CitizenM North Gate hotel - Taipei, Taiwan
Since launching its first property in Schiphol airport in 2008, the citizenM group has been busy sprinkling its ‘affordable luxury’ branding across western Europe and North America, with, we hear, 15 new properties due to be rolled out faster than you can whip out your passport. This past month, it opened its eleventh – and first Asian – outpost in Taipei, ahead of Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur.
Rising 26 stories above the historic North Gate, the 267-room hotel cleaves close to the brand’s DNA – to wit, an interior design by Dutch studio Concrete of brash primary colours anchored by swathes of black, mood-lighting and a team of chirpy, tee-shirted Millennial staff, the latter, somewhat burdened with the grandiose title of ambassadors.
Gadgetry dominates whether the self-check-in counter on the ground floor, the lively video wall art in the corridors, or the iPad in the compact all-white rooms that control everything from the blinds and room temperature to the menu of shifting ambient lighting
A 24/7 bar and canteen on the second floor serves up quiches, congee, instant noodles and Continental fare, though, this being Taipei, there are abundant and more locally authentic fare to be had nearby, not the least of which are Hua Shan Market’s sesame flat breads, Ay Chung’s rice flour noodles, and Din Tai Fung’s fabulous dumplings a few blocks away next to the Museum of Contemporary Art.