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Did you know that there were Michelin rated hotels? I did not. After staying at a Michelin Hotel in Taipei, I now know about them. It’s kind of weird that an American tire company’s review on food and hotels carries a lot of weight. But not so much when it comes to tires.
I was lucky enough to stay at the 台北老爺大酒店 Hotel Royal-Nikko Taipei in a corner suite for free. Someone I know won a free voucher and invited me for the journey. Would I actually pay to stay here? Nope, because I’m poor. I’m a hostel person (also not hostile) who can sacrifice comfort for value.
So, let’s get into the review. The 台北老爺大酒店 Hotel Royal-Nikko Taipei is a hotel on the West side of Taipei by Zhongshan station. This area is very popular with Japanese visitors and at the Hotel Royal-Nikko Taipei you can find many Japanese guests along with business executives and government officials.
Pretty much, The Hotel Royal-Nikko Taipei is the premium hotel for any Japanese visitor. The hotel was great, but not that great. Maybe it’s because I’m cheap and I expect a lot more from an expensive hotel than an affordable hotel.
It’s about a 5-minute walk to Zhongshan Station (7-minutes if you catch the red light). There is no immediate convenience store on this block and the closest convenience stores are a 5-minute walk. But if you’ve got the cash to stay here, you can probably afford the overpriced mini-bar items which sell things for about 3x the price or more.
There is a convenience store directly across the street, but the crosswalks are pretty far and you can’t illegally cross the street because of several barricades.
Besides the station, you can find A LOT of good restaurants in this area. Since this area is popular with Japanese tourists, you’ll of course find a lot of Japanese restaurants in this area. Personally, I love the Zhongshan area because it’s a hip neighborhood with lots of places to eat and a lot of cool local shops by Taiwanese designers.
Upon walking into the hotel, they have bellhops dressed in nice uniforms opening the doors and to warmly greet you. For a fancy hotel, the lobby is pretty small.
Checking in was smooth. They receptionists were very warm and friendly. They gave us a lot of information about the hotel and features before we proceeded to the room.
When I left for the evening it was raining. You can borrow umbrellas at the entrance/exit for free, just give them your room number.
The corner suite is nice, but the price tag isn’t. I looked at the official website price and it was going for NT$13000/night (US$420) for the night of my stay. The hotels I can get in Taipei for $42/night are nice enough for the value.
The corner suite comes with 2 bathrooms. One bathroom right by the entrance/next to the living room area and another in the master bathroom.
I loved the layout of the room. It was very efficient and functional for the space.
The minibar was of course very expensive. It’s very common with more expensive hotels to have a fridge in the room loaded with items you have to pay for. I don’t like it because you have to take items out of the fridge if you want to store something. I always prefer an empty fridge just so I can store my drinks or leftovers.
The bathroom in the corner suite was nice! It had a luxurious tub with a separate standing shower. Above the bathtub was a TV you could watch while bathing. I liked that but didn’t use it. You could also watch that TV from the toilet if you leave the door open…that’s actually a much more useful feature for a hotel to have. You will use the toilet and you will use the TV. Just combo them!
Both toilets had a premium Japanese bidet, which I always use because it’s a super premium toilet experience. If you don’t have one, you should absolutely get one. It will be the best bathroom experience of your life!
For some reason, all the beds in suites were 2 double beds. That’s consistent with their website too. In my travel experience, suites tend to always be one large bed, so this was very different.
This was a big breakfast buffet! It had elements of Western, Chinese and Japanese food. They had a chef that made 8 different custom dishes. I loved the variety of the breakfast buffet, but the overall quality of the food was average.
By that I mean, I wouldn’t pay for the breakfast buffet if it wasn’t included with the room rate. Taipei has a lot of amazing food so I wouldn’t waste stomach space on average (and expensive) food.
With land scarce in Taipei, hotels with pools in Taipei tend to put them on the rooftop. At 台北老爺大酒店 the Hotel Royal-Nikko Taipei, the pool is on the rooftop (13F). To get there, you have to take the elevator to the 12th floor (that’s the highest the elevator goes) and then walk up a set of stairs to the 13th floor.
The pool is relatively small, but there is poolside services for food and drinks available along with shaded lounge chairs.
There is one sauna available in the hotel on the 13th floor (rooftop level). There’s a time split between men and women (probably rotates). When I was there, it was a women’s sauna from 9-12, mens’ from 12-15 and so on. Rotating every 3 hours. That’s kind of a dangerous move since the sign was only in English, Chinese and Japanese.
There is a small gym on the rooftop. During my visit, no one was there, so I guess they were right in investing in a small gym.
The Royal Bakery at the Hotel Royal-Nikko sells some premium desserts. It seems that their known for their nougat so I gave that a shot. Honestly, I couldn’t taste a significant difference from most of the other nougat candies I’ve tried in Taiwan.
If you’re looking to score a free full-sized sample, you can pick up one of the sample nougat pieces for free at the bakery counter. Life hack!
I had a great stay at the Hotel Royal-Nikko Taipei. The hotel was very modern Japanese and I loved the location. BUT, financially I think it’s not a great value for what you get.
My favorite Japanese hotel is the Intercontinental Osaka. I know that’s SUPER expensive [SEE PRICE] but the level of quality justifies the price. The Intercontinental Osaka is probably my favorite hotel because the employees were the nicest and most resepctful level I’ve ever seen. It set my standard for 5-Star because the employees would bow and not get back up until you addressed them or left.
After checking in to the hotel, they had an advertisement stating that there’s a 10% discount for hotel guests at the Royal Bakery and at the hotel restaurant. Since I had some friends in town, that 10% discount was used in buying some pineapple cake at the Royal Bakery.
It’s food, but you’re not going to enjoy it
Didn’t meet minimum meal expectations
Satisfying and an adequate meal.
So good you’ll eat here again!
You will remember this meal for the rest of your life!
Not required or expected. Some restaurants may have a 10% service charge.
Each rating TAIWANEATER rating is comprised of Quality, Service and Value (in order of the rating’s most important points).
QUALITY: The [Quality] is based on how good the food tastes and the presentation.
SERVICE: The [Service] is based on the dining experience. This includes the ambiance of the restaurant and how the interactions with the staff.
VALUE: The [Value] is based on both the Quality and Service in relation to the price. Ratings for food with a low price are a little more generous than food with a high price.
The primary payment method for all transactions in Taiwan is cash. It’s very rare for small shops to take anything other than cash. It’s more common to see places accept the Taipei Metro Card as payment rather a credit card.
Supermarkets and convenience stores in Taiwan (7-Eleven, Family Mart) do not accept credit cards (at least not American credit cards). You can only make purchases by cash or by using your pre-loaded funds on your EasyCard.
You can exchange money at the airport or any bank in Taiwan. The rates vary from bank to bank and it can be a hassle to get a good rate. For additional information, check out my Exchanging Money In Taiwan Guide.
The purpose of this review is to give an honest opinion of the food you can eat in Taiwan. Many people come to Taipei to try out Taiwanese food and end up eating at low quality places meant for tourists. This is because they don’t know where the best restaurants to eat in Taipei are or because they were recommended food by a tourist rather than Taiwan Travel Blog that has researched and tried all the best Taipei eats.
TAIWANEATER is a Taipei Travel Blog bringing you honest feedback about all the Best Food to eat in Taipei, Top Restaurants in Taipei, Best Desserts in Taipei, Taiwan Night Market Guide, Best Cheap Places To Eat in Taipei and the Best Street Food In Taipei.
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