Tastefully elegant and infinitely luxurious, Mandarin Oriental, Taipei — the only Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel in Taiwan — is all kinds of wonderful. Debuted in 2014, the property sets the standard for stays in Taipei: its 256 guest rooms and 47 suites, with a starting size of 592 square feet, are the most spacious in the city. Its spa is the largest hotel facility in Taiwan. And the level of service you get — from personal recommendations delivered to your door by the concierge, to the friendly, effortless warmth of every member of the staff — is outstanding.
Not quite ready to book your room yet? Here are five other things that we love about this opulent property:
The Club Level
Though a stay in any of the plush accommodations at Mandarin Oriental, Taipei will be a pleasure, the club-level rooms and suites (all of the latter units come inclusive with club-level benefits) will give you a first-hand look at the hotel’s exemplary standard of service.
Complimentary shoe shines and garment pressings ensure that you look your best. If you need to impress a client, the club level also grants you free access to meeting rooms and facilities for one hour per stay, along with a courtesy late checkout, when available.
But the best feature is without a doubt The Oriental Club. Intimate yet upscale, the private sixth-floor lounge delivers an excellent complimentary buffet breakfast, with a spread that ranges from eggs and bacon to a fantastic assortment of fresh fruit and pastries. Taiwanese specialties, such as congee, are also available to order at the table.
Come afternoon, the club hosts a high tea service, complete with picture-perfect finger sandwiches and caviar-topped canapés arriving on beautiful tiered trays. Relaxing pre-dinner drinks can also be had during the cocktail hour, when the club serves free-flowing cocktails (made with top-shelf spirits), champagne and light bites.
As far as wellness getaways go, The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Taipei is in a class of its own. With 37,600 square feet of paradise spread over two floors, the Five-Star spa and its 12 spacious treatment rooms make you feel like you have the sumptuous sanctuary all to yourself.
Be sure to make time for the wet areas; the his-and-hers private hydrotherapy circuits include crystal steam showers, sauna, an ice fountain and a vitality pool. And when it comes to specific treatments, they run the gamut from customary massages to uniquely Taiwanese spa journeys.
If you want to bliss out and experience a bit of local culture, we recommend the 2.5-hour Formosa. Named after the island of Taiwan itself, which was called Formosa by the Portuguese during colonial times, the journey includes a sea pearl and salt foot ritual, a white clay body mask, a full massage and a scalp- and face-scraping therapy that will leave you relaxed, polished and invigorated at the same time.
The most recent additions to this sensational spot’s menu are the Pedi:Mani:Cure treatments from French podiatrist to the stars Bastien Gonzalez. These March-premiered services are just the way to polish off a day of pampering.
Kitted out in cool white marble with black accents, the bathrooms at Mandarin Oriental, Taipei are posh. If you love baths, the large, sunken tubs are big enough for two. More of a shower person? Rainfall showers come standard in all the rooms.
Even the toilets get an upgrade. Equipped with heated magic seats that open, close and flush automatically, the toilets also have massage and cleansing functions that leave you feeling fresh.
Beauty junkies will covet the collectible spread of chic toiletries — shampoo, conditioner, bath gel, bar soap and lotion — from Parisian-based perfumery Diptyque.
The Art Collection
As if the magnificent, 3,086-pound chandelier made of 50,000 crystal pieces in the lobby isn’t impressive enough, this Taipei hotel also houses a vast art collection — spread out through public and private spaces — of more than 1,700 works.
From paintings and tapestries to sculptures and antiques, there is something to stimulate the senses from almost every direction you look. Among the award-winning artists who contributed to the collection are Lee Jae Hyo, Kim Chan and renowned Chinese ink painter Zhu Wei.
The Food-Focused Scene
A known culinary hot spot in Asia, Taiwan’s capital city provides endless dining choices. Even so, the food options are so vast at Mandarin Oriental, Taipei, that you could easily take all your meals at the hotel and not miss a beat.
In lieu of standing in line for xiao long bao (soup dumplings) at famed area dining institution Din Tai Fung, for instance, you could enjoy a sumptuous dim sum brunch at Ya Ge, Mandarin Oriental’s fine-dining Chinese restaurant. You can dive into dishes like the black truffle bird’s nest with lobster dumplings and the extraordinary oven-baked crab with onion, served in its own shell.
Adjacent to the lobby, The Jade Lounge is beloved among locals for its high tea. This is a sensational afternoon spot for people-watching as you sip on artisanal blends served in delicate, fine-bone china and nibble on French macarons, canelés de Bordeaux and finger sandwiches.
If you’d like to take some of these creative confections home with you, head to The Mandarin Cake Shop to pick up your own set of petite patisserie. The gift boxes of mini Taiwanese pineapple cake are not to be missed.
For days when you’re craving something other than Asian cuisine, the hotel’s Bencotto, an authentic Italian trattoria with an open kitchen, turns out phenomenal dishes such as Iberico porchetta or uni risotto along with a robust wine list.
For a nightcap or an expertly crafted cocktail, you can also visit the sexy and sophisticated M.O. Bar, where a DJ spins tunes from Wednesday through Saturday nights.