Would you stay at a haunted hotel?

One of the major cities in Asia I’ve yet to visit is Taipei, so I’m excited to finally visit next week. Since EVA joined the Star Alliance last week I figured it was a good opportunity to visit both a new city and fly a new airline. Besides, I’m pretty sure I was supposed to be born in Taipei — I’m probably the world’s biggest fan of bubble tea. I may never leave.

Anyway, I’m faced with a bit of a hotel conundrum in Taipei. There are two hotels I’m generally eying. One is the W and the other is the Grand Hyatt.

While I’m not usually a W fan, I’ve heard great things about this one, though it’s really pricy at ~$350USD per night. Obviously not an amount I’d like to pay, and at the same time I’m not going to redeem 20,000 Starpoints per night for it either (though for my dates there’s not even standard room availability).


The other hotel I’m considering is the Grand Hyatt. It’s available for either 12,000 Gold Passport points per night (at a valuation of 1.6 cents per point that’s ~$192 “worth” of points), or ~$240USD per night, though it’s an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property and I could redeem a confirmed suite upgrade.


So the decision seems like a no brainer. Only one slight problem — the Grand Hyatt is haunted. Apparently the property that the Grand Hyatt is built on used to be a political prison during the war where people were tortured/executed, and it’s said that there are spirits/ghosts lingering. Apparently the hotel has even consulted feng shui experts to “combat” the spirits, and as a “solution” they have two columns at the front of the hotel that apparently keep the spirits/ghosts away.

Only one slight problem with the “problem” — I don’t believe in ghosts. At least I don’t think I do. But I also tend to over-analyze things, so I know that if I stayed here I’d be thinking about ghosts for the entire time. Whether it’s thinking about ghosts or thinking about thinking about ghosts, I’d be thinking about them. That makes perfect sense, right? 😉

What more or less sealed the deal for me was when I mentioned to my Taiwanese/boba/mochi spiritual advisers at Drive Thru Boba (which I visit about eight times a week, and if you live in the area you should as well) that I’d be going to Taipei, and they proactively recommend staying at the W instead of the Grand Hyatt, which even they knew was haunted.

So what would you do? Would you stay at a hotel that’s known to be haunted? And if so, are you a person that believes in “spirits” or not? Or have you actually stayed at the Grand Hyatt, and if so, was Casper friendly?

Filed Under: Hotels, Travel
  1. It’s not even close — the W is fantastic. I know someone in their PR/marketing team. Let me know if you want to be introduced.

  2. Personally I would go for Hyatt based on points. Never seen a ghost, but if that were to occur, certainly would make for an interesting post. Makes me think of the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, rooms 3502 and 3312. Lots of people claim these two rooms are visited by apparitions, but that would not dissuade me staying there.

  3. If it is dealt with re feng shui, then you have nothing to worry about. I do like the W there though…..

  4. I actually work in a hotel that my colleagues told me is haunted. I never believed it until I experienced it myself, on more than one occasion. I don’t think you have anything to worry about though, we have thousands of guests staying every month with no problems.

  5. In Vegas at the Flamingo hotel, rumor has it that it is haunted as well. And your not really considered a true employee unless you had an encounter with the late Bugsey Sigel himself whom still roams the grounds.

    While I have stayed here before, I don’t know if I would willingly/knowingly stay at a hotel that has guests that have checked out but never left….. ::cues Hotel California by the Eagles::

  6. Maybe this will help:

    The year is 2013. You are an adult. There are no such things as ghosts.

    Stay at the Hyatt.

  7. i have to pay for visits to haunted houses in NYC or DC. if you can get huanted for free, that is a really great deal. 🙂

  8. I didn’t see any ghosts when I stayed at the Hyatt. They may still be renovating though. One wing was closed when I was there in November and the one I was in had not been renovated yet (but was still really nice IMO) The wordwork throughout was really beautiful tiger maple.

    Service at the Hyatt was stupendous. Staying next to Taipei 101 with a view of the building was kind of novel

    Have no experience with the W.

    I really kind of fell in love with Taiwan and am excited to be going back later this year. I would imagine it is pretty tropical this time of year.

  9. Some of the rooms in Hyatt have been refurnished/renovated, maybe can give it a try. Ghosts or no ghosts, I think it’s a very grand property to have a taste…

  10. Lucky, isn’t the Grand Hyatt taipei under some year long construction/renovation? You may want to check that before you book so you won’t be surprised with the noise or lack of full facilities.

  11. Agree with David. Have stayed at both W and Grand Hyatt multiple times – no comparison between the two. The two hotels are not in the same class. Go with the W – you will be happy you did. They Hyatt is nice, but just not in the same class.

  12. I have picked the haunted hotel before. I picked the Westin San fran union square. I was fine my wife freaked out and kept hearing things that I didn’t hear.

    Is pick the hyatt .

  13. I always stay at the Grand Hyatt when in TPE. As a lowly PLT I’m always given a suite. A few months ago I got the Presidential Suite – even the bellman told me he gets lost in there 🙂

    The service is fantastic.

