Taipei's monochromatic Ambience Hotel is the choicest stay for the style-conscious
Medium / TIME Global Advisor
Date / 2006.07.10
Writer / CYNTHIA ROSENFELD
The risk with white-on-white decor is that it can seem disconcertingly reminiscent of an asylum, but it hasn't prevented the Ambience Hotel, ambiencehotel.com.tw, from emerging as one of the sanest accommodation choices in Taipei. Style-conscious guests will recognize the Philippe Starck and Ferruccio Laviani furnishings throughout the property, yet local design talent takes most of the credit for the beautifully sparse look of the city's first truly hip hotel. Taiwanese architect Wei-Min Lee has housed Ambience in a 10-story neon-lit tower; local designer Ted Su (the man responsible for the look of Taipei's popular group of Roxy bar-clubs, as well as newer venues like TU and Wind) is the originator of the hotel's cool-as-ice interior.
Style Watch: Rattan Revolution The monochromatic approach is taken to extremesven the foliage in the Ambience Lounge has been lacquered whiteo this is not a hotel for lovers of old-fashioned opulence. Still, everyone else should be happy with the 61 guest rooms and suites, where glass and white granite create an expansive feeling in what are actually quite compact spaces. Excellent lighting, free wireless Internet access and bathroom amenities from sought-after Czech brand Botanicus are other pluses. Dining is limited to snacks and light meals, but the nearby central business district offers plenty more options. You can expect to pass socialites and models on your way in and out: Ambience is a hit with local fashionistas, and the glacial Ambience Suite is one of the city's favorite party venues