Review: Novotel Taipei Taoyuan Airport

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We had a fairly short overnight in Taipei before our connecting flight. We were arriving from Los Angeles at around 5PM, and departing the following day to Singapore at 9AM. As much as I love Taipei as a city, Taoyuan Airport is quite a ways from town.

As a result, I figured it made the most sense to stay at the Novotel Taipei Taoyuan Airport, given that the hotel is just a short (free) shuttle ride from the airport.

We booked only a few days before our stay, so by the time we booked they only had executive rooms left for sale, which retailed for ~$200. That’s not cheap for an airport hotel, but still seemed better than any of the alternatives.

We were arriving at Terminal 2, so exited immigration and then followed signage towards airport buses, which had us exiting through doors on the left side of the terminal after exiting immigration. The Novotel picks up at bus stop 9, which was easy enough to find. The shuttle runs every 30 minutes, and you can find the official shuttle schedule here.

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Novotel Taipei Airport bus stop signage

The shuttle was quite basic, though fortunately the ride only took five minutes.

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Novotel Taipei Airport bus

The hotel has a modern exterior, though it looks a bit like an office building, due to the lack of balconies.

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Novotel Taipei Airport exterior

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Novotel Taipei Airport exterior

The lobby was spacious and airy, and it even had some aviation-themed art (at least that’s my theory as to what the thing hanging from the ceiling in the below picture was meant to look like).

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Novotel Taipei Airport lobby

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Novotel Taipei Airport lobby

Reception was located inside the lobby and to the right. While there were several people working, it took about 10 minutes to be helped, and that was despite being first in line. They took their sweet time with check-in, or perhaps the process was just more complicated than it needed to be.

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Novotel Taipei Airport reception

Eventually I had my key for my ninth floor room, which is also where the lounge was located. My room was just outside the elevator and to the left, right across from the lounge.

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Novotel Taipei Taoyuan Airport hallway

The room was modern and nicely furnished. It featured an entryway with a closet to the left and the bathroom to the right.

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Novotel Taipei Airport executive room entryway

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Novotel Taipei Airport executive room entryway

Th room featured a queen size bed, which I found to be on the firm side. Of course everyone has different bed preferences, but I woke up with pain in my back in the morning.

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Novotel Taipei Airport executive room bed

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Novotel Taipei Airport executive room bed

By the window was a daybed and couch of sorts, with a sliding table. I appreciate that type of design, since you can get comfortable and work from the couch, while positioning the table where you want it. While I thought the Novotel panda was cute, from a cleanliness perspective I’m not sure I’m quite as enthusiastic about it.

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Novotel Taipei Airport executive room panda

Unfortunately there wasn’t much in the way of views from the couch — the room just faced an office building across the street.

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Novotel Taipei Airport room view

Across from the bed was a desk along with the wall mounted TV.

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Novotel Taipei Airport executive room TV & desk

There were conveniently placed outlets, including 110v and USB outlets.

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Novotel Taipei Airport executive room outlets

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Novotel Taipei Airport executive room outlets

Back near the entrance was a Nespresso machine (very nice!) and a kettle.

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Novotel Taipei Airport executive room Nespresso machine & kettle

Below that was the minibar, which was fairly basic.

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Novotel Taipei Airport executive room minibar

The bathroom was back near the entrance, and was functionally designed. It was separated from the rest of the room by two doors that become part of the wall when you don’t need privacy. There was a sink, walk-in shower, and partitioned off toilet.

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Novotel Taipei Airport executive room bathroom

The water pressure was pretty decent, and I appreciated that there were two shower heads.

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Novotel Taipei Airport executive room shower

I was also intrigued by the “magic glass” that the hotel uses. There’s a glass shield between the bedroom and bathroom, which you can see through like any other glass shield. However, with the push of a button the glass frosts, to the point that you can’t see the bedroom from the bathroom, and vice versa. That’s a brilliant design, in my opinion.

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Novotel Taipei Airport executive room “magic glass”

I was impressed by the quantity of toiletries the hotel had in the room. In addition to the usual toiletries, there was a shaving kit, dental set, etc.

