher (all the years of saving them up!) so yay to no cash outlay!
Prior to arrival – I initiated correspondences with the hotel earlier in the month of my stay to enquire about airport pick up and also the need to pre-book evening cocktails for the Executive Lounge as I read on Flyertalk that it was required. All was good. Then one day before I was due to fly, I got an email from the property ‘gently reminding’ that my booking is not considered a direct booking and hence all Diamond benefits will not be accorded including access to the Executive Lounge which I had banked on for breakfast and dinner + drinks. Suffice to say that really got my annoyed and I made sure they are aware of my displeasure at being informed past my cancellation dateline (and they had so many opportunities to inform way earlier). I reached out to Hotelux meanwhile to clarify as they had marketed themselves as being the platform which allows for double dipping for accrual of Hotelux points + the hotel’s membership programme.
To their credit, Hotelux offered to comp breakfast at the restaurant while they contact the property. They then later came back to apologise that it was indeed true sadly. After a few back and fro, by the afternoon of the 2nd stay, they reached back out to confirm that the property will honor my Executive Lounge access. While very frustrating and I never knew what exactly were the issues, I am super glad it was resolved in time (I missed access for my first night after checking in but still had two more evenings to go).
Getting there – As I was only landing at 18:50, I didn’t want to have to deal with finding my way at that hour so I bought an airport pick up on Klook for SGD43.95 which would have been the same cost as a taxi based on my research. So why not? Driver was holding a signage with my name on it as I exited the arrival hall and I made it to the hotel in 40mins without traffic.
Check In – I was immediately attended to at the main reception and formalities took only 10mins. I was told that I have been upgraded to an Executive King and given a welcome bag containing a can of sparkling water + local snack.
Room – My Executive King (40SqM), 2913, was super spacious for 1pax!
The door opens up to the bathroom space, with the open concept dual sink to the left for a start and the very generous shower space, bathtub equipped with bath salt, and toilet to the right. Toiletries are pump-sized Crabtree & Evelyn ones which were great!
A cosy wardrobe and mini bar area sit in the next area – the usual necessities to make your stay more comfortable including a nespresso machine with pods.
The main bedroom area is a spacious block even for 2pax! I liked very much the modern classy tones of the space which was a treat to come back to after a long day of exploring.
In the middle sits a nice firm king bed flanked by bedside tables, a work desk + chair, and a chaise lounge. No issues with bedside charging as USB and 2-pin ports are available on both sides, alongside lighting controls.
Executive Lounge – Located on the 27th floor and opened from 7:30am – 9:00pm daily, this lounge covered me for breakfast and dinner + drinks from Day 2 onwards which was very much appreciated.
The space itself was all modern classy with 2 indoor sitting areas (the outdoor space was closed due to rainy weather). While the space felt sufficient most times, it did feel they could so with more seats to accommodate the crowd especially during evening sessions.
Off hours, non-alcoholic drinks and nuts are available.
Breakfast (7:30am-10:30am) – A small selection of food is on offer, with a quintessential egg station. The usual suspects of carbs, eggs, cold cuts, cheeses, bacon etc worked well for me.
Evening Cocktails (6:30pm-8:30pm) – Flyertalk peeps definitely weren’t kidding when they discussed the situation! It is for this reason that guests are required to pre-book a timing to enjoy this session on Sat-Mon nights of 6:30pm-7:20pm and 7:40pm-8:30pm – it is recommended to pick the first session where possible as the staff seem to be okay with letting guests stay on if there is no one waiting for tables for the second session.
I was there on a Friday and Sat nights. On both nights, the hungry crowd descended upon the food as soon as they think it’s open for taking, sometimes even before that by unwrapping the cling-wrapped plates themselves while staff would still be prepping. It was one of the most chaotic executive lounge situations I’ve ever seen and even though things were still somewhat orderly and civil at most times, the ambience was definitely impacted by the “you snooze you lose” madness. Staff could hardly replenish fast enough and kudos to them for maintaining their posture when faced with the demanding hungry horde.
The food on offer was to be fair quite decent and definitely enough for dinner – carbs, proteins, cheeses, cold cuts, salads, appetizers, fruits etc. There were also rotations across the two evenings which I thought was a nice touch.
Drinks wise, there were 2 reds, 2 whites, a rather nice sparkling rose, beers, spirits, and an interesting G&T in a can by Kavlan. More than enough for an indulgent night for sure.
Facilities – Hopped by these facilities located on level 32 which is accessible via a flight of stairs on level 31. The swimming pool was small but seem fun for a soak but really sunny.
The fitness centre was spacious and seemed adequate for a basic workouts.
Other F&B – I had the opportunity to have a go at some non-lounge eats as well.
Breakfast at Market Flavor – I had the chance to try this for my first morning courtesy of Hotleux and boy was it plenty much! Pre-booking are necessary from Sat-Mon mornings and timings are as follow.
The restaurant is located on level 2 – a big space of plenty seatings in an almost casual canteen of sorts.
Food on offer is everything you can think of: local delicacies, western, japanese, and just about anything else. Coffee was sadly quite weak though.
Room Service – I ordered this as dinner for my first night for TWD484 in total which I thought was not too bad for the convivence. Food came in 40mins and made for a decent healthy dinner at 9pm+.
Service – No complains on the service front and I honestly commend the Executive Lounge team for keeping their smiles and postures throughout the erm trying times.
Check Out – Completed in person at the front desk at 4:15am and the property wanted to charge me for the first morning’s breakfast which was supposed to be covered by Hotelux, but were quick to take it off the bill when clarified.
did not regret my choice for my 3 nights and a great use of my Hotelux points redemption! I actually quite liked the location if you don’t have to that close to the touristy sights – worked well for me for a chillax hop for sure.