Taiwan’s First Homegrown Design Hotel – amba Taipei Ximending – is Unveiled With a Flourish in Taipei’s Trendy Downtown District
Taiwan’s most established hotel company launches a hip, next-generation hotel brand with an emphasis on Creativity, Connectivity, and Conservation
Taiwan’s Ambassador Hotel Group celebrates 50 years of luxury hospitality in 2012 with the launch of its next-generation design hotel concept – amba Hotels & Resorts, adding an element of fun to travel. The first hotel in the amba collection, the 160-room amba Taipei Ximending, opens its doors in February 2012.
Taiwan’s first homegrown international-standard design hotel is created by some of Taiwan’s hottest architects, artists, music stylists, and mixologists. Styled to resonate with globally savvy urban travelers, amba is a modern statement of experiential travel – one of design creativity, authentic local experiences, inviting social areas, high-speed connectivity, responsible consumption, and convenient service offerings. The three C’s of amba’s DNA are: creativity, connectivity, and conservation.
The amba guest appreciates great design and simplified, highly functional living. Used to mixing travel, work, and pleasure, global jetsetters require fast and easy connectivity, welcoming and friendly interactions, and services without boundaries. They are also eager to conserve nature’s resources, and passionate about culture and community. amba’s unpretentious products and services ‘with a twist’ are designed to meet this on-the-go, creative lifestyle.
amba Taipei Ximending is a new landmark in Taipei’s trendy Ximending shopping and entertainment district.
Located in the west of Taipei, Ximending is one of the city’s most atmospheric neighborhoods and is currently undergoing a creative renaissance. A nexus of Taipei youth cultures, the area combines cultural heritage with an emerging design and lifestyle scene. It is also an established entertainment hotspot, home to a large number of cinemas within a few city blocks.
Ximending’s vibrant energy, dazzling neon, dense signage and colorful street art fuse together to create a truly exciting metropolitan district. Walking the atmospheric streets and alleys, visitors can watch street theatre performances, have their name written by local calligraphers or stop for Taiwan’s famous xiao chi (small bites) at the many curbside restaurants, hawker carts and bubble tea stalls. Diverse shopping can also be found in the department stores and night markets.
amba Taipei Ximending is located above the pedestrianized Wuchang Street. It occupies the upper floors of the fashionable Eslite shopping complex, home to signature brands such as Vivienne Westwood, M.A.C, and Muji. From here, it’s just a five-minute walk to Ximending metro station, 20 minutes drive to Taipei Songshan Airport, and 45 minutes to Taoyuan International Airport.
Converting an old department store into an urban hotel, amba covers the facade of the 10-storey charcoal grey building in a triangular pattern derived from computerized ‘scripting’. The effect enables the building to differentiate itself from the surrounds, and channels the energy of the area toward the hotel’s entrance.
After passing through the Street Salon, guests arrive at the lobby on level five and are welcomed into an artful, contemporary scene. A large Creative Space showcases regularly changing exhibits and installations by Taiwanese artists.
The eight-meter reception desk is an artistic masterpiece, made from 2012 plastic bottles that glow opalescent at night. Behind the desk is a 37-piece artwork entitled ‘Seeded’. Custom designed for amba in carved plywood, this original is another example within amba of how basic, recycled products can be transformed into high design.
Occupying the remainder of the amba Lobby is The Atrium. A transparent roof looks upward to a five-storey atrium topped with a glass dome flooding the space with natural light. Designed as a residential ‘living room’ and workspace, The Atrium is adorned with leather sofas and long wooden benches. Guests are free to use the space as they please, whether for socializing, sipping a cool drink or enjoying the complimentary Internet to catch up on emails or Skype with friends and family.
amba Taipei Ximending features 160 guestrooms, ranging in size from 21 to 60 square meters (226 to 646 square feet). The design style is bright, fresh and minimal, functionality is key, and comfort is found in the finer details.
Five different room types – Queen, Medium, Large, Extra Large, and Balcony – are decorated in recycled blonde woods, with industrial-chic lighting and matte black bathrooms. Environmentally friendly materials – such as recycled plywood floors and painted tin drum side tables – are used throughout.
All rooms at amba feature complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi Internet, IP telephony, and a 32- or 40-inch Internet TV offering satellite channels, built-in Skype and social media, and Internet videos. Comfortable beds are made with 100 percent natural unbleached linens. Other amenities include a laptop-sized safe, a mini fridge, and universal power plugs on all walls.
A vintage-look leather sofa and bedside tables made from travel trunks and recycled tin barrels give each guestroom a stylish, lived-in feel. Bespoke artworks inspired by the cinematic and musical heritage of Ximending are displayed in each room, and as huge collages along the corridors of each floor.
Each room features separate toilet and shower rooms, with dual rainforest and power massage showerheads. Deluxe bath products made from local ginger are exclusively provided by socially responsible Taiwanese brand, Two Acres. Guests will also love the unbleached organic cotton towels, and trendy amba flip flops which can be taken home after their visit.
Guestrooms either overlook Ximending district, or into the peaceful domed inner courtyard of the hotel. Balcony rooms feature a large covered terrace, offering a selection of views from the Taipei cityscape to surrounding mountains to the beautiful Danshui River.