  14. Just stayed at Grand Hyatt Taipei last month, and had a terrific stay. Was in non-renovated room with perfect Taipei 101 view on the Regency Club floor.

    The room was excellent for a non-updated room (shower was old-fashioned, but perfectly functional), and the ergonomics were quite good (lots of conveniently located power outlets). Fitness center and pool were both very nice. No noise that I heard.

    For me, location of the Hyatt is better than the W. It’s connected by walkway to Taipei 101 and easy walk to the nearest night market where one of the vendors makes a crazy-delicious dessert from shaved peanut candy, ice cream, and cilantro (yes, cilantro!) rolled in kind of a spring roll wrapper.

    No ghosts, better rate, nice people, easy access — go Hyatt! 🙂

    P.S. Have “snowflake” shaved ice while you’re in Taipei — it’s not like any shaved ice you’ve every had.

  15. Eva is the only carrier I’m aware of that serves Dom Perignon in J. Beyond that, I found it to be one of the stronger J services. Consider the book-the-cook service, too.


    The W Taipei is very nice. One of the nicer Ws that I’ve been to.


    In addition to being haunted, the Grand Hyatt is very tired.

    The Sherwood (FHR) is nice. http://upgrd.com/sitinfirst/sherwood-hotel-taipei.html

    The new Le Meridien Taipei is probably the best points hotel in Taipei today. If going again, that’s where I would stay.

  16. Stayed at the Grand Hyatt 6 times & never experienced any ghosts…although I never knew it was haunted either. I loved its location to Taipei 101 & the lounge.

  17. I saw no ghosts, however, the Grand Hyatt was really starting to show its age to me. Even if you get a suite upgrade, other hotels at that price point in the city blow the Grand Hyatt out of the water. Hands down the best hotel in the city is the Shangri-La Far Eastern Plaza, especially rooms on their horizon floors! I would LOVE to see you do a review of that fine hotel!

  18. I actually have both hotels booked for October. The bulk of our time will be at the Hyatt, the W for only one night before our departure. I’m too old and uncool to stay at the W, but my son will enjoy it.

    I’ve heard the stories about the Hyatt, so I’m a little curious. Not anxious though – it’s all part of the adventure.

    FWIW, I was unable to use a suite upgrade due to the ongoing renovations. I was told they will all be out of service during our stay.

  19. Definitely stay at the Grand Hyatt! If you’re REALLY Lucky (in both senses of the word), you MIGHT encounter a ghost named Marley, whose friends will let you visit Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Future and STILL get you back in time for the Hyatt’s morning breakfast buffet!! Bonus points if you post pictures of it all, as you always do!!

  20. My friend stayed at the GH a couple of years back and he experienced an interesting haunt: he found his bed moved 90 degrees after waking up in the morning. He was alone in the room and didn’t see any apparitions, but still an interesting experience that he’d like to try again.

    You should stay at the GH in the hopes of snapping a priceless shot of an apparition. That’ll give your blog a million hits per day for sure.

  21. Oooh, I personally wouldn’t stay at a haunted hotel. I am a pretty logical person but given the history of my family and extended family who have seen ghosts, I uh, just don’t want to see any. 🙂 I skipped all the ghost tours in Scotland too, and those were really popular there.

    I am planning to visit Taipei so I will need to figure out flight/hotel plans as well. I can’t wait to read your trip reports and your experience there. Have fun!

  22. If you postpone your trip until the first weekend in August, I have an extra room reserved at W Taipei at the 12,000 points level…

    I’ve stayed at W, Le Meridien, Westin and Sheraton and they’re all very good to amazing! W and Le Meridien are a notch higher, and Le Meridien is still Cat 5. Have you considered that one? It’s located between W and Grand Hyatt.

    One of my friends stayed at Grand Hyatt and had no problem. You just have to request a non-haunted room, and know that the front desk agent heard you but won’t say anything about it…

  23. When I visited Taipei I found it to be one of this biggest ghettos I’ve ever seen. It is the Tijuana of Asia.

  24. @The Montane Vole – if you tell lucky how many miles he will earn from those visits, I’m pretty sure he will stay at the Hyatt 😉

  25. I would maybe say W is a better choice. Grand Hyatt is very well established, but old. They have specially made some measure to tell people that they have done something about the ghosts when it was opened. But, it is just too old. W is brand new and beautifully done.

  26. I have stayed at the Grand Hyatt Taipei well over 50 times. Sorry no signs of Casper. The hotel is good but Taipei as a city leaves something to be desired. Typically I have sprung for the hotel pick up at the airport. Don’t know what it costs today, but they pick you up in a Mercedes/ BMW with cold towels, water and some newspapers. Chinese food is great in the city as well as in the hotel restaurant

  27. Hi Lucky, We are Taiwanese who highly interest in loyalty programs and followed your blog a long time. May we have pleasure to invite you to have a meet with us in Taipei? It will be very inspiring that we could share idea to each other! If you are willing, please tell me your email. I am looking forward to your voice.
    We ever arranged a meeting named “Frequent Flyer Seminar Taiwan(FFS 2013)”. Perhaps you would like to review our activity from website link.(apologize for written in Chinese)

  28. Give me the Grand Hyatt any day. Have stayed there and the non-renovated rooms are still nice – a great example of that classic ‘western luxury hotel in Asia’ feeling. W’s are often annoying – though I don’t have experience with the one in Taipei. Oh, and I didn’t see any ghosts.