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Novotel Taipei Airport executive room toiletries

The toilet was partitioned off from the rest of the bathroom. While the rest of the room smelled fine, the toilet had a horrible cigarette odor.

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Novotel Taipei Airport executive room toilet

Overall the room was perfectly nice. The wifi was usable and free for all guests, though not really high speed.

As mentioned above, the executive lounge was right across from my room, and was a very nice space.

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Novotel Taipei Airport executive lounge

It was modern, and had views of both nearby construction and the airport.

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Novotel Taipei Airport executive lounge

There were a variety of seating options, including dining tables, high-top seating, couches, etc.

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Novotel Taipei Airport executive lounge

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Novotel Taipei Airport executive lounge

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Novotel Taipei Airport executive lounge

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Novotel Taipei Airport executive lounge view

In the back corner of the lounge there was also a small business center with a couple of computers.

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Novotel Taipei Airport executive lounge business center

In the evening they had appetizers until 8PM, though I wasn’t hungry, and for that matter the selection didn’t look especially appealing.

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Novotel Taipei Airport executive lounge evening selection

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Novotel Taipei Airport executive lounge evening selection

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Novotel Taipei Airport executive lounge evening selection

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Novotel Taipei Airport executive lounge evening selection

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Novotel Taipei Airport executive lounge evening selection

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Novotel Taipei Airport executive lounge evening selection

I did, however, take advantage of the Nespresso machine to make an espresso.

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Novotel Taipei Airport executive lounge Nespresso machine

There was also a selection of liquor and wine, though I didn’t have any.

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Novotel Taipei Airport executive lounge liquor selection

I managed to get a great night of sleep (despite the hard bed), and woke up at about 4AM. The hotel doesn’t serve breakfast until 6AM, though I wandered into the lobby to see if I could get coffee anywhere. I was happy when I found that they had a setup with complimentary coffee, orange juice, and pastries. Not only was it a good selection, but the fact that it was available at 4AM was impressive. A hotel after my own heart.

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Novotel Taipei Airport coffee & pastries in the lobby

As club guests we could have breakfast in the restaurant, located just off the lobby. The restaurant was physically beautiful, and at 6AM it was just us and an airline crew there.

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Novotel Taipei Airport breakfast restaurant

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Novotel Taipei Airport breakfast restaurant

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Novotel Taipei Airport breakfast buffet

The breakfast buffet looked quite good, with a huge selection of both Western and Asian options.

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Novotel Taipei Airport breakfast buffet

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Novotel Taipei Airport breakfast buffet

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Novotel Taipei Airport breakfast buffet

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Novotel Taipei Airport breakfast buffet

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Novotel Taipei Airport breakfast buffet

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Novotel Taipei Airport breakfast buffet

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Novotel Taipei Airport breakfast buffet

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Novotel Taipei Airport breakfast buffet

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Novotel Taipei Airport breakfast buffet

Unfortunately I found the quality of the food to be abysmal. I tried all kinds of things, and nothing tasted right. The omelet was tasteless and runny, the french toast tasted like cardboard, and even the cereal tasted stale. Maybe it’s just my taste, but I wasn’t a fan… at all.

Before leaving the hotel I decided to check out the gym, located on the second floor. Outside the gym was a pool table.

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Novotel Taipei Airport pool table

The gym was huge, and open 24/7.

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Novotel Taipei Airport gym

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Novotel Taipei Airport gym

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Novotel Taipei Airport gym

There was also a ping pong table.

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Novotel Taipei Airport table tennis

In the morning we took the 7AM shuttle to the airport, leaving us plenty of time before our Hello Kitty flight to Singapore.

Novotel Taipei Airport bottom line

Despite the hard bed and tasteless breakfast buffet, I was pleased with the Novotel Taipei Airport. The rooms are modern and clean, the public facilities are nice, and the club lounge was a beautiful space as well. Most importantly, this is the most convenient option for a quick overnight at Taoyuan Airport, given the distance from the airport to the city. I’d certainly return under similar circumstances, though ideally I’d stay in Taipei longer (and stay at the awesome W Taipei).

