Layover Hotel Episode 7:W Hotel Taipei: As Tony says, “A long flight across the Pacific can be punishing.” We agree, so that’s why we’re shocked that 1) he heads to such a trendy hotel as the W (one we love, btw) and, 2) after he dropped his bags he headed to the hotel’s watering hole, called the “WooBar”.
Admittedly after such strenuous journeys he admits to feeling like sh*t and would normally order a scotch or a bourbon, but at Woo, which we have to say, has a head-spinning drinks menu, he decidedly goes for a girly-looking kumquat-and-ginger infused-vodka cocktail called a Taipei Woojito from one of the mixologists, which he says “ ain't half bad” and touts the drinks ability to “get him like a cement mixer”. Pretty good praise from a man serious about his whiskey and beer.
Honorable Mention: Sakuraoka Hot Springs Resort: Guess what? Tony touts this four-room place as the best option when you want a good hot springs experience while visiting the Beitou region. This area is known for its mineral waters and some access places are better than others--this one being one of them. Although details are hard to find, he says it's got "nice views, attentive staff, all the "mod-cons" as they say. He recommends Villa 32 (if you've got the dosh--at around $250 a night) for the "Zen-like relaxation" and warns people to book way in advance.
We find it odd he didn't give a shout out to other city hotels. Not even a whisper of the luxurious Regent Taipei?! We were sure that would have been Bourdain’s bed for the night. And isn’t it part of the Four Seasons family. Perhaps not, anymore?
Or, maybe Tony simply wanted a change this time around, get as hip as Taipei is and immerse himself full-throttle in the city and its cool vibe.
And for that, we tip our hat.
[Photos: Travel Channel/W Hotels]