Saturday, May 18, 2024

Regent Taipei Encore

“I felt I am right at home…,” this may be a little bit of overstatement as we were checking in to Regent Taipei at their top floor Tai Pan Lounge, but I did feel totally at ease to stay in the familiar ground when we spent a few days in Taipei in early April. I was there for a quick stay back in October during our whirlwind tour of Taiwan, but this time, two of us got to spend more time with this legendary hotel right in the busiest district in Taipei. 

Their Tai Pan Lounge is still my favorite part, offering services round the clock with food and drinks made to order. Their breakfast offering is for sure some of the best I have ever experienced on a hotel executive lounge, to the extent we didn’t even bother to check out their main restaurant downstairs throughout our stay. During afternoon and early evening they offer a nice selection of hot and cold dishes with a well-equipped bar for wine and cocktails too. We shared a fair deal of time just chilling on one of their couches, munching and sipping on something, before we headed out for dinner or concert or departure to airport on our last day. They also helped us sort out a few minor details of logistics including making booking for massages, transportation etc, which just made our stay even more comfortable. 

We stayed on the Tai Pai floor once again, just steps away from the Lounge (that’s a bonus too) so we had both the privacy and convenience, and an impressive view of the park with view of Taipei 101 on one side from the high floor. 

I still didn’t manage to have a dip in the pool during our visit – it was a little crowded when we went one weekend morning, but the health club in the basement were amazing, with hot and cold tub, sauna and steam room, plus all the equipment of course. My only complaint is to get there you need to change elevator once at the lobby, and walk all the way down from our room on top floor, to the health club floor on the second basement floor. Not the easiest maneuver walking into the busy lobby in gym wear. 

Overall the location was perfect for us. Our main event of the trip is the concert at Taipei Arena on Saturday, and while they may not be the closest hotel to the venue, it’s only a quick 10 minute bus ride down a few blocks on Nanjing East Road. They are also the closest in Taipei City if you came from Taoyuan International Airport – this time we arrived at lightning speed, getting off the plane, going through immigration and customs, hopping on the car and chilling in our room, all done within 90 minutes. For those frequent travelers to Taipei, you know that’s pretty much as fast as you can get. 

Last trip I kept the Beef Noodles at azie to the last thing to do at the hotel; this time that’s our first order of business upon arrival from airport. Both beef noodles – the “Champion Beef Noodles” based on clear meat broth and “Regent Beef Noodles” with the richer broth – were excellent as usual, and we also loved the steamed wontons with red chili oil for the nice balance of flavor. And we also went to check out the award-winning Curious Bar one late night, with the speakeasy style bar at the basement of Regent Arcade offering a nice selection of fusion cocktails and a perfect place for a nightcap before heading back to our room after outing to the night market. That's the reason they were ranked one of the Asia's 50 Best recently. 

And oh, Night Market. Last time I didn’t get to check out any night market in Taipei (stuck in a late night work meeting) but this time we walked to Ningxia Night Market 寧夏夜市 after our early dinner, which is only 10 minutes away on foot from the hotel. They may not be the largest in town but closest to the city (and our hotel), and there’s plenty of selections from oyster omelettes, to tofu desserts, to meat skewers, shaved ice, fried chicken, pig offals and anything in between. There are for sure enough choices to make it a full meal just by stall hopping over the short stretch of side street lined up with street food shops and tables and visitors. 

Regent Taipei:
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