S Hotel, Taipei

As Malaysia goes into a period of lockdown from 18th March to 14th April, I will be publishing a new post on this blog everyday to keep all my friends back home company. This post is part of the #Lockdown series.

Today is the 11th day of MCO. You should have accepted by now that we are not going to go anywhere for the next 2,000 years. All the psychotic behaviours should now come to cessation. Enough is enough. Mine certainly have. So if you haven’t achieved that state of sedation, I suggest you stop your panic commute to the kitchen and start making get-well cards first for Boris, second – forget about Prince Charles – our King at Istana.

I had a surprisingly satisfactory day, starting with 15 minutes of prayer and meditation, HIIT exercise, playing the piano, teaching my 6-year-old niece the piano via FaceTime, and finishing an episode of Our Planet (Jungle) with dad at a distance and two glasses of wine. I thought I had never had a happier day being trapped at home in quarantine, until I remember my trip to Taipei last September.

It was pouring every single evening during my visit and one day, the typhoon hit. All the schools were shut and offices were close. Where was I? I was at the S Hotel, chatting away happily with equally bored staff and drinking water out of a Bacarrat crystal glass designed by Philippe Starck. Not feeling a little bit delirious, which was commendable considering how dramatic I can be most of the time. And in case you wonder, the water still tasted like water.

I had been wanting to visit S Hotel for a while. When I was living in Taipei, this place used to be TGI Fridays. I remember the apartment I lived in was only a few blocks away, so I would nipped down to the bar for the giant margaritas and buffalo wings after work sometimes. It’s always a jolly time and I miss it terribly. So I thought it would be interesting to see if this place can rival the good old stamping ground.

S Hotel is built and managed by the Chinese restaurateur, Wang Xiao Fei, as a gift to his mega successful Taiwanese wife/ actress, S.

The hotel is designed by Starck. Upstairs, the rooms come with a pillow menu, coral velvet robes, Bang & Olufsen speakers and mini Chambord at the mini bar. Downstairs, you can have cocktails or go to the restaurant where Chinese dishes are served on Royal Doulton tableware and paired with French wine. There are also exclusive Baccarat glasses that you can buy as collectibles. Quite like Happy Meals at McDonald’s that is right, except Ronald would be in a tux feeding you lobster nuggets with a side of guac.

But the books on the shelves are not real. The pearl necklaces hung on the wall aren’t either. There are photos of S here and there, some with her equally famous sister, some with her daughter. Some call this idea of Wang romantic, some call it opportunistic. It’s a free world. If a man wants to spend 200 million TWD to a carve a business in a city he frequently visits but for his wife, I am all for it.

Service was second to none. All the staff were friendly, helpful, as they should be. The only downside was there were no buffalo wings. So I think we have a clear winner.

With love x

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