Mandarin Oriental Taipei
The Mandarin Oriental Taipei needs no introduction; if you are a luxury hotel lover, then you’ll already have an understanding that the service, quality, ambience and everything else offered by this prestigious luxury brand will be of the highest standard. Located in the heart of Taipei’s most established business district, on a tree lined boulevard within easy access to transport links, key sights, entertainment venues and shopping areas it’s the perfect choice for business and leisure travellers alike.
The decor inside the hotel is classic; expect chandeliers, high ceilings, luxurious drapes, exquisite wallpapers, marble and classical statues. But it’s not old-fashioned; the Mandarin Oriental Taipei manages to create a modish and luxurious space that offers a serene retreat from the city outside. The place exudes quality, but in a subtle and self-assured kind of way, having an intimate and exclusive feel.
Rooms are spacious, with marble bathrooms and walk-in closet dressing areas. Lights subtly activate as you enter the room, curtains draw with the push of a button and the television, like all other fixtures and fittings, is hi-tech and high quality.
The hotel has a spa and fitness centre, as well as a 20 metre heated outdoor swimming pool; it makes for a great external space to relax and enjoy the sunshine and as an added bonus the complimentary sun tan lotion for guests to use is 100% vegan made by quality US brand ‘Sun Bum‘.
The Vegan Food
We ate breakfast at Café Un Deux Trois as well as the in the Oriental Club where the best choice for the vegan traveller is definitely to opt or the more traditional Taiwanese options of congee or dim sum.
The vegan congee (a soothing rice porridge, for those who are unfamiliar) was made with tiny flecks of mushroom, carrot and Chinese cabbage, but it was the selection of condiments that was most exciting (Café Un Deux Trois has the most, but there is also a good variety on offer in the Oriental Club). Choose from a selection of Taiwanese pickle, marinated bamboo shoots, fried gluten and peanut, Chinese youtiao (fried stick shaped donuts) and even a vegan ‘meat floss’. Vegan ‘meat floss’ may sound off putting to the uninitiated but it’s actually a great seasoning, made from either breadcrumbs or soy and it went perfectly in our breakfast congee.
The dim sum, served in a bamboo steamer and brought to our table, consisted of delicious mushroom filled dumplings, full of creamy and earthy, rich mushroom flavours. Dipped in soy and chilli they were incredibly moreish and positively irresistible.
For another breakfast option, we let the Oriental Club team prepare some potato cakes and roasted vegetables, served with fresh juice, tea and fruit in the tranquil lounge area.
Afternoon tea is an institution in Taipei and we enjoyed this tradition in the Oriental Club. Although we couldn’t indulge in the cakes, pastries and snacks available to other guests, we were offered an abundant fresh fruit platter and some fresh spring rolls with a trio of dipping sauces (lemon and parsley, Japanese BBQ, and Thai).
Each evening at the Oriental Club there were canapes and cocktails served and the staff arranged for us to have something vegan which included fried tofu pieces, spiced potatoes, green beans with Japanese tofu sauce and fresh fruit. It’s probably worth noting at this stage that the staff in the Oriental Club were exceptional, service was always delivered with a smile and they seemed to go out of their way to help us with our vegan food requests.
To experience a fine dining Cantonese meal in the classy Mandarin Oriental surroundings, vegan guests should head to Ya Ge to eat an exquisite, delicate meal of delicious vegan Cantonese food. The food was fresh, light and healthful; and we loved the clean presentation style. If you want to see why we enjoyed the food so much, read our full review here of Ya Ge.
The Vegan Essentials
There wasn’t just a non-feather pillow available, there was a whole pillow menu to chose from; buckwheat, foam, latex or NASA designed memory foam meant we could have our choice of feather-free vegan sleeps. The in room amenities were from luxury French brand Diptyque whose products are free from parabens but we are waiting to hear whether their products are vegan.
The spa uses ‘Quintessence’ products, the Mandarin Oriental’s signature brand of products made exclusively for them by award winning Aromatherapy Associates, they contain naturally-derived ingredients and are paraben free; we’ll update whether they are vegan or not as soon as we hear.
The Vegan Food Quest Verdict
Check-in to the Mandarin Oriental Taipei to experience how this renowned luxury hotel brand delivers their own style of sophisticated, vegan luxury. Book a room with Oriental Club access to benefit from the excellent service which is particularly helpful as vegan guests and don’t miss out on the opportunity to dine in Ya Ge for some fine-dining Cantonese food, delivered with Mandarin Oriental finesse.
We were guests of Mandarin Oriental Taipei but please rest assured that their generosity in hosting us didn’t influence our views
Mandarin Oriental Taipei
158 Dunhua North Road
Telephone: +886 2 2715 6888
Rooms From: £290 / $435 (Nov 2015)