Another business trip to Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Another tiring 6am Scoot flight from Singapore to Kaohsiung. We landed about 15 minutes earlier at around 10 am and quickly disembarked from the plane before clearing customs. Customs was a breeze and took no more than 5 minutes.
Directions to 85 Sky Tower Hotel
From then on it was smooth experience for me. Cabs were abundant at the time I was at the Arrival hall. I repeated the hotel name to the cab driver (a name that I have finally managed to memorize after having stayed at the hotel at least 5 times the last 2 months). Yes, I am a frequent stayer at 85 Sky Tower Hotel!
The hotel is about a 20 minutes’ drive from the airport and will cost approximately NTD 255 by meter.
If you are staying at the 85 Sky Tower Hotel, do note that 85 Sky Tower has a number of hotels occupying different parts of the tower block. So please specify to your driver which hotel you are staying at to ensure he drops you off at the right entrance (although it will only take you about a minute or so to walk to the correct entrance in any event).
85 Sky Tower
85 Sky Tower is an 85-story skyscraper located in Lingya District and is 378m tall (inclusive of its antenna). Until the completion of Taipei 101, 85 Sky Tower was the tallest building in Taiwan and remains the tallest skyscraper in Kaohsiung. The tower also boasts an observation deck on the 74th floor and offers unobstructed views over Kaohsiung City, the Love River and the Kaohsiung Harbour. For those interested, the admission to the observation deck is NTD180 and takes 43s to reach via the high-speed elevators. For me, as I will be staying at the tower, the views are equally spectacular from the rooms so an additional plus would be the free view I guess.
While I don’t normally get a chance to do any sightseeing, the tower is close to some attractions like Dream Mall, Former British Consulate at Takao, Qihou lighthouse and Qijin Old Street and is within walking distance to the Sanduo Shopping District Metro Station. If you are a foodie, the tower is also close to Ziqiang night market which is not that touristy and offers a more local perspective to the night market experience.
Checking-in into 85 Sky Tower Hotel
Having paid our cab driver, I came out to see my boss waiting for me and the luggage offloaded from the car boot. The hotel staff was helpful with the unloading of the luggage and was more than willing to point us in the right direction. While we didn’t need directions having frequented this hotel so often, it is good that the hotel is putting in extra effort to ensure the best experience for its guests. 85 Sky Tower Hotel is unique in design as the reception is on the 39th floor and may be confusing for first time visitors.
The lifts are on the left side of the entrance and takes you all the way up to the 39th floor.
Checking in was easy. While I am familiar with the Chinese language, the front desk staff was attentive enough to speak in English (very good English) to me for the entire check-in process. Usual questions like whether I require English or Chinese papers in the morning and also basic information regarding room keys and breakfast coupons were dealt with during the check-in. While check-in was supposed to be only after 2pm, the front desk staff were more than helpful in releasing the rooms then as they were already ready.
As we got up from our chairs, another helpful staff directed us to the next set of lifts that will take us up to the rooms. Based on my previous stays at 85 Sky Tower Hotel, this is extraordinary. Normally, the staff would direct you vaguely in the direction of the lifts instead of accompanying you to the lifts. When asked why the difference in service, the staff replied that their management is seeking to improve on customer service and therefore is paying greater attention to these minor details. Good!
Rooms at 85 Sky Tower Hotel
There are generally 3 main type of rooms (leaving aside the suite types):
- Deluxe Room;
- Family Room; and
- Executive Room.
I have stayed in all three types of rooms before.
Each room type has both twin beds or a double bed configuration. Deluxe is the cheapest. Family is slightly more expensive as it is meant to take up to 4 guests instead of 2. The difference between Deluxe/Family type rooms compared with the Executive Room is mainly the extra perks thrown in with the room.
This time round, I was booked an Executive Room. Yippee!
The room is spacious enough with real estate for a working desk and also a sofa area. All room types offer a fruit platter and taster sized portions of nougats from the bakery on the ground floor (i.e. Julian’s):
I mentioned earlier of extra perks being made available for Executive Rooms. These perks include branded toiletries from L’Occitane en Provence (OMG!!!) and also a mini bar with complimentary drinks:
Depending on your room, your view varies. This time round I had a perfect view of the Love River and also a view of the harbour:
Sleep at 85 Sky Tower Hotel
I loved the pillows. They are not too thick and you can stack them according to your preferences. If you prefer it to be slightly higher, just add in an extra pillow.
The bed was firm but not hard and offers great support for the back. The sheets were also comfortable. Perfect to spend the night watching television in bed. Speaking of which, the channels are quite varied and should be sufficient for the average traveller:
While not the best experience I had compared to for example Conrad, Hong Kong or Hilton, Shenzhen, the overall experience was enjoyable and pleasant (I managed to steal a quick 20 minutes nap after checking in and it was one awesome nap!)
Breakfast at 85 Sky Tower Hotel
Breakfast is from 6.30am to 10am on the 39th floor. Be sure to bring those coupons with you to be admitted into the restaurant:
When you hand over your coupon, you will be given a table “holder” that you can place on any table to reserve the table while you get yourself your breakfast. Perfect for a traveller on their own. No more worries of leaving your table for a short while only to find it occupied by another group of persons:
There are two areas to sit at. My suggestion is to sit on the left side upon entering the restaurant. You will have a great view of the port:
Breakfast is laid out on both sides of the restaurant. The hot food is normally on the left side (the portside) and the cold dishes are on the right side. The spread is sufficiently wide with both western and oriental dishes. While I was there, I noticed that there are minor changes to the items on offer each morning (suggesting some kind of a rotating menu):
While not the best breakfast I had in a hotel, the spread is sufficiently wide giving you a chance to have a taste of different local foods as compared to local breakfast shops outside that only focus on particular food items. My suggestion is to, if possible, have breakfast there once during your trip on a day where you feel too lazy to go around in the morning for food.
As I was staying in an Executive room, I also got a chance to use their business center (7am – 10pm daily) for free. If you are on a business trip, this may be a good place to hold informal meetings as there are plenty of comfortable seats and also complementary beverages:
Happy hour is after 6pm where you have free access to alcohol. So, drink to your heart’s content.
Overall Review of 85 Sky Tower Hotel
Overall, my experience with 85 Sky Tower Hotel has been enjoyable. The facilities although a little dated still retain their old shine. I will visit this hotel again.
However, as I don’t think there’s much difference between the executive rooms and the deluxe rooms to justify the difference in price, you may want to consider saving some money and going with the cheaper room types (unless you have to use the Business Center). The extra perks are not really worth the extra money. Whether to pay for the breakfast depends on you, if you are adventurous enough, why not explore the nearby streets to see what the locals eat.
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