Opened in 1990 (and known from 1993 to 2011 as the Grand Formosa Regent Taipei), the Regent Taipei is no stranger to the rich and famous, having hosted a variety of entertainment luminaries including the Spice Girls, Mariah Carey, Keanu Reeves, and the late Michael Jackson. More recently, the hotel itself played a supporting role in Luc Besson’s Lucy, in which the film’s titular character (played by Scarlett Johansson) begins her journey of mind-expansive mayhem in a Regent room.
The hotel’s popularity with the jet set is based on more than just its central location (though that certainly doesn’t hurt). The Regent exudes an air designed to appeal broadly to those accustomed to the finer things. Rooms are well-appointed, though with a subdued, somewhat generic elegance. This aura extends to most of the common areas, such as the lobby and most of the restaurants, which, though beautiful, are not overly possessing of warmth.Luxurious as it is, the Regent lacks a certain intimacy, and may strike some visitors as feeling “expensive yet formulaic.”
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In business, it’s all about location, location, location, and it's hard to beat the Regent Taipei for centrality, as the hotel is within walking distance of some of Taipei’s top shopping, museums, and nightlife areas, as well as being a few subway stops from the Ximending entertainment district (which doubles as Taipei’s finest street food market, where all manner of delicious Taiwanese snacks are available from street vendors). The Regent is also within walking distance of Taipei’s Main Station, offering high-speed rail transit down the island’s west coast and regular-speed rail down its more bucolic eastern flank.
Need to Know
Rooms: 470 rooms, 60 suites. From $260. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: Serving a United Nations–array of international cuisine, the cavernous Azie Grand Café has the feel of a grand European plaza. A somewhat more intimate vibe can be found upstairs at the exclusive 21st-floor Lan Ting, where guests are invited to dine on Shanghainese and Japanese cuisine amid a subdued bamboo-themed decor. The hotel's several other restaurants include the second-floor Robin’s Grill specializing in charbroiled steaks and seafood dishes. Of course, the surrounding neighborhood—among the busiest in Taipei—has no shortage of dining options day or night. Spa and gym details: The Regent’s top-floor Wellspring Spa provides massages, body wraps, facials, and various other types of corporal pampering, while the heated rooftop pool offers a fine space to get away from the hustle and flow of central Taipei. The Health Club contains top-notch exercise equipment.
Who’s it for: Travelers looking to spot movie stars, visiting musicians with at least one hit single, film producers looking to scout out locations for the next Taiwan-based blockbuster. Our favorite rooms: Though the Presidential Suite is the most grandiose (it is, after all, where Michael Jackson stayed), most visitors will find any of the Superior rooms, with their king-size wellspring beds and spacious marble soaking tubs, pretty close to the pinnacle of luxury. Local highlight: For a genuine Taiwanese eating and drinking experience, head north about a mile to the always lively #21 Goose & Seafood on #21 Jinzhou Street. Popular with locals and Japanese businessmen, this noisy, cheerful restaurant serves some of the best food in town and offers a distinctively down-to-earth atmosphere.