- Great Premier Lounge and views of Taipei Airport
- Well-planned suites
- 24/7 dining at The Square
- Power points can be tricky to access in the room and Premier Lounge
- Close to the airport with easy access to local transport
As the only five-star hotel in the Taipei Airport precinct, the Novotel Taipei Taoyuan International Airport hotel is a convenient place to rest during a long transit with China Airlines or EVA Air, which both call Taiwan home.
However, with 516 rooms, easy access to the local MRT and by extension, the Taipei Metro and the High Speed Rail network, you're in a good place for sightseeing, too: and aren't far from the airport terminal when it's time to continue your journey beyond Taiwan.
Australian Business Traveller put the hotel to the test on a recent trip through Taipei, to bring you this review.
Location & Impressions
After landing and completing the usual formalities at Taipei's Taoyuan Airport, you can either catch a free shuttle bus to the hotel from Terminals 1 and 2, or can take the Taipei Airport MRT: just be sure to get a Commuter train, not an Express train, as the latter doesn't stop at the hotel.
I opted for the shuttle bus on my arrival and wasn't kept waiting long, but used the MRT to return to the airport after checking-out to avoid the crowds, given the MRT station is located right next to the Novotel (Airport Station 14a).
Location-wise, the property isn't far from the airport itself and provides great views over the airfield, and although construction was taking place nearby for a new Terminal 3 at Taipei Airport, the noise wasn't audible in my room:
Unlike some hotels which can very much trap you in the airport precinct unless you hop in a taxi, the Novotel is well-connected to public transport, with the Airport MRT taking you straight to Taipei Main Station where you can connect with the Taipei Metro for further travel across Taipei, for business or sightseeing.
Alternatively, taking the Airport MRT in the opposite direction provides connections to Taiwan's High Speed Rail just four stops from the hotel. Here's a handy map of the Airport MRT, with these key stops highlighted:
As for the hotel itself, guests are greeted in a spacious lobby with high ceilings, local artwork and sculptures...
... and if you're waiting for somebody or need somewhere to work after checking out, taking the stairs up to the next level finds an array of seating (accessible sans room key)...
... but the highlight of this hotel has to be the Premier Lounge on the 9th floor, available to guests booked in Executive Rooms and Executive Suites, as well as Le Club AccorHotels Platinum members staying in any room type:
With views looking towards the airfield, drinks and snacks throughout the day, complimentary breakfast and evening cocktails and canapés, it's a great place to spend some time, when you're not out exploring Taiwan or sitting in business meetings, of course.
I'd booked into an Executive Suite spanning 57 square metres, offering a large lounge and living area...
... a separate bedroom, and a spacious bathroom...
... with a full-size, standalone bath tub...
... and a separate walk-in shower:
As we'd expect to see in any good hotel suite, the bedroom can be completely closed off from the lounge area, allowing guests to host meetings without visitors entering their bedroom...
... with the suite featuring a second washroom just off that lounge space for guests to use, again with privacy in mind.
The room also provides tea- and coffee-making facilities including a Nespresso machine, again situated in the lounge area and easily used when visitors are stopping by...
... with the lounge TV connected to a DVD player for any BYO movies and with RCA, VGA and HDMI inputs as well, for connecting your laptop or tablet to the big screen to give your presentation.
The bedroom has a separate TV as well, along with a comfy lounge with a conveniently-placed cocktail table...
... and also in your private space just off that main bathroom, hanging space, bathrobes, ironing facilities, a safe, and extra storage.
The alarm clock next to the bed provides two generic USB charging ports as well, so if you forget your overseas power adaptor, you can still charge up your smartphone and other gadgets just fine.
When there's work to do, set up camp at the desk facing the window, with plenty of space to work and again with airport views – I just wish there were some better-located power points here, as my Microsoft Surface charging cable only just reached the outlets on the wall nearby, when working at that desk.
Better-considered though are international AC power outlets near the living room TV, making these useful not only when your laptop is connected to the TV, but also for general charging as there's a shelf just below the TV screen where you can place your devices when not in use:
Down in the lobby, you'll also find a couple of computers if you need to use them...
... but if you have access to the Premier Lounge, it's also a great place to work, again with those airport views – and free refreshments throughout the day.
There are a few power points located throughout the lounge, but I found I had to sit in specific places to take advantage of them: more power points here would make things easier when the lounge is busier, or when you don't want to be tied to a specific spot just to plug in and charge.
Free wireless Internet is available throughout the hotel – my tests measured average download speeds of 4.8Mbps and average upload speeds of 15.1Mbps, which is more than adequate for most basic tasks, and good for sending large email attachments.
Arriving in the morning and with access to the Premier Lounge, I swung by for a quick breakfast, finding hot items like egg puffs, porridge and sausages on offer, joined by fruits, cold cuts, breads, pastries and more:
[You can click or tap on any of the photos in this review to enlarge them.]
There are dining tables over in the corner of the lounge, and from here, you can also order fresh egg dishes from the brekky menu. With a choice between fried, scrambled, poached or boiled eggs, or an omelette, I went for the latter:
It was a filling way to start the day, complemented by a Nespresso latte from the machine:
In the evenings, lounge guests can partake in bites like cheeses, sushi, satay chicken skewers...
... fruits, salad, sweets and nibbles...
... with an open bar (chilled wine and beer are also available nearby):
I didn't want to spoil dinner, so sampled a small selection of the options, with a crisp glass of white:
Beyond the Premier Lounge, there's also the Deli Shop down in the lobby, serving a selection of sweet treats, but also healthy salad rolls for just TWD$100 (A$4.45), so lunch here was an easy choice...
... and The Square: a 24-hour restaurant delivering an international buffet breakfast in the mornings...
... and both lunch and dinner buffets later in the day: but with an a la carte menu as well, if you'd prefer to order something else or you're hungry at any time of the day or night, even when the buffet is closed – so stopping by at 11pm for a casual dinner after a flight from London wasn't a problem:
Other food and beverage options here include the Shanghainese Wei Fang restaurant, and Q Bar off the lobby.
When you've got time to relax, the Premier Lounge is again a great go-to here...
... with plenty of comfy seats for taking in the views...
... or just hanging out with company or a good book:
The hotel's gym also comes well-equipped with a range of cardio machines and weights, nearby an indoor heated pool and day spa, which I didn't have time for on this trip.
Overall, the Novotel Taipei Taoyuan International Airport hotel featured everything I needed for this stay – a solid place to work during the day, an accessible location that made sightseeing and airport connections easy, and a great lounge for both working and relaxing.
I also found the hotel staff quite helpful, especially those in the Premier Lounge: on mentioning this was my first visit to Taiwan but that most of my time here would be spent working, the staff grabbed a city map and highlighted a few key places I could visit after business hours which would still be open, which I appreciated.
A mere glance at the coffee machine in the lounge also prompted the staff to offer a coffee and bring it to my table, which was also nice.
The only shortcoming I found was the access to power points, both from the working desk in the room and when seated in the Premier Lounge: a few more of these in some better-planned locations would make things easier for business travellers to remain productive, before taking advantage of the convenient transport options nearby to make the most of their downtime.
Chris Chamberlin was a guest of the Novotel Taipei Taoyuan International Airport hotel.