Taiwan 2014 – Sunworld Dynasty Hotel

We wanted to book a room for 7 nights in a row. We were bringing Ted along with us and as it was his first time abroad, we wanted to make sure that the stay was comfortable without too much shuffling of hotels. See my previous post on my criteria for hotel selection.

We made the mistake of not booking early, so only the very large hotels had rooms for 7 nights in a row. It turned out that I was able to get a good corporate rate on Sunworld Dynasty Hotel and we settled on the Executive Club VIP room. The perks were that we had access to the executive club which had happy hour from 6-8pm daily during which you have access to a buffet of finger snacks and alcoholic beverages. There were also hotel staff there who would serve you drinks and attend to your needs.

It turned out to be not a very practical perk for us as we spent entire days outside the hotel and only came back to the room to sleep.

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The hotel room was clean and although a little smaller than we expected for the price we paid, it was spacious enough for us. It came with a large king-sized bed, which comfortably accommodated the 3 of us at night.

Our hotel package also came with 4 bottles of drinking water daily and free access to the mini bar which had a small selection of tea bags as well as 3 cans of assorted beer and 3 cans of soft drinks.

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What we really loved about the hotel was the breakfast selection. We could choose to eat at the more cosy and private executive club room at level 12 or we could choose to eat at the restaurant at level 1. We went with the latter everyday because the selection was much greater.

There were a seasonal fruits and salad station, a cheese and pastries station, a cooked food station, a Chinese dumplings and dough fritters station, an omelette and sunny side up egg station, a noodle station, a porridge and broth station as well as a fruit juice and coffee/tea station.

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Having a good hotel breakfast really made a difference in our trip because it means we left the hotel satisfied and full of energy. We also didn’t have to rack our brains about getting breakfast for Ted. Taipei has plenty of good breakfast options but they are mostly oily and heavy and wouldn’t be suitable for a fussy toddler.

All in all, we rather enjoyed our hotel stay as the staff were really friendly and greeted us warmly every morning and evening when we arrived back in the hotel. It is also conveniently located in the city central and a short walk away from Nanjing Road East Metro station. We deliberately chose a hotel located in central Taipei as we like the idea of taking the Metro around to explore the city. It worked out well for us and we would certainly consider this hotel again for our next visit (it will be our 4th visit!) to Taipei.

 

Taipei, Taiwan 2014 – Choosing a baby and toddler friendly hotel

It’s Ted’s first trip overseas (and my first one since I was pregnant with him) and although we were terribly excited, we were also extremely nervous about whether he would adjust easily to the new environment.

To make it easier for him, we chose a country where the food and culture are somewhat similar and choose to go at a time when the weather wasn’t too cold. Taiwan in October is excellent because it’s just like being in an air conditioned environment all day. An extra jacket in the backpack would do very well for the evenings or nights.

Some things we considered when selecting a hotel for our little baby / toddler:

1) Location

We expected to take the metro rather often so we chose one that was close to a central metro station. Of course, we could get around by taxi everyday but taking the metro is part of the holiday experience when visiting a foreign country. Also, we wanted to be able to show Ted the view of the city from the trains.

We also chose a hotel near a central metro station and on a metro line we expected to be travelling on often to minimise travelling time. Children tend to get restless on long commutes.

Choosing a hotel that is easily accessible from the airport is also a big plus. You could always take a taxi but if you happen to stay in a hotel that is along the airport shuttle bus route, that’s a cheap and convenient way of getting to your hotel and back.

2) Breakfast selection

The hotel we chose had to have a good breakfast selection. You can probably scan through the Agoda reviews to see if any guests commented on the excellent breakfast spread or take our word for it that Sunworld Dynasty Hotel had a great breakfast variety.

This is important because toddlers can be picky eaters and you want to make sure your entire party, including the little toddler / baby is well fed for the long day of sightseeing ahead. A hungry toddler is a grouchy toddler.

Also, we’ve been to Taiwan twice and our experience is that Taiwanese breakfast options are generally heavy and oily and not especially suitable for  children.

3) Large, clean hotel

We’ve stayed in hotels which claimed to be 3 stars but the room smelt musky and smokey. We chose a renowned business hotel that we knew would be comfortable for our stay there.

We selected a executive VIP room (we are typically very frugal when we travel as a couple but went on a little splurge this time for the baby) which offered us fruits from their executive lounge throughout the day. This allowed us to pick up some fruits from the lounge in the morning for our day out or at night for supper. We found that the bananas and apples that we took from the lounge every morning served us very well to keep Ted happy while we were waiting or queuing for activities.

4) Same hotel for the entire stay

We wanted to minimise travelling as we had 2 huge luggage bags and a stroller to lug around and made sure we booked with a large hotel that could spare us a room for 7 nights. We could have booked with a smaller hotel but unfortunately we started scouting for hotels only 1 month before our trip and none of the smaller hotels had any room that was available for 7 days in a row. This is also important because we did plenty of shopping, and not having to change hotels during our trip made it very convenient for me to do plenty of shopping and pack only on the day before we left for home 🙂

All in all, we were rather pleased with the hotel that we stayed in and the service was also excellent. If we were to go back to Taipei again, this would definitely be on my list for consideration again.