Regent Taipei has been a firm fixture on the luxury Taipei hotel scene since it’s opening in 1990; business and leisure travellers have been visiting the hotel ever since to stay at this well established, bustling hotel located right in the centre of Taipei.
It’s within easy reach of all transport links, shopping and entertainment areas as well as key sightseeing spots that guests might want to tick off during their visit to this energetic and vibrant city. The hotel has a friendly and efficient staff team, an essential mix for any vegan traveller who will be relying on their needs being communicated to each different department within the hotel.
Rooms and suites are spacious, with our Garden Suite being the largest city hotel suite that we’ve ever stayed in. Aside from the marble bathroom with bath, shower and double sink and our bedroom, we had a open plan huge lounge area (combining a dining and kitchen area) a separate kitchen and guest bathroom and a stunning outside area with seating and soft artificial grass, overlooking the city and park below.
There is a large heated outdoor pool on the rooftop, divided off for lane swimming making it perfect for exercise as well as for leisure. There are various fitness classes, a well equipped gym with a sauna and jacuzzi for those wanting to relax and there is an exceptional spa (read below in the Vegan Essentials section to find out what to expect as a vegan spa enthusiast at the Regent Taipei).
There’s no doubt that the Regent Taipei knows how to deliver luxury to their guests, after all they have been doing so successfully for over 25 years and have the awards to prove it, but how would this translate when tailoring their service to vegans? We checked in to find out…
The Vegan Food
With 8 world class restaurants to choose from, we were hopeful that we’d eat well during our stay but even with our high hopes, our expectations were still exceeded.
We took breakfast in The Brasserie which was a hive of activity with plates clanging, billows of steam from the giant baskets of dim sum and sizzling noises coming from the live cooking stations; staff and guests ferried plates of food back and forth in the lively morning atmosphere. We have to admit to feeling a little lost in all the action and were relived when a member of staff rescued us and showed us around, asking detailed questions about ingredients and cooking methods and highlighting everything we could eat (there was a lot).
We were particularly impressed with the congee station which offered the biggest amount of condiments that we’ve ever seen. Plain congee, which is made from white rice and water, is really nothing special without the condiments you add to it and we had a vast selection to choose from. We made exciting congee creations, adding deep fried sticky sweet gluten, spicy fermented tofu, firm tofu cubes and an array of pickles to our rice porridge for a fun, interactive and tasty vegan breakfast dish.
There was also a range of vegetable dishes we could eat and staff were happy to make vegan versions of dishes we couldn’t eat. The glossy, rich aubergine in spicy sauce was already vegan and available from the buffet, making a delicious, quick and easy vegan choice.
Staff were keen to show us traditional Taiwanese food that was also vegan (although not always vegan on the streets outside so it was an even bigger treat) delivering surprise plates of youtiao (Chinese donuts) and sesame pastry with cups of sweet, warm soy milk, and famous Taiwanese scallion pancakes. We loved getting to sample local food and trying delicious new flavours.
For lunch we dined in Robin’s Grill where their extensive salad bar full of fresh vegetables that are produced in Taiwan, healthy grains and exquisite dressings was a dream playground for vegans like us. There was a choice of several different leaves, sprouts, red quinoa grains, seeds, nuts and a whole array of vegetables we hadn’t tried before as well as flavoured vinegars and oils (the mango infused vinegar was delicious).
We also experienced the theatre of Teppanyaki at Robbin’s Teppan with the chef expertly cooking a selection of ingredients on the grill in front of us. Our meal began with a beautifully presented and delicious salad starter, dressed with a sweet, sour and fruity dressing.
Then we watched him work his magic on the hotplate before us, expertly cooking ingredients to perfection and surprising us with the range of food that could be cooked in this way. We ate a platter of vegetables and tofu, accompanied by the intriguing salty tasting and succulent ‘icy leaf’ plant, truffle and vegetable fried rice (beautifully flavoured with subtle black truffles) and then a caramelised grilled banana dessert.
A vegan meal at Silks House gave us the opportunity to work our way through 8 courses of Szechuan and Cantonese fusion food (and to be delighted, impressed and amazed at every opportunity), here you can read our full review of this exceptionally delicious meal at Silks House.
During the rest of the time we were welcomed by the Tai Pan Club staff to experience the elegant lounge setting. We had the option to enjoy breakfast there with the staff offering to arrange a range of vegan options for us and were also able to eat vegan canapes (a selection of dumplings) alongside evening cocktails.
If we had to sum it up in one sentence, we’d say that there were no shortage of opportunities to eat delicious vegan food in this luxury hotel…
The Vegan Essentials
The bed at the Regent Taipei was supremely comfortable but we were even happier to see the extensive range of non-feather pillows to choose from, including the interesting (but very firm) signature tea leaves pillow. The in-room amenities were from luxury French brand Diptyque, paraben free but we’re still waiting to hear from them as to whether their products are vegan.
The Wellspring Spa at Regent Taipei is really very special and the hotel’s aim to create a ‘resort class spa in urban environment’ has most definitely been met. As we stepped into the spa area, we instantly felt the tranquil atmosphere and by the time our Traveler’s Perk treatment was finished, we felt like we had been away for a weekend retreat. It was that good.
After a warm lemon tea drink and soothing foot bath, we headed for a steam room and shower, all contained in the luxurious couples treatment room. Then we were indulged with an hour long massage that included Balinese massage techniques before plunging into a giant, rose petal filled bath (also in our spa suite) as we sipped on sweet tea and ate fruit and vegan mochi to revive ourselves.
It really was one of the best spa experiences ever
The Vegan Food Quest Verdict
Check-in to the Regent Taipei for a city centre luxury break where your expectations will be exceeded. Sample delicious vegan food at breakfast, lunch and dinner from a choice of their restaurants, enjoying food from around the globe (including traditional Taiwanese food too).
Spoil yourself with a trip to the spa for an experience (not just a treatment) that will leave you feeling totally rejuvenated and don’t forget to squeeze time in for a meal at Silks House to sample the exceptional vegan menu.
We were guests of Regent Taipei but please rest assured that their generosity in hosting us didn’t influence our views
Zhongshan N Rd
Telephone: +886 2 2523 8000<
Rooms From: £160 / $240 (Nov 2015)