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Grand Hyatt Taipei This is a reliable luxury hotel situated, like many others, in the Xinyi district near Taipei 101 . Has 850 rooms complete with spacious bathrooms plus an outdoor heated pool and a 24-hour gym. There's a wide range of western, Chinese and Japanese dining and bar options.

Overview Taipei is a city that has been under the radar for too long. Perhaps it was a lack of confidence, but the city never really knew how to talk up its good qualities. The Taipei of today has come on leaps and bounds, humming with restaurants, shops, caf6s and bars. A hosi of new hotels, including Le M6ridien and W have recently opened, adding to the air of confidence - this is a city on the move and one that visitors can enjoy from comf ortable f irst-class propedies. Although scooters are still a favourite mode of transport, the city is pushing rts greener credentials with new bicycle-stands across the city - the air in Taipei is today cleaner and the tree-lined streets and lanes are a pleasure to walk along. Instead of trying to be like other cities, Taipei seems to have grown into itself and is carving out its own identity. The city is spacious enough for new and old to live sideby-side - from the lowrise world of night markeis and temples to the gleaming tower blocks of Xinyi. As the economy grows and more people travel, a new Taipei is emerging proud of its heritage but ready to welcome the

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IATWAN TRAVET GUIDE

2 Songshou Road, Xinyi District, + 886 2 2720 1234, tai pei. g rand. hyatt. co m

Top six hotels Les Suites Taipei's pioneering boutique brand continues to lead the way with its two hotels, the 84room Les Suites Ching Cheng and the smaller Les Suites Da An.

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::'!i 12 Qingcheng Street,

Songshan District, + 886 2 8712 7688; 135 Da'an Road, Da'an Dsitrict, + 886 2 8773 3799, /essulteshote/s. com

W Taipei The â‚Ź20m W hote (above r,ght) opened last month. Among its features, the 405-room hotel has a 1 oth floor open-plan lobby and restaurant, connected to a poolside terrace overlooking business district Xinyi. The W is among the top hotels 1.1, in the city. 1 0 Zhongxiao East Road, Section 5, + 886 2 7703 8888, starvvoodhotels.com/

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The Grand Hotel This unique hotel (far /eft) was built in 1952 at the behesi of Chiang Kai-shek who wanted a luxury hotel to house foreign guests. A prominent city landmark with its distinctively Chinese golden roof and red columns, it has welcomed countless dignitaries over the years from Nelson Mandela to the i,',',. Shah of lran. 1 Zhongshan Nofth

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FF,S'IIVAI, FAME: Nomad

Festival has a long ilay. Fr"om humble origins in 2002, the w-aeklong event now attracts young lilmmakers lrom around the globe. F11m

Road, Section 4, + 886 2 2886 8888, grand-hotel.org Hotel Quote Designed by Taiwanese Ray Chen, this boutique hotel has 64 rooms, all kitted out with Bose sound systems, free wiJi and Nespresso coffee. There is also a kitchen-style, 24-hour lounge area and the 333 Bestaurant & Bar. The hotel is conveniently located near Taipei's Songshan Airport. 1,1. 333 Nanjing East Road, Section 3, + 886 2 21 75 5588,

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hotel-quote.com Palais de Chine Opened in May 201 0,

the Palais de Chine lives up to its name, offering opulent accommodation and equally luxurious i.!dining.

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Q&A Cary M Gray W generaf manager Why is now a good time to open a W in Taipei? The city is blossoming right now. lt's simply a great place to live.

How is Taiwan's hospi-

tality shaping up?

Le M6ridien's keys to local culture Opened at the end of 2010, Le M6ridien's 160-room five-star hotel focuses on culture - room keys give free access to the Museum of Contemporary Ad and My Humble House Art Gallery. 38 Songren Road, Xinyi District, + 886 2 6622 8000, I eme ri d ie n -tai pe i. co m

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The Taiwanese population is highly educated, cosmopolitan and welltravelled - that gives them a competitive edge. Many of the 400 Taiwanese people we've hired have returned to work here from Toronto, Geneva or Macau they're all coming back home. i i-

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Top 6 Hotels in Taipei