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Comments

  1. I stayed at this property a couple times last year while on mileage runs. The non executive rooms don’t have nearly as many toiletries. Only the shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel.

  2. Thanks for the review!

    Why return if the bed gave you a sore back? Isn’t the bed the single most important thing in the hotel room (other than perhaps an en-suite toilet. The bed sounded like it was a platform bed w/o box springs, just matress. It would be great if you could mention absence of box springs as it’s factual rather than subjective. For example I avoid LeMeridirns because they don’t have box springs )at least the one I’ve visited); knowing that is more useful then. whether a particular reviewer found itcomfortable.

  3. I’m glad to know it’s a firm bed, as that’s my preference. Can’t stand to stay in Sofitels because of their damn puffy mattress pads and comforters.
    Too bad about the food, it does look ok. The self-service bar is certainly something. I guess the cost of a bartender a few hours a night is more than a bottle or two.

  4. I went to a restaurant in Brussels once with ‘Magic Glass’ on the cubicle doors, that went opaque when you locked them, unfortunately not opaque enough for a public bathroom.

  5. I just wanted to say what a great day this is. There is no problem in the world. Trump is doing a great job. What a great time to be alive. Anyone who says they have a problem is a liar.

  6. Thanks Ben for a brilliant review of the hotel. I am a fan of this particular Novotel and the staffs are very kind towards me, even before becoming their Platinum member. I agree that the hotel’s breakfast is awful and unfortunately, it seems to remain awful. The only good thing is the French bread. I have basically commented on their breakfast buffet in the hotel restaurant many times before and now will either have the breakfast in the lounge or just sleep in. The problem with this hotel is that there are really no nearby food options and not even a convenient store. You have no choice except going back to the airport. With the new “express train” service opening soon, it might give some options in venturing to nearby suburbs. Maybe it will make more sense for you to travel to the city again.

    Adrian

  7. @Lucky\Ben,
    Why would you consider $200 to be on the expensive side when you booked only a few days out and your room was an Executive floor room?
    I have been looking at hotel prices in Vancouver for July and want to cry at how expensive they are around the airport :_(

  8. thanks for this review, it may be my go hotel since last year the in airport hotel at TPE was closed and made a china air, I think, lounge.I pass through TPE at least 8 times per year some are bad connections.

  9. “Despite the hard bed and tasteless breakfast buffet, I was pleased with the Novotel Taipei Airport.”

    Im sorry but I had to LOL. For 1 night at an airport hotel, the only 2 things I personally expect is to have a good bed for a good nights sleep and free good breakfast. Those exact two things were your negative points hahaha. I’m glad the rest of the hotel compensated for that, but in my view thats literally why I’m staying at an airport hotel and if those two things aren’t good then I would choose to stay elsewhere.

  10. I stayed at this hotel for a night last November as I was coming in late from the US and I had a meeting nearby the airport first thing in the morning. My experience was almost exactly the same, but the tasteless breakfast was also under replenished. Basically the buffet was empty at 8 AM. Not good. I know that airport hotels are not always great, but this one was not good at all. I stayed at the Elcat hotel in Taipei which is a great boutique property. The Mandarin Oriental and Grand Hyatt are both over-rated and expensive. Unfortunately, hotels in Taipei are not what one would expect for a great, modern city….

  11. Great review. TPE to Taipei is not too far away in my opinion. Especially now the new airport MRT allows check-in at Taipei before you board the train, one night layover in Taipei should be a reasonable option. That give plenty more great lodging options.

  12. Ben, could you tell me what the Novotel is equivalent to for US based chains…say for the Hilton group or any other for comparison? For the Accor brand, I have only stayed at the lower end Ibis…which is basic and functional. For an upcoming trip to Europe, I can stay at a Novotel down the street for 10E more for the room (and a bit more on the breakfast prices well). Just trying to get a sense of what I’m getting for the extra $$$. Thanks.

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