In my years of writing about the design and hotel scenes in Taipei, I never expected to be this impressed by a boutique hotel in Taipei. Yet here we are.
The amba Taipei Songshan opened in July 2016. It’s the third and newest location of the amba chain — its two other locations are in Ximending and Zhongshan.
The difference with the Songshan location is it’s situated on floors 17 through 21 of a new high-rise building opposite the Songshan MRT station. Each of the 189 rooms was built out from scratch, and the views are some of the best in town.
The amba Taipei Songshan was designed for leisure/business travelers like you and me. My number one demand is a strong (and free!) wifi connection so I can work in bed. A close second is a shiny, new bathroom. And third, I’m never tempted by the mini-fridge — I’d prefer it empty so I can fill it with my own drinks and snacks.
The amba gets all of that right and scores bonus points for its TV channel selection, the Nespresso machine, and having more than enough outlets to plug in all of my chargers.
I’d describe the room as new and luxurious enough so you know you’re away from home. But it’s got all the conveniences you need, so you feel right at home too. In fact, I found myself thinking, “I should do my bedroom like this.”
That incredible natural light is pretty nice too…
There are lots of thoughtful touches. Instead of disposable slippers, the amba provides two pairs of flip-flops you can take home after your stay. I did so without shame.
If you’re traveling with babies and kids, you can borrow toys, boardgames, cribs and strollers. Or if you’re traveling with big kids, you can pay 500NTD to rent stuff like Apple TV, PlayStation and XBox for 24 hours. There’s even a self-service laundry room.
My Corner 101 View Room, which is typically 4,600NT/night, had a generously-sized rain shower. However, some of the medium and large-sized rooms have bathtubs with the most amazing views of either Keelung River or Xinyi District.
By the way, room prices at the amba Songshan are totally reasonable compared to competitor boutique hotels in Taipei. Rates start from 3,100NT/night for the “Smart Twin Room”, and go up to 6,600NT/night for “Loft” rooms with river or city views.
If you don’t need a room for the night, the lobby lounge and restaurant are absolutely worth the escalator ride to the 17th floor.
The floor-to-ceiling panoramic views are obviously amazing. But more than that, the design of the space is just super nice.
These imposing bamboo lanterns were handcrafted by local artisans in central Taiwan then transported to Taipei. There are 24 in total with 17 unique designs that hang throughout the lobby area and restaurant.
The woodfire grill restaurant, named Que, serves lunch and dinner Mondays to Friday, as well as brunch til 4pm on weekends.
The restaurant has a fully open kitchen, modern decor (I really love those chairs — I’d like to have them at home) and a salad bar that’s included in the price of any main meal. I’m a total sucker for a well-stocked salad bar, so I really enjoyed our dinner there.
Outside the hotel you’ll find Raohe Night Market and wufenpu clothes street. There are also plenty of casual dining options inside the Citylink building across the street.
But if you want to skip the night market, I can recommend two local eats: this fried porkchop lunchbox for 85NTD (above) which I took back to eat in my room, and Songhan Guabao (below) which serves up the classic Taiwanese bun for 50NTD. You won’t regret it.
Thanks to the team at amba Taipei Songshan for organizing my hotel stay. This post was written independently by me and all opinions are my own.