The Incidental Tourist

[Review] Courtyard Taipei, 4 star hotel on a 2 star budget.

I travel several weeks per year and I’ve stayed in Courtyard properties when finances required it. So let’s be frank, in general, at least in the US, Courtyard is a budget brand that is middle of the road at best.

However, I’ve found, to my pleasant surprise, that Courtyard properties outside the US are quite often very nice places to stay. And of the ones I’ve tried in Europe and Asia, the Courtyard Taipei is the best I’ve ever stayed at.

First, the staff is awesome. Every person on staff, regardless of job title, seems 100% focused on customer service, hospitality, friendliness and doing whatever it takes to take care of the guests. Every single person I interacted with, from check-in to the concierge desk, to the lounge, restaurant, room service and housekeeping were fantastic.

Next, the rooms are very nicely appointed, comfy, have lovely views and are quite large. The beds seem much better than the beds at Courtyards in the US, at this Taipei property, the beds felt very much like the Renaissance or Marriott beds. The rooms are clean and airy, bright when you want them to be, and dark when you don’t. The bathrooms are nicely done, and … well… they’re bathrooms.

The food in the lounge is terrific, and it’s a great spot for breakfast or dinner/evening snacks and drinks, plus unlike the US lounges, the drinks are free here which is quite nice. I’m not a fan of the honor bar system in the US lounges, I give Marriott at least 50 – 75 nights per year, the least they could do is give me a free beer in the lounge.

The location is quite excellent. It’s a bit removed from the hustle and bustle of the downtown areas of Taipei, but as it sits directly on top of the Nangang MRT (Bannan line) and the Nangang HSR/TRA rail station, plus there’s a bus station just outside the hotel entrance as well as taxis all day and night on all sides of the building, and a UBike stand just across the street. So you’re never more than a few meters from some form of transit, and you can get to the hotel from TPE using the MRT line with only one changeover at Taipei Main to the Jichang line.

The prices are quite affordable, and more than reasonable given the quality of the hotel. The Courtyard Taipei is one of those hidden gems. It’s a luxury stay on a budget and honestly it rivals any Marriott or Renaissance I’ve stayed at.

I’ve now stayed here three times, after picking it almost at random just a month or so after it opened and being so pleasantly surprised that I had to book it on my next trip as well.

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