Tokyo, Japan, October 31, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / An iconic independent Japanese hotel brand, known for its rich history and homegrown hospitality, is embarking on its first-ever luxury project overseas with a Taiwanese property that also has a notable past and deep roots in the local culture.
After over five decades in operation, the landmark Ambassador Hotel Taipei has closed its doors to undergo a complete redesign. Once razed and rebuilt by The Ambassador Hotel Co. Ltd., its brand-new iteration is slated to be unveiled in 2028 as Ambassador Palace Hotel Taipei, a world-class property to be managed by Palace Hotel Co., Ltd.
“It’s fitting that our first luxury project outside of Japan is in collaboration with a brand that trades on its history as an ambassador,” said Daisuke Yoshihara, president of Palace Hotel Co., Ltd.
After all, it was during the original Palace Hotel’s nearly half-a-century tenure that 284 ambassadors from 124 countries made the journey by horse and carriage from the hotel to the Imperial Palace nearby – just across the moat – to present their credentials to the emperor.
“Both properties have played a pivotal role in elevating the hospitality industry in each country. Through this partnership, we will work together to take the Ambassador brand to ambitious new heights, just as we have done with Palace Hotel Tokyo,” added Yoshihara.
The Ambassador Hotel was the first privately owned luxury hotel in Taiwan when it opened in 1964. “Undergoing this massive, six-year reconstruction will allow us to raise the bar on our products and services while further strengthening our legacy of representing the best of Taiwanese hospitality,” said Emmet Hsu, chairman of The Ambassador Hotel Co. Ltd. “We are honored to partner with Japan’s most distinguished luxury hospitality brand to present the best of both to travelers from all over the world, and look forward to leveraging the respective strengths of each as we write a new chapter in history, defined by our shared pursuit of excellence.”
Celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, Palace Hotel Tokyo underwent a similar transformation over a decade ago, with a three-year rebuild from the ground up followed by a re-opening in 2012. Its current iteration stands as heir to a succession of hotels that have held one of Tokyo’s most prestigious addresses, amidst the Imperial Palace gardens, for more than seven decades. Palace Hotel Co., Ltd. will draw on this wealth of experience as it begins a similar journey in Taipei.
Ambassador Palace Hotel Taipei will be located in the trendy Zhongshan district, a hub of culture and business known for its museums and galleries as well as a vibrant dining scene. The original property housed 425 guestrooms, six restaurants and 29 banquet rooms. Following the six-year makeover, the new hotel will debut with 106 rooms and suites. Its facilities will include a fitness center, swimming pool, spa and versatile events spaces as well as a lounge for the exclusive use of in-house guests.
A collective of six dining venues – including a bar on the hotel’s topmost floor – and a bakeshop are slated to present an exciting new addition to the city’s impressive food scene. The Japanese restaurant to be managed by Palace Hotel Co., Ltd. will be one of the highlights.
UK-based G.A Group, led by Terry McGinnity, has been appointed to craft the hotel’s interiors. The award-winning design firm was responsible for much of Palace Hotel Tokyo’s interiors, creating refined spaces that harmoniously blend with the natural beauty surrounding the property and celebrate the country’s rich heritage. The new Taipei property will echo the same sentiment, exuding a timeless aesthetic that, while rich in details, is overarchingly simple and elegant.
Mitsubishi Jisho Design Inc., which spearheaded the architectural direction for Palace Hotel Tokyo, will be playing a similar role in the Taipei project. In addition to the hotel component, the expansive property will encompass 73 luxury private residences housed in an adjacent, 23-story tower.
“As Palace Hotel Tokyo embarks on its next decade, we’re enthused by the continued rise in demand for sophisticated travel experiences across Asia,” said Masaru Watanabe, Palace Hotel Tokyo’s senior managing director and general manager. “Taiwan, with its worldly appeal and cosmopolitan travelers – many of whom are Japanophiles – makes perfect sense as the first step of our brand’s overseas expansion.”
Ambassador Palace Hotel Taipei will be situated at 63, Section 2, Zhongshan North Road, Zhongshan District, Taipei. Its location is an approximate 15-minute drive from Taipei Songshan Airport and a 40-minute drive from Taoyuan International Airport. Shuanglian Station, the nearest metro station, is a mere 5-minute walk from the hotel. Well-known landmarks such as Taipei 101 and Taipei World Trade Center are a 20-minute drive away.