Amba Hotel Ximending
This is a brand new hotel in Ximending, the area described as Taipei’s Shibuya. A number of streets are closed to traffic in the afternoon and evening including the street in front of the Amba, but only a 50m walk from the main road. Hotel sits above a multi-level department store with a bakery and Starbucks at Ground Level and McD’s across the road. Hotel reception on Level 5, with rooms on Level 6 to 10. Opened in Feb 2012 so very new. Reception area is very funky and open and the level also contains a large bar and restaurant with some cool modern artwork.
Rooms are very clean and modern. All white bed but with an antique coke chest and metal drum as side tables. Closet looks like it is from ikea. Separate shower and toilet and a central sink, fridge etc near the entrance. Overall very nice hotel, a bit like an aloft I guess. No minibar but a decent sized fridge. Free wifi in the rooms with good speed.
Spent the night exploring Ximending
Then over to City Hall to checkout Taipei 101 (a surprisingly longish walk from the MTR).
Only downside to the hotel for me was being on the main road side (room 823) there was a lot of external noise including motorcycles and trucks. Windows on that side do not appear to be double glazed. Perhaps rooms on the other side or the internal ones would be quieter.
Alarm set for 530 but bodyclock got me at 520. Out of hotel by 535 and onto a bus by 545 (taxi and bus cost 100+125twd and far more comfortable than the 1200twd taxi fare). Bus makes a few short stops along the way but at airport by 630. No queue for Malaysian checkin (800 departure) so through to airside.