My greatest travel tip for Taiwan has always been this: don’t stay in Airbnbs or branded hotels.
Taiwan has always been one of those countries that does boutique hotels really well. And how I find these boutique hotels is by going on Tripadvisor and picking the branches in the Top 10 that not only have the highest ‘Excellent’ ratings, but also the least ‘Poor’ ratings, factoring in price and location. In this respect, Swiio did exceedingly well.
The dates that I was in Taiwan were very hot, so I quickly made my booking and went with high expectations. Swiio not only managed to meet them, but to beat them all! That’s saying something as my personal standards for hotels are sometimes ridiculously high. I mean, I would rate Swiio above the other two hotels that I love, Hotel Yan (Singapore) and Grand Hyatt Erawan (Bangkok).
Less talk, more pictures.
This is what greets you upon entering Swiio. A large luxurious king sized bed, with an accompanying daybed. What made me even happier is the interior design. What’s not to love about this Scandinavian theme?
Right opposite this bed is a long worktable that I conveniently forgot to take photos of.
Their toilet is pleasingly minimalistic, complete with a deep sink, deep tub, automated toilet, rain shower and Grohe furnishings. Polished to a gleaming fault, I was actually very impressed by the Grohe Rainshower Icon, which looks like this:
The bathroom space was neatly packed and maximized so I never had incidences of hitting my knee against fixtures, or having to bend too low to reach the sink. Also, notice the black toilet paper? I thought this was a nice touch to the black-white-wood theme.
They provided really high quality toiletry, including bamboo brushes, black cotton buds, a bamboo comb. Eco-living is really big with this hotel.
The other thing that impressed me and that I HAD to try out (spent half a day doing so) was the tub.
Love how they also provided a fresh cling-wrapped natural loofah and scented bath salts. What’s not pictured here is the reflection when the bright lights hit the water and reflect off the ceiling. Made for such a beautiful experience, especially when the tub curves downward to make for a comfortable recline.
And of course, their breakfast was not to disappoint either.
With every set of breakfast, they serve a set of five different fruit juices in small cups along with coffee or tea. There’s also a selection of breads (including a particularly delicious chewy cheese bun) with a variety of three well-made fruit jams. I chose to have the white fish with cream sauce (for breakfast, yes I know) and it was so well-done, I was looking forward to the next day’s breakfast too! Coming from someone who prefers waking up at 2pm, this should be a badge on the hotel’s page. 😛
Their menu is pretty tempting too, but they really close at 10AM sharp — one of the days, I arrived at 10:02AM only to be turned away. I heard this happens at most hotels but I wonder why they can’t have a 5-10 min grace period, especially when their lifts move so slowly.
I don’t have gripes about the hotel at all — service is impeccable, everything in the minibar is complementary, they replace towels upon request even if they don’t make up the room, they provide sufficient bottled water. They even train their staff to stand up and greet you each time you enter, which honestly made me feel a bit bad. Still, I enjoyed all my four nights there, and I felt not only safe, but at home. If location is not an issue for you (Uber in Taiwan is very affordable) then this hotel would be a prime choice. Highly recommended!
PS: It’s only 7-mins away from the largest NBA store in Asia 😉
SWIIO HOTEL DA’AN
No. 185, Section 1, Da’an Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106
+886 2 2703 2220