Reviews

Review: Novotel Taipei Taoyuan International Airport hotel

Overall Rating

By Chris Chamberlin, July 15 2018
Novotel Taipei Taoyuan International Airport hotel
Country

Taiwan

City

Taipei

Hotel

Novotel

Rating

5-star

Room

Executive Suite

Notes
The Good
  • Great Premier Lounge and views of Taipei Airport
  • Well-planned suites
  • 24/7 dining at The Square
The Bad
  • Power points can be tricky to access in the room and Premier Lounge
The Unexpected
  • Close to the airport with easy access to local transport
Location
First impressions
Meals
Overall

Introduction

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.

Also read: China Airlines Airbus A350 business class, Brisbane-Taipei-London

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.

Room

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.

Work

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.

Eat

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.

Relax

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.

ChrisCh
ChrisCh

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

therealdave

therealdave

09 Dec 2016

Total posts 9

Hi Chris, I was disappointed to see you refer to this hotel as being located in "China - Taiwan". You will note that on the hotel's website they refer to "Taiwan (R.O.C.)" or "Taiwan" throughout the site as the country in which this hotel is located. The only reference to "China" on the website is to "China Airlines". Would you consider updating this please? Thanks, David

ChrisCh

ChrisCh

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2916

Hi David, thanks for your feedback. You seem to be referring to the “country” field at the top - for this, we only select one from a pre-programmed list (which allows readers to click on a country and read all other reviews from that country). Taiwan was listed in the same way as Hong Kong in our database, although I’ve pushed through a manual adjustment so that this now reads “Taiwan”.

stoffel

stoffel

27 Jul 2017

Total posts 18

Stayed here plenty times. There's always a giant stuffed panda on the couch in my room.

ian_sh

ian_sh

20 Dec 2012

Total posts 4

Love the giant panda in the room. And the pool is really nice as well (need to wear a cap to use it though).

Traveller14

Traveller14

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 391

Often 'no news' is 'good news' but you didn't mention the lighting circuits complexity that in many hotel rooms can be difficult to figure out, especially when retiring. I hope it was OK for you. The lady who edits the 'Weekend Oz' travel section wrote a column on this a few weeks ago.

ChrisCh

ChrisCh

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2916

Hi Traveller14, I didn’t find any problems with the lighting system, otherwise I’d have written about it.

Brad1961

Brad1961

28 Apr 2012

Total posts 2

Re the Taiwan ROC/China debate, there is no correct answer, only one of principle. Taiwan is not an independent country even according to the ROC constitution and it is a highly charged political debate even amongst Taiwanese.


There are very few countries in the world that recognise Taiwan as a separate country and some of those are Kiribati, Haiti, St Kitts and Nevis and similar states.

Lukeasht1075

Lukeasht1075

06 Aug 2018

Total posts 1

Hi Chris,

I am on an upcoming BNE to Taipei flight on China Airlines with an 18 hour layover. Of course I land early morning and fly out at midnight that night. When booking did you have to pay for 2 nights stay or did they give you a rate for early checkin and late night departure.

Thanks

Lyle

ChrisCh

ChrisCh

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2916

Hi Lyle, for all reservation enquiries including pricing, you'll need to contact the hotel.

DeborahD07

DeborahD07

04 Nov 2018

Total posts 2

Hi Chris I will be transiting through Taipei to Rome next week, on holiday on this occasion, as this is my first transit there, I was thankful of your review as I have booked at the Novotel. I am still confused about the visa situation, there is such conflicting information. I will be arriving at 4.30am and on forward flight not till 11.40pm same evening. Can you please confirm that I will not need a transit visa to leave the terminal and stay at the Novotel? Could you also give me some details of what the process is upon leaving the terminal, in terms of having your checked luggage staying at the airport or do you take it with you? Also do you have to go through customs or immigration in order to exit the terminal? As I understand the Novotel is within the airport precinct but information is very grey, some sites say you need one if you are exiting the terminal, some dont!? Would appreciate your insight, thank you.

ChrisCh

ChrisCh

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2916

Hi Deborah, Australian passport holders don't need a visa to enter Taiwan for the purpose or duration you mentioned (personally, I've been to Taiwan five times this year using an Australian passport, no pre-arranged visa required: each time you enter and depart, you just present your passport and get a small blue stamp), although questions regarding checked baggage arrangements and the like should be directed to your airline, as our staff aren't in a position to offer 1:1 travel advice in this regard.

If you hold a passport from a different country or have a different type of passport (e.g. diplomatic or official), questions regarding admissability are best-asked of your airline (via their Timatic system, which is the same that check-in staff use to confirm you can travel), or of the Taiwanese government.

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