Sunday, November 24, 2013

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The Grand Hyatt Taipei

11/24/2013 Taiwan Explorer
The Grand Hyatt Taipei 台北君悅大飯店 is one of the city's most famous hotels, and also one of the most prominent landmarks. Opened in 1990, this 5 star hotel is said to have the highest turnover of all hotels in Taiwan. Since I'm a resident of Taipei, I have no need to stay in hotels, so this post will not be a hotel review. Instead it will be about the food experience.

The Grand Hyatt Taipei as seen from Taipei City Hall.

Lunch at the Hyatt? Why not.

My wife and I were celebrating a special anniversary a while ago, and we were thinking about where to go to have a nice lunch or dinner. We checked various websites and blogs, and somehow accidentally came across the Grand Hyatt. There are actually 10 different restaurants in the hotel, but we've read that their buffet restaurant offers lunches and dinners to non-guests at a fairly decent price (we paid around 800 NTD per person, which is merely 20 Eur), and so we decided to go for it. We booked lunch, which starts at 11:30 and ends 14:00. It was a very nice day, perfect for a walk. Here are some photos of the building:

The Grand Hyatt is located near the International Trade Building.

A closeup reveals the proximity to Taipei 101.

The main entrance, you can't miss it.

The lobby at the Grand Hyatt Taipei

What looks very unassuming from the outside, is actually pure luxury on the inside. The lobby is a marble wonderland, it's pretty big and impressive. It would be surprising, if it wasn't, since we're talking about a hotel that is said to be best in Taiwan.

There's a nice little fountain at the entrance.

This is the lobby and the counter.

A look up reveals a glass roof.

Another view on the lobby - it's quite big, don't you think?

Lunch at The Café

The buffet restaurant is called The Café, and according to the hotel's website it "serves a wide range of tea and coffee, with a high-tea buffet of fresh salads, delicate finger sandwiches, sumptuous dim sums, light snacks, tempting desserts, seasonal fruit and much more, in a relaxed setting. Perfect for casual gatherings with families or friends." The website doesn't lie, it was definitely as they said. Let's have a look inside:

This is the main entrance. You can see the chefs cooking, the kitchen is open.

The dining area is quite big, and has many sections. This is where we were seated.

We started with raw fish, it was very delicious.

My wife had a salad, it was basic, but quite ok.

Since it's a buffet, we tried almost everything, our plates were very colorful.

This is where West meets East: Everything here was very tasty, especially the BBQ squid.

These cakes were very good, but their ice cream was even better.

All in all it was quite a nice and memorable lunch. I liked most of the food, and I'm generally not a fan of buffet food, so that says a lot. The ambiance is very pleasant, the tables are big, and the staff is very quick and caters to all your needs. They also offered a baby chair for our daughter, so in case you have a baby, it's no problem to bring it along. 800 NTD per person is perhaps a little bit high for Taipei, but you don't just pay for the food, you pay for the experience, and I think the price is justified here. And guess what, the whole dining hall was full (it was a Saturday), and it were mostly local guests. This shows how Taiwanese people love to have a nice meal with their family during the weekend, and they're willing to pay more for something better. To sum it up: It was a good experience, I recommend it.

The main entrance as we were leaving.

This is how the hotel looks from the inside (photos with permission from @vonatron).

This photo shows how close Taipei 101 really is. Find the Grand Hyatt on the map here.

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