Taipei is perhaps the best city for getting introduced to Chinese art and culture, whether modern or traditional. Art galleries and museums are aplenty, while arts events feature prominently on the city’s calendar. Its most famous bookshop Eslite spans 7 floors, has its own cafe, and opens 24 hours a day.
I only had two nights in the city and knew I wouldn’t be able to explore much, but when I stepped into Humble House Taipei I thought: This isn’t a hotel, it’s an art gallery.
Humble House Taipei, according to its website, “represents a non-conventional concept that blends art, culture, and living in its aesthetics.” Indeed, the hotel’s decor is comfortably contemporary; all the installations, paintings, and sculptures blend into the surroundings in an organic fashion, and I subconsciously slow down in my usual room-lobby-restaurant commute to admire the artwork.
A ritzy location
The first thing that wowed me about Humble House Taipei (and indicated that it was not-quite-humble) was when I found out where it was located. This is what greets you when you stroll out of the hotel:
The hotel sits smack in the middle of the Xinyi District, right next to Shinkong Mitsukoshi and not five minutes’ walk from Taipei 101. At the back is the City Hall metro station with more glitzy boutiques (including Eslite bookstore’s flagship outlet! OMG!) and a maze of alleys populated by gluttony-indulging cafes and street food stalls. With the new Xinyi line and Taipei 101 station, one can easily travel to further attractions like the Shihlin Night Market. If this isn’t convenient for business travelers, I don’t know what is.
Being me, I familiarized myself with the city by walking all the way to Dunnan district and realized: it’s hard to get lost when you have that giant skyscraper as your reference point.
I stayed in the 26sqm Superior Room; it’s a cozy fit but they’ve managed to fit in a chaise longue and desk. I have to admit that what I enjoyed most was…the Nespresso machine! Few hotels have decent in-room coffee, which is what a business traveler working 12-hour days needs most.
My Superior Room was equipped with a mini-tub and spacious shower cubicle, but the better rooms have a full-sized tub (as well as a spectacular view of Taipei 101 and the city center).
Service you’ll notice
If anything is humble about this hotel, it’s their service. Apart from the nightly turndown service that leaves a tin of yummy Taiwanese chocolate and some soothing chamomile tea, everyone from the concierge to the doorman greeted me with warm smiles and were truly attentive. I noticed them chatting with the guests and asking about their experience.
Perhaps it’s because they’re still new, but I had a great stay at Humble House Taipei. If they keep this up they’re going to have a great reputation with business travelers.