One of the best news this year for Pinoy travel enthusiasts is that Filipinos can now visit Taiwan with ease as it will be visa-free until July 31, 2020. That’s one big reason for us milk tea-loving Pinoys to travel to Taiwan, eat all the braised pork rice we want, try different brands of milk tea, and discover great finds. If you’ve already booked a flight, here’s a recommendation for your accommodation: Amba Taipei Hotel in Ximending, one of the three Amba Taipei Hotels in Taiwan.
Amba Taipei Ximending is a 4-star hotel located above the Eslite Wuchang, a shopping complex along Wuchang Street within the pedestrian area of Western Taipei. It’s right in the heart of the popular Ximending Night Market, which is always vibrant and bustling. The long stretch of this market is popular because it is filled with souvenir shops, fashion shops, pink claw machines and arcades, and ever-energetic people. This hotel perfectly complements its neighborhood because it’s as hip and as charming as its surroundings. However, it also offers a cozy and homey experience at the same time.
Amba’s lobby is situated on the 5th floor. Upon entering, the long reception desk will catch your attention as it exudes an overall modern appearance. If you look closely, you’ll also see that it’s artfully arranged with plastic bottles. The desk actually measures 8 meters and is filled with 2012 (to signify the year when the hotel opened) recycled plastic bottles that glow opalescent at night. The staff is very friendly and warm; and they can speak English, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Japanese, so it’s not difficult to communicate with them.
Art enthusiasts will be glad to also see four pastel pop art portraits leading to the desk, as well. Made by a Taiwanese local artist, these creations are cute character stickers assembled to form different images. So cool!
They call this cozy and Instagram-worthy part of the hotel the Atrium. Here, you will feel like you’re lounging at home with plants and wooden chairs and tables as pieces. You can also dine and eat breakfast here if you want a dose of natural daylight.
My favorite spot
Amba caters to all types of travelers. Whether you’re in Taiwan for business or leisure, they offer small, medium, large, and extra-large rooms. This means you can find the best space for you, no matter how many people you are traveling with. They also have the Loft, which is perfect for barkadas and families. During our visit, we got a sneak peek of all of these rooms, including the Balcony room which features a terrace showing the beautiful view of Taipei at night.
The overall theme of Amba is music, which explains why most of the rooms have a cool vinyl-like table in them. You’ll also notice that they go the extra eco-friendly mile by reusing old metal containers, painting them and revamping them into center tables. They also encourage you to take home the free pair of slippers they provide, so that they can be reused. They provide eco-friendly and all-natural toiletries, too!
The 6th and the 7th floors are said to be the guests’ favorite levels of the hotel because of the murals and themed elevator doors. Aside from music, one floor has a movie theme, where there are murals along the hallways you won’t be able to help taking pictures of.
Another detail about the hotel that is worth noting is the Tingba or Legacy mini, a music lounge area, which I find really cool and interesting. It serves as a function room for events like weddings and meetings, but also caters to jamming nights that the hotel regularly holds to introduce budding singers and other artists. There are old speakers all around that serve as embellishments, as well. The center stage is a part of this room you shouldn’t miss, either, as it is filled with around 300 jeans upcycled to decorate the stage walls.
Another highlight is the hotel’s restaurant, Chiba. In the morning, they serve a complimentary buffet breakfast that showcases various international dishes and breakfast staples. You should try their Taiwanese specialties, like the rice rolls which they will make in front of you on the spot after you choose your fillings. At night, the restaurant and the bar called Tingba are open for dinner and booze. I love how the dining areas looks like a library; it is surrounded by books and board games! They also have a bakery on the ground floor named Tianba.
Last but not least, I love how Amba Taipei Ximending is just a 5-minute walk away from Ximen Station and other popular landmarks like the Red House. It’s also just a 10-minute ride away from Taipei Main Station. We didn’t have to take a lot of taxi rides because of its easy access to most tourist spots. The hotel also provides airport transportation, currency exchange, luggage storage, mailing and courier services, city tour arrangements, laundry services, and universal power outlets that make things convenient for all international travelers.
For a hassle-free and comfortable vacation in Taiwan, Amba Taipei Ximending should be one of your top choices for accommodation.
Amba Taipei Ximending
10843, Taiwan, Taipei City, Wanhua District, Section 2, Wuchang St, 77