  29. I sure as hell would not pay that for the W, no matter how nice it is. Why not try the Sheraton or Westin, both of which i have heard good things about from my colleagues who go to Taipei.

  30. No way would I stay there. I am terrified of the dark as it is (yes, I am a 30-something year old adult) and I would be edgy the whole time.

    But if you are someone that is into ghosts and such things, do it.

  31. I’ve stayed at the Hyatt more than 6 times. Never felt a thing. The two hanging scrolls from the Tibetan Budha Master might have something to do with it… 🙂

    You can split your stay, try both and compare. It’s less than 10 minutes walking from one to the other.

    Be sure to visit the biggest bookstore in TPE near by.

  32. I stayed in a famously haunted hotel in Chicago in September (didnt know about this til the day before I arrived.) Wouldn’t do it again. It was old and felt creepy, the shower rod came down in the middle of the night, alarm went off at 4am to the sound of static, and the lights kept flickering on and off. Could there be other explanations for each of those? Sure. But taken together, it made for a very uncomfortable visit.

  33. Do the W! Recently stayed at the Sheraton Gunter in San Antonio and it felt rather eerie. The hotel later confirmed on IG that its been known to host spirits. Nice hotel but haunted things are not my cup of tea.

  34. One of the club staff in GH SIN had worked at the GH TPE before and she confirmed that indeed the hotel was haunted. Apparently the staff knew which rooms were haunted and which weren’t and the staff parking lot was so creepy nobody dared to be there alone.

    That said this hotel is high on my list of Hyatt to visit as I’ve heard the service is spectacular.

    Looking forward to the trip report!

  35. Go for Le Meredien! We stayed there and paid cash and it was very reasonable in price. Breakfast was amazing and the room was fabulous and we weren’t even upgraded. It’s also a short walk to Tapei 101. We have family in taipei who has stayed in the Grand Hyatt and they too advise against that property. 🙂

  36. Stayed at both Grand Hyatt and W.

    To be honest, W wasn’t really worth the enormous price tag. Like the posts above, I would actually suggest Le Meridien. Haven’t stayed there, but attended a wedding there before. The service and hardware are both very good. It’s also closer to 101, the malls and the cinema complex than W.

  37. Hey Ben – what days are you in TPE? I’ll be in Kaohsiung through next week but I’m flying TPE-JFK on BR on Thursday – would love to meet up if timing works!

  38. If you stay at Hyatt you may want a room with the view of Taipei 101. I thought it was great when I had it.

    Personally I have stayed at GH Taipei several times and I am still around and well. No encounter so far.

    Lucky, I know you are a dedicated blogger willing to venture into the unknown world to expand new horizons for your readers. By all means please stay at Hyatt. If you got dragged by the local spirit into the underworld and live to tell us about the experience it will be a great day in the history of travel blogs. I’ll pray for you.

  39. my friend was a trainer chef at the grand hyatt during an early phase of the renovation, he and his wife both remarked that the renovated rooms are done in completely garish kit due to the new owner’s unfortunate sense of taste. i would suggest staying at the W

  40. Ben, I agree with Will. If you’re going to pay for a room, I think you’d do well with the Shangri-La Far Eastern Plaza Hotel [in full disclosure, my reasons are selfish, as I’d love to read your review of that property.] 😉

    I’ve never stayed there, but when I lived in Taipei my apartment was right behind the hotel, and it was generally viewed as the top 1 or 2 hotels in Taipei. Also there’s an airport bus stop right outside the hotel, and a ticket costs less than $5 USD. Be advised that the rooftop pool is currently closed for maintenance though.

    Hope you don’t pass out from the heat and humidity of the Taipei summer. However I know you’ve been to Hong Kong many times, including the summer I’m sure. Taipei has the same weather, so if you’re used to that you’ll be fine.

    Have fun, and make sure you go to Din Tai Fung so that you can compare the original to the “export” locations. I’d recommend either the one on Xinyi Rd. or the one at Zhongxiao Fuxing inside the Sogo department store building.

  41. @ Coutureguy — Wish that were reasonably an option, though it’s now the halfway point of the year and I’m not where I’d like to be with elite status requalification. So thinking I should be “responsible” and get some Starwood or Hyatt stays. Though maybe I could do a night there…

  42. I also heard about this property being haunted(and didn’t care) until I experienced myself—spooky

  43. I stayed at the Grand Hyatt hotel in June for almost 2 weeks and saw not sightings of ghost. At that time, I was not aware that it has ghosts going around.
    My impression as a guest… it was great! Very good services, great breakfast (eastern and western styles) wonderful stay.
    Perhaps, I may find some ghost next time… if I am aware of them. Last time, they were not looking for me

  44. Again, late to the party, but I stayed at the Grand Hyatt and the stay was uneventful. Now the trick will be to not mention it to my wife, so we can stay there again.

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