EUNICE TAN

Travel & Lifestyle
Taiwan | Travel

Tried and Tested: Accommodations in Taiwan

May 8, 2016
Travelling to Taiwan - Accommodation in Cingjing - Fonchin Minsu (1)

Where to stay in Taiwan? Here’s a quick post to share the accommodations that I’ve tried during my 1.5 weeks vacation. Not the best bargain deals but definitely value-for-money and inexpensive places to stay at. These are the regions I’m covering:

Taipei

Star Hostel (Taipei Main Station)

Where to stay when travelling in Taiwan - Star Hostel Taipei (1)

Comfort 3.5/5
Location 4.5/5
Cam-worthy 5/5
Price TWD670/SGD29 per night for a single bed in all-female dorm

The hostel hits all the right notes with its Scandinavian modern interior. Seemingly cozy with its generous wood paneling, I felt some alienation with other stayers, especially with its capsule bed concept which makes interacting with roommates a challenge.

I’m pretty sure the majority agrees with me; the photos of the hostel is extremely attractive. And the best thing? The photos are accurate. 😍

Taipei Star Hostel Review - Shoe cupboards

Shoes were not allowed past the lobby and guests needed to change into the indoor slippers provided. I thought it was a nice touch but was slightly inconvenient when going in and out.

The rooms were clean, basic but sufficiently equipped. One downside (or upside, depending on how you see it…) was the curtains that came with the beds; there was this sterile vibe with everyone cubed up in their capsules.

Where to stay when travelling in Taiwan - Star Hostel Taipei (2)
Taipei Star Hostel
Taipei Star Hostel Reivew

Star Hostel Taipei Pantry Review

As far as I could tell, the bathrooms were squeaky clean. I liked that there were separate cubicles for the toilet and shower and the female amenities such as hair dryer, ear buds and even *ahempantyahemliners* too!

Street to star hostel - star hostel review taiwan

Location was fabulous, just opposite Q Square (which is next to the Taipei Main Station). Perfect for a short stopover. The street was slightly quiet at night but given the short walk, I thought it was pretty acceptable, even for a solo traveler.

Star hostel is extremely popular so book early!

Check out my first day in Taipei.

Via Hotel (Ximending)

Hotel to Taipei - Via Hotel Ximending review

Comfort 4.5/5
Location 5/5
Cam-worthy 2.5/5
Price TWD12,424/SGD532 for 4 nights, deluxe double room

Definitely on the pricier side but the SEALY mattresses, Japanese-styled baths and cozy interiors make the price tag worth it, especially after hours of walking in the city.

I’m not one who scrutinizes the bed that the hotel uses or TC of bedsheets, and I actually didn’t think it makes a difference as long as the mattress is clean and well, decent. So it came as a somewhat surprising thing to me that people actually choose Via Hotel because they use SEALY mattresses in the hotel rooms.

Where to stay in Taipei Via Hotel Ximending Japanese bathtubs

Putting aside how comfortable their beds were, I must also put in a special mention for their slated Japanese bathtubs. T’was a nice touch.

Hotel in Taipei Via Hotel Review

I liked that the room was cozy and the bathroom was separated by a glass panel from the living room. I get to watch TV while showering and not jump at every suspicious noise. At night, I just draw the curtains to the bath to contain my overactive imagination.

They also have a laundry room for you to wash your clothes. Perfect for me since I was there for 1.5 weeks, cold weather, had only few pieces of clothes to rotate around.

Via Hotel Review Location in Ximending

Location is absolutely perfect as well, tucked in a quieter street of Ximending. The hotel is directly opposite 86shop by the way.

Via Hotel Ximending Review Taipei Hotels

The hotel’s lobby is on the 2nd floor and ground floor of the building was derelict by Ximending’s standards. Was a little creepy though, but otherwise, didn’t pose much of an issue.

Looking for a good breakfast shop in Ximending?

Hualien

Mini Voyage (Near Hualien train station)

Hualien where to stay - Mini Voyage Hostel ReviewComfort 4/5
Location 3/5
Cam-worthy 4/5
Price TWD780/SGD33 per night, single bed in 3-pax female dorm

New minimalistic hostel directly opposite the train station with a restful ambience.

Comfort was discounted only because I was housed on the lower bunk. I knocked my head no less than 3 times in less than 24 hours. The worst was in the early morning where I caused a super loud clang; The lady sleeping in the upper bunk must have thought it was an earthquake.

Mini Voyage Hostel Review Hualien Taiwan

There was ample space in the room for all three of us to get around and do our own stuff without getting into each other’s way. For some of you who might be more iffy about security, you might want to take note that their lockers are only sufficient for the more important things (unlike Star Hostel’s, where the locker could take in my humungous luggage).

Mini Voyage Hostel Ensuite Toilet Review

The hostel was one of the newer establishments in the area so it was really clean and new. There was an ensuite bathroom for my dorm, which I appreciate. The staff was friendly too and recommended places to visit whenever possible.

