Located in the chic Da-an District, the Hotel Éclat occupies a pleasant middle ground between the city’s massive luxury hotels and the seemingly endless love hotels dotting Taipei’s accommodation spectrum. From the moment one enters the Éclat it's clear that management is enamored with art, as the lobby is adorned (almost bordering on the ostentatious) with works of art ranging from golden Greco-Roman statues to colorful paintings by contemporary artists. Rooms are bright and cheerful. All have hardwood floors, comfortable down-quilt beds, and sleek furnishing with a few antique touches (faux rotary-style desktop phones, for example) placed among the more high-tech luxury items like Nespresso coffeemakers and flat-screen monitors. The Éclat has an intimate feel to it, but those looking for a large range of facilities should look elsewhere. In this respect, the 60-room boutique hotel doesn’t try to compete with the numerous larger hotels in the area. Outside of the breakfast lounge, in-house dining choices are limited to but one restaurant, and there’s no spa, gym, or pool.
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If shopping is a kind of religion in Taipei, then the Da-an District is the Vatican City. The area is chock-a-block with stores large and small selling international luxury brands, as well as good restaurants, swank cocktail bars, and other pricey diversions. Off the neighborhood’s main avenues lie a plethora of smaller independent boutiques, quaint restaurants, and a few quirky coffee shops. Visitors who find themselves here on the weekend should head due west on Xinyi Road to the massive Jianguo Holiday Jade and Flower Market to haggle over jade, Chinese antiques (and fakes), Taiwanese tea, and other unique gift items.
Need to Know
Rooms: 60 rooms. From $200. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: The Éclat Lounge serves Western-style breakfast in an informal atmosphere 6:30–10 a.m. The more formal Bellini Caffe serves pasta, seafood, and steaks imported from America for lunch and dinner. Spa and gym details: This small hotel lacks both spa and gym. However, guests who book using a corporate account are given a free pass to the nearby World Gym.
Who’s it for: Artists; visitors looking for a boutique hotel experience in Taipei; serious shoppers. Our favorite rooms: The Grand Deluxe room has near floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over a leafy corner past which the high-rises of Taipei can be seen. Its king-size bed is an absolute delight, and the window-facing desk (complete with Philippe Starck desk chair) provides a great space in which to work. Pre-hangover cure: In the wee hours before dawn, early risers and late-night partygoers flock to the row of "breakfast restaurants" on the west side of Fuxing South Road, just a few blocks from the Éclat,to dine on Taiwanese congee, fried dough, freshly-made warm soy milk, and other delectable Taiwanese breakfast foods.