Where is it?
The Novotel Taipei Taoyuan International Airport is located on the grounds of the main international airport of Taipei and the largest airport of Taiwan. The hotel is currently the only hotel located in close proximity to the terminals.
A free shuttle bus operates between terminal 1, terminal 2 and the hotel every 15 minutes in the morning and the evening (basically during peak hours) and every 30 minutes during the day. The first bus leaves the hotel at 5 am and the last one bus leaves the terminals close to 2 am.
The arrival experience
The hotel opened in 2009 and still feels fairly new. The facilities are in an excellent condition. The hotel is not located within walking distance of the terminals but rather in an area with airline and airport office buildings, but the shuttle bus works just fine and the short ride between the hotel and the terminals takes less than five minutes.
I arrived at the hotel very late, just before midnight. Unfortunately I missed the shuttle bus by just a few seconds so I had to wait another 15 minutes. There are many flights arriving around 11 pm so the bus was almost full.
At the hotel I was immediately checked in and also informed that due to my gold card with Accor I had been upgraded to an executive room on the top floor, which was a nice touch. I was also given a drinks voucher for the bar (also thanks to the gold card) and the receptionist asked me when I was planning to check out the following day so they could reserve a shuttle bus for me.
Of course there are shuttle buses leaving during most of the day but they prefer you to book a bus at a specific time, if you can. If you do they will make sure there is a seat available for you and usually they will make sure the bus does not leave without you.
The hotel has 360 rooms in total with standard rooms, executive rooms and suites. I had booked a standard room but got upgraded to an executive room on the ninth floor, which is the top floor. All executive rooms are located on the top floor, just like the executive lounge.
The rooms on this floor have an excellent view of the airport, the two terminals and the two runways. A great place if you enjoy airplane spotting as you get a completely unobstructed view of the airport.
The room had the standard Novotel design with most of the interior in brown, red and wood. Nothing fancy or luxurious but functional, well-maintained and spotlessly clean. Perfectly fine for a short stay at the airport.
There was a large king-sized bed, a work desk, a sofa, a TV, closet, a minibar and of course a bathroom, in this room with a shower.
The room also came with the standard Novotel teddy bear, a panda. Most likely he is part of the interior and not supposed to be brought home. Not that there would be much space for him in the suitcase anyway.
Food and drinks
As I had a drinks voucher to redeem I made a visit to the lobby bar before going to bed. They had live entertainment in the evening, which fortunately had still not finished. A talented young woman was singing, accompanied on piano. The drinks voucher was good for not just beer and wine but also for a few cocktails on a list and I used it for a complimentary mojito.
There are two restaurants in the hotel called The Square (serving mostly international food) and Wei Fang (serving mostly Chinese food). There is also a lobby bar called Q Bar as well as a bakery and a deli shop.
The hotel has a very spacious gym and also a spa area with a large swimming pool, sauna and steam room. There was no time to visit it during this visit but I have been there during a previous stay.
The service was excellent from check-in to check-out with great status recognition. I was given an upgrade to an executive room (with access to the lounge), a drinks voucher and there were some snacks and a personal welcome letter waiting in the room.
They also made an effort to make sure I was happy. When checking in they asked me which shuttle bus I was planning to take back to the airport and I mentioned roughly when I though I would check out based on the departure time of my flight. Eventually I decided to take the bus 30 minutes later. I did not think much about it until I got a phone call from the reception desk, telling me they were waiting for me and hoped everything was OK. This was of course a bit embarrassing but nevertheless a great service as I could have overslept for example. It was quickly sorted out and was no big deal.
I did not have time to visit the executive lounge in the evening as it had closed long before I arrived, but I visited it in the morning. As breakfast was not included in the rate the lounge access was a great benefit as it meant I could have complimentary breakfast in the lounge.
The executive lounge is also located on the ninth floor and has the same fantastic view of the airport as the executive rooms. You can watch aircrafts take off and land while you enjoy your breakfast.
The lounge itself is very colourful and nicely decorated. Not particularly luxurious but rather hip, relaxed and homey with large sofas and armchairs.
A very friendly lounge attendant greeted me at the entrance and as there were only four other guests in the lounge she had plenty of time to engage in some small talk, take breakfast orders and even get me some coffee.
The buffet had the standard hot and cold breakfast items but also the option to order a few things from the chef who was working in the kitchen behind such as an omelette of your choice.
This is an excellent hotel if having an overnight stay at the airport and not wishing to go all the way to downtown Taipei. Excellent service and status recognition, nice and functional rooms and good facilities. Overall pretty good value for money.