Arrival/Check-In: The Mandarin Oriental, Taipei is probably one of my favorite properties and in itself is a destination. The hotel is located about 40 minutes from Taoyuan International Airport via taxi and about 10 minutes from the city center, where Taipei 101 stands. I have been coming to Taipei my entire career, and the city has changed dramatically. This property is a reflection of the “beautification” of Taipei City.
We arrived and were greeted by the bellhop, who opened our taxi doors and took our luggage. From here we were swiftly taken to reception and then whisked to our room, where we were checked in. My colleague was on the floor above in a similar suite, and I can only say they were spectacular.
Guest Quarters: I was in suite 1227, and from the moment I walked in I felt I must be in one of the most beautiful suites in all of Taipei: tastefully decorated with magnificent chandlers in every room. The door opened to a small hallway and a nifty little butler pantry where I was able to leave my shoes to be shined and clothing to be cleaned and pressed. Butlers access this pantry from outside the room, which adds to a guest’s privacy.
The living area comprised a rather lavish bar (complete with a coffee and tea maker) on the right followed by a dining area with a small, round, marble-topped table. A nice touch at the bar was a full ice bucket at the ready. On the left sat a sofa, chairs and a coffee table which held a chocolate-sculpted room amenity; it looked like a museum piece but tasted delicious. Bookshelves lined the left wall, and I reviewed some volumes while enjoying a welcome libation.
Through a set of double doors, the beautiful bedroom featured a king-sized bed and a bathroom to die for. Heated floors in the bathroom added the finishing touch to getting everything right, and then some. Views from my room overlooked the front of the property, where a Ferrari car show was taking place. A large dressing room was located at the back and to the left of the bedroom.
Services/Amenities: There is no lack of eateries at the Mandarin, and club guests can partake of the Mandarin Lounge for a complete breakfast and happy hour cocktails at the end of the day. The duck liver pâté was a delicious appetizer with evening drinks. Please stop at the M.O. Bar, where the knowledgeable mixologists provide wonderful entertainment; the staff offered me a taste of Taiwan scotches! Bencotte offers Italian cuisine, and Ya Ge answers your cravings for classic Chinese. Café Un Deux Trois offers contemporary cuisine, and The Jade Lounge serves the city’s best high tea. A host of other restaurants are connected to the hotel and offer many dining options, including a lovely bakery where we purchased a client gift for a meeting.
As we were busy with meetings, we were unable to do everything and must return for the spa. The Mandarin is the place for elaborate Taiwanese weddings, with two ballrooms, one that can seat 1,200 and a smaller one for up to 600.
◆ Honestly, I wish I were not visiting on business!
◆ The hotel has lovely green pens, which I complimented at checkout. The staff offered me several to take home, and in exchange, I offered a Global Traveler pen as a sign of friendship.
Mandarin Oriental, Taipei
158 Dunhua North Road
tel 886 2 2715 6888
Brewing long and deep at its center before radiating out to the rest of Europe, Vienna boasts an illustrious history and lasting intellectual impact. The Austrian capital dates back to Celtic and Romen rule, the latter inhabitants using the center city as a military hub among many other employments.
Step right up to the greatest show on Earth as FXExpress Publications, Global Traveler, trazeetravel.com and whereverfamily.com celebrate their 2020 award winners! Join the big top on Dec. 14 as we virtually award the winners of the 17th annual GT Tested Reader Survey awards, including the Airline and Hotel of the Year; the 17th annual Wines on the Wing Airline Wine Survey; the eighth annual Leisure Lifestyle Awards; the sixth annual The Trazees; and the third annual Wherever Awards.
Whether taking a COVID-19 test before boarding a flight or looking up different travel restrictions before planning your trip, travel has looked a little bit different this past year. With all the extra steps for traveling, American Airlines is committed to finding ways to provide ease and more flexibility and choices for passengers when traveling.
Even in “normal” times, folks gravitate to wellness resorts to jumpstart a healthier lifestyle, destress and be nurtured. In this COVID-19-era state of elevated anxiety, people seek even more natural beauty and caring hospitality, healthy food, fitness activities and beauty and body treatments. Canyon Ranch Lenox also provides an extensive staff of experts offering a multitude of health, wellness and spiritual well-being modalities that alleviate personal issues.
The lights of the aurora borealis appear frequently in the Fairbanks region of Alaska, with a growing number of Aurora Trackers in the area. A new video from Explore Fairbanks features five Fairbanks Aurora Trackers sharing their thoughts and photography on the northern lights.
Remote workers looking for an upgrade from their home offices might want to consider Karisma Hotels & Resorts’ Workcation offer. Those booking an extended stay of 10-plus nights are eligible for discounts of up to 15 percent off best available rates; those booking 20-plus nights enjoy up to 25 percent off. The offer is available at Karisma Hotels & Resorts’ diverse portfolio of properties.