citizenM Taipei Northgate, a chic design boutique hotel

citizenM Taipei Northgate

I can’t help but gush over the beautiful and interesting interior of citizenM Taipei Northgate. While the ground floor is unassuming, it’s the second floor that amazes. And the different guest rooms are impressive too.

citizenM design boutique hotels is a Netherlands based chain known for its unique interiors. It first opened in 2008 near the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Over the years, several properties in major cities around the world have been built. The citizenM Taipei Northgate is the 11th and their first foray in Asia. This boutique hotel is known for its unique design approach to its properties with works by local artists incorporated in the interior.

The entire second floor of the citizenM Taipei Northgate building is one longitudinal strip. The dining area is at one end. The buffet area and the bar are in the middle. The lounging area at the opposite end has a living room ambience where you can relax or entertain or just hang out. The colors, the lamps’s different shapes, the varied Vitra furniture, the decors… I can go on and on. It’s an amazing work in this city.

Taipei experience

I first saw this hotel while searching for accommodations online for my trip to Taipei. What characterizes citizenM is that there is just one design for the rooms but are comfortable with wide windows for amazing views. In suite controls are done with an Ipad Mini. It’s other characteristic is the interestingly designed lobby that is hip and chic. Buffet breakfasts are served and there’s canteenM, a 24 hour canteen/bar. Check stay experience in my travel blog at Langyaw.

A well appointed location

For this Asian branch, this designer boutique hotel in Taipei is well appointed. It is just near the Taipei Main Station and Ximending is just a short walk away. There are lots of small restaurants and coffeeshops as well as street food around the vicinity. It’s also close to an MRT station. You can even walk to the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial and 228 Peace Park.

Its mainly targeted for the millennial crowd for its highly Instagrammable interiors and rooms. For a design enthusiast and architecture photographer like me, it’s indeed a great find.

citizenM Taipei Northgate
citizenM Taipei Northgate
citizenM Taipei Northgate
citizenM Taipei Northgate

Hotel Celeste, a pleasurable boutique hotel in Makati

Hotel Celeste

You won’t miss it. In fact, you will definitely take a second look at the well lit building. It glows mauve with the coming dusk as you drive past Arnaiz and Makati Avenues in Makati City. Hotel Celeste, a beautiful but modest curved building is a looker. It is a unique structure in the area.

Hotel Celeste, opened in 2008, is a boutique hotel within a stone’s throw from the major malls, hotels, and offices at the Ayala Center. At a corner just where Makati Avenue ends and San Lorenzo Drive starts. But it’s not just an ordinary boutique hotel. From the outside, it’s masculine and solid. But once you step inside, you are in for a stunning surprise. Architect Roland Polendey designed the building. The roundedness of the facade was inspired by the Colosseum, in Rome.

Hotel with a homey feel

The concept was to build a high end hotel with a homey feel. The owner has extensively researched and traveled abroad to check other boutique hotels and incorporating the designs and motifs that she liked. Pouring her passion in making her dream a reality. The result, a European inspired boutique hotel with 29 rooms. To achieve the homey feel, each room is unique with its own color scheme and motif. Painstaking attention to detail, from decor to furniture, from texture to color that beautifully result to a stunning, unpretentiously classy and elegant space.

While the 25 deluxe rooms of Hotel Celeste are stylish, it’s the limited superior rooms, all five, that really shine. Named after European queens: Eleanor, Isabela, Marie Antoinette, Catherine and Blanche, it’s tastefully decorated, spacious and homey. A living room, a bed chamber, dining area as well as a marble tiled bathroom with stand alone bath tub completes the space. Colors are rich, wall painted decors are interesting. Furniture varied from high backed chairs, lounges to ornately carved and opulent day beds. Textures are aplenty and keep the rooms fascinating.

Other amenities of Hotel Celeste

The boutique hotel is not lacking in amenities that provide modern comforts  and connectivity. It also has a roofdeck for after hours unwinding while a small function room can host small workshops and seminars. At the stylish lobby, the restaurant, Lucia, serves good Italian cuisine with Chef Davide Lombardi bringing in his extensive knowledge. 

Hotel Céleste is one of those unassuming boutique hotels that will indeed surprise and make your stay satisfyingly memorable.

Hotel Celeste
Hotel Celeste
Hotel Celeste
Hotel Celeste
Hotel Celeste
Hotel Celeste

Hotel Celeste
02 San Lorenzo Drive Corner A. Arnaiz Avenue
San Lorenzo Village, Makati City

Originally published in D+C magazine 4th quarter of 2015