Shangri-La Far Eastern Plaza, Tainan a luxury oasis in the fast growing city

Located in the city Tainan in Southern Taiwan, 3 hours by speed train from Taipei, Shangri-La Far Eastern Plaza Tainan is the leading international luxury hotel of the city, a true architectural highlight. The downtown hotel is adjacent to the National Cheng Kung University and Far Eastern Plaza department store but also within a short driving distance from most cultural and leisure attractions of which the city is so renowned.

Housed  within a landmark sphere tower, the highest hotel in the city, the hotel boasts 335 rooms and suites as well as  wide range of services, including a fully serviced Spa and six F&B outlets, among which I experienced the Chinese Restaurant (Shanghai Pavilion), a Western Cuisine Restaurant (Mezzanine) which recently introduced a steak menu as well as the Horizon Lounge.

The Local Taiwanese cuisine dishes and the Cantonese delicacies are an absolute treat at the Shanghai Pavilion – make sure you don´t miss sliced pork belly pyramid layered with pickles and the longan fruit wrapped with sliced lotus root. The restaurant is extremely popular with locals too, therefore, make sure you reserve a table in advance.

The architectural highlights of the hotel are undoubtedly the spectacular grand lobby (ranked 29th in the world in 2009), the rooftop swimming pool and the naturally lit atrium Horizon Lounge which provides a most private retreat for Horizon guests. I truly enjoyed my daily breakfast at the Horizon Lounge, catching up on work but also researching on local attractions.

Utilizing local Chinese feng shui to create a balance between nature and architecture, the “sphere” is used to accentuate the design in the Grand Ballroom and Shanghai Pavilion to resemble the sun’s halo.  The main theme, “Golden Harvest,” symbolizes the richness of the land, which is reflected in the warm earth-colored furnishings of nature, and a 10-meter cascading waterfall made from imported Turkish boulders in the main lobby offers guests the Chinese promise of good luck and fortune.

In cooperation with Japan’s leading cosmetics brand Shiseido, the Qi Shiseido Salon and Spa features a wide range of body and facial treatments. I was pampered to an Oriental Harmony treatment with an expertly skilled therapist. The result: deep relaxation and rejuvenation!

Although in its seventh year from opening, the hotel is very well maintained, thanks to the quality of construction and finishes. Rooms are lavish (the largest in the city) and well appointed, with a very comfortable bed, each appointed with large marble bathrooms which feature a separate walk-in glass enclosed shower and a bathtub. The hotel recently introduced the latest line of amenities – Jasmin & Bergamote line by L´Occitane. I also appreciated the fact that rooms are sound-proof enhancing My only suggestion would be to replace the TV sets.

The hotel is not only suited for leisure guests but also for corporate travelers, boasting an extensive conference venue and a wide range of business services. The hotel has a balanced number of corporate versus leisure guests.

Front Office, Spa, Concierge, Horizon Lounge and Housekeeping are among the departments provide a solid standard of service – genuine, attractive and heartfelt.

The Concierge has provided a highlight of the most important attractions of the city. Here are the recommendations. A video preview of the Plaza Suite can be watched here.

Oliver Petcu in Tainan