Mini Voyage Hualien Taiwan Hostel review

I didn’t get to use their facilities much though, since I was there for less than 24 hours. This hostel is really easy to find, since it’s just opposite the Hualien train station and about ten minutes walk from the main streets. Ci Xing Tan is a half hour cycle away and Taroko Gorge is about twenty minutes by car.

Word of caution: Avoid booking the tour of Taroko Gorge and Cixingtan with the hostel!

Taichung

Fengjia Garden (Near Fengjia night market)

Taichung hotel homestay review - Fengjia Garden

Comfort 4/5
Location 4/5
Cam-worthy 3/5
Price TWD4,940/SGD209 for 3 nights, double room

Themed and homely rooms in a quiet street just a stone’s throw away from Fengjia night market.

For a homestay (which likely is running unregistered), I felt that this was on a pricier side but it was also because I stayed over a long weekend and had to pay nearly double for two out of three nights.

Fengjia garden homestay hotel accommodation taichung taiwan review

Fengjia Garden is a well-known homestay in Taichung and some of its rooms, such as the Hello Kitty ones, are really popular. The rooms were cozily decorated and had a nice, homely feel.

Location was great too, about 10 minutes walk to the centre of Fengjia market and TWD250 for a twenty-minutes cab to the HSR or TSR station. There’s a bus stop right at the nearest junction too with buses to many locations.

Where to stay when you travel to Taiwan - Fengjia Garden (1)

Only grouse about the vicinity would be the walk from the junction along the street of the homestay. It gets really quiet at night and there’s a huge construction site in between which may come across as slightly eerie. Also, as mentioned, I believe the hostel is running unregistered as there is no signboard outside. There isn’t a proper lobby or reception area as well.

If I recall right, there wasn’t any room cleaning service. Not that I requested for anyway…

taichung homestay review- Fengjia Garden

But all in all, Fengjia Garden has been around for years and it does appear to be a well-runned facility, with two floors of room and lift directly to the third floor. Security-wise, there is one access lock for for the main gate, one for your storey and a last one one, for the room.

What to eat at Fengjia night market!

Cingjing

Fon Chin Homestay (Julie’s Garden)

Cingjing homestay where to stay in Cingjing Review Julie's Garden Fonchin Homestay

Comfort 4/5
Location *Get a car, really*
Cam-worthy 5/5
Price TWD3,000+/SGD135 for 1 night

Countryside paradise with its gorgeous, uninhibited views of the mountains and spacious rooms with fluffy, heated beds to get through the cold at night.

A huge plus point for this homestay was that we got upgraded to a family room for free! The family room is on a different level as the main accommodations which made it even more private and exclusive. The room was huge and housed three huge beds and a mini living room.

Where to stay in Taiwan - Fon Chin Homestay, Cingjing, Taiwan Review

The views from the homestay was amazing too. Absolutely uninhibited; no pesky buildings or humans in sight.

Travelling to Taiwan - Accommodation in Cingjing - Fonchin Minsu (1)

The owner spoke fluent English so that might be good news for some of you! She was also a great host and shared with on the places we should visit, except that we were more or less done with the Cingjing itinerary by the time we got there.

The compound is also filled with little critters, idyllic swings; almost like the countryside retirement scene that I’m sure most of us thought of at some point in time.

Travelling to Taiwan - Accommodation in Cingjing - Fonchin Minsu (7)
Cingjing homestay review, Fon Chin, Julie's Garden Review
Cingjing homestay review, Fon Chin, Julie's Garden Review

Breakfast was a simple affair with choices such as porridge and toast.

Just one downside though, was intermittent hot water from the shower which was a torture in the cold weather.

What to do in Cingjing?

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Read the full trip online:

Day 1 in Taipei
Day 2 in Cingjing
Day 3 in Sun Moon Lake
Day 3 in Lavender Cottage
Day 3’s Fengjia food guide
Getting to 921 Earthquake Museum on day 4
Day 5 in Park Lane by CMP
 Day 6 from Taichung to Hualien
Taroko National Park on day 7
Day 8 from Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall to Houshanpi
Jiufen + Shifen on Day 9
Pingxi sky lantern festival on day 9
Ending off with Taipei creative parks on Day 10
Tried and Tested: Accommodations in Taiwan

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  1. Hi Eunice , I am May from K.lumpur.I will b visiting Twn coming Nov.I hav been reading ur post and find it a good guide. Can I get by, by speaking in Hokkien as my Manderin is no good..? R the hostels reasonable priced and having attached toilet. ?. U r doing a good job.keep it up.

    1. Hi May, thanks for visiting! I’m not too sure about getting around with Hokkien. From what I observed, the youngsters in general seem to be using mandarin more… I find the hostels reasonably priced but most have shared toilets! If you prefer not to share the bathrooms, perhaps hotels will be a better choice. Hotels are relatively affordable if you have someone to share with.

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