Believing that modern luxury is derived from generosity, amba’s room rates include an appealing range of complimentary conveniences and thoughtful extras. All guests receive complimentary hotel-wide Wi-Fi access to Taiwan’s fastest Internet speeds.
A self-service laundry room, featuring a washer, a dryer, and laundry detergent, is also provided free of charge for amba guests upon request.
amba Dine, Drink, and Music
The lobby area flows seamlessly into the drinking, dining, and entertainment spaces. amba Taipei Ximending offers an all-day café-restaurant, a music lounge, and a street side bakery.
chiba – a combined reference to the hotel name and the Chinese phrase ‘to eat’ – brings a new style of international café dining to Ximending. A casual setting includes an open kitchen, communal seating, and a rich display of collectibles, memorabilia, books, and even organic herb plants.
chiba’s menu features a wide selection of gourmet wraps and paninis, healthy salads, pastas, and Asian specialties. Dishes focus on seasonal, local ingredients and healthy breads imported from New York. Meals are served in hearty portions on rustic wooden boards, and accompanied by protein smoothies, fresh fruit juices, and excellent coffees.
During the day, chiba becomes a mobile workplace for guests and creative nomads, who enjoy the relaxed ambience, free high-speed Wi-Fi, and personal power sockets for laptops and other devices.
chiba leads into tingba, Taipei’s hottest cocktail and music lounge. tingba’s sophisticated drinks list is created exclusively for amba Taipei Ximending by one of Asia’s top sommeliers, Jean-Marc Nolant. The wine list features affordably priced sparkling, organic and biodynamic wines, all served by the glass and by the bottle.
tingba Music Lounge
tingba’s cocktail list is another talk-of-the-town highlight. It features eight original signature cocktails made with generous pours of house-infused liqueurs and fresh organic ingredients. Signature cocktails include the Ginger Pina Mojito, a twist on the popular Cuban mojito, using fresh lime juice, fresh mint leaves, fresh pineapple, ginger ale, and Bacardi rum infused with ginger. The amba Fatty Old Fashioned uses orange and bacon infused bourbon, housemade bitters and hand-chipped ice cubes for a superbly crafted cocktail.
As the name suggests (‘ting’ means music in Mandarin), tingba is also a destination for the hippest local beats. Every night, tingba’s DJs mix cutting-edge sounds from street voice’s exclusive playlist. Walls covered with 300 worn denim jeans and recycled vintage music speakers enhance the up-tempo vibe.
The heart of the fifth-floor dining and entertainment area is The Lab. Fronting The Atrium, this central island bar is decorated with an eclectic display of rustic crates, antique scales and canisters, and other mixology apparatus. Reflecting the functional and friendly style of service that amba represents, it is designed as a ‘culinary apothecary.’ Guests can order food and drinks, watch their cocktail or smoothie being expertly mixed, and chat with the bar staff dressed in science lab coats.
At street level, tianba is a bakery bar serving a variety of artful cupcakes in fun flavours. Coffees, teas and wines, plus tianba’s legendary spiked slurpees, accompany these sweet treats. Guests and local visitors can enjoy their refreshments in the alfresco lounge or pick up a quick snack, coffee or gift box of cupcakes to go.
amba Creative Events
With its distinctive styling and location in the heart of Taipei’s entertainment district, amba Taipei Ximending is destined to become an in-demand venue for creative events.
amba’s inspired and functional spaces are perfectly designed for hosting a range of prestigious events, including brand launches, fashion shows, company seminars, film premiere after-parties, training workshops, mini outdoor concerts, and even unconventional weddings.
tingba offers 348 square meters (3,751 square feet) of versatile space for cocktail receptions of up to 150 people, with high-tech AV capabilities, plus a DJ booth. The open kitchen and The Lab bar provide creative catering solutions – enhanced by amba’s trademark friendly service style.
Event planners may also choose the 208-square-meter (2,239 square feet) outdoor Street Salon on level 1 for receptions of up to 120 people and the 97 square-meter (1,043 square feet) Creative Space for receptions of up to 50 people.
amba TAIPEI XIMENDING
Address: 77 Wuchang Street, Section 2, Taipei 10843, Taiwan
Phone: +886 2 2375 5111
Reservations: +886 2 2311 9977 | 0800 716 716 Taiwan toll-free
About amba hotels & resorts
amba Hotels & Resorts was launched by Ambassador Hotel Group in 2012 as its next-generation design hotel concept. Designed for the globally savvy urban travelers who appreciate creativity, connectivity, and conservation, the amba brand adds an element of fun to travel through its modern, playful design, inviting social areas, and energetic team.
The brand’s first hotel amba Taipei Ximending, opened in February 2012, has quickly become a top rated Ximending hotel in Taipei. In September 2012, Wallpaper* magazine nominated amba BEST BUSINESS HOTELS 2012 Shortlisted, and described the hotel as one of the best new openings around the world. New amba locations – amba Taipei Zhongshan and amba Taipei Songshan - are scheduled to open in 2015. The first amba resort – amba Kenting - is expected to open in Kenting, the southern-most tip of Taiwan, in 2016.