After the previous decent reviews, I decided to book a stay at this hostel in their private ensuite room for 5 nights while I looked for longer term accommodations. I'm currently here in Taiwan for 3 months attending the mandarin program at NTU. I figured 5 nights would bring me to just the beginning of September and if things worked out I could move into another place before the whole 5 days was up.
Getting to the hostel from the Taoyuan Airport was easy. The hostel's website does a great job giving you directions on how to get there. Once there, the hostel was on the 2nd floor, up a relatively steep flight of stairs and no elevator. So beware if you have lots of luggage; it'll be a bit of a struggle. I left one of my luggage at the bottom of the stairs while I went to check in at the front desk. The ensuite rooms (as the other reviewer mentioned) is in another building. One of the employees showed me to the ensuite room. It's only about a 5 minute walk, but being Canadian, I was not used to the heat while carrying a 65L backpack and dragging a medium suitcase.
Thankfully there was an elevator at the other building and my room was on the 5th floor. The room itself was pretty sparse. I ended up booking a double bed room as the single rooms were full. Bathroom was a good size with no tub (as is common in Taiwan). There was a mini fridge available and I opened it to find a cockroach scurrying around inside (welcome to Taiwan!!) - so I didn't end up using it during my stay. It didn't feel too cold anyway. The other furnishing in the room included a table with 2 chairs and a closet with some drawers. The bed was not the most comfortable - heck sleeping on a park bench would have been the same. But I didn't expect much from a hostel. The room does have air conditioning.
While out exploring my surroundings, I got a bit lost and thankfully bumped into one of the employees at a street corner. She took me back to the main building and gave me a few maps so that was nice.
The good - This hostel is in a great location, near the Ximending area. LOTS of food, lots of shopping and lots of things to see and do! It's only about a 5 min walk from the Ximen MRT station so it's very accessible. The ensuite building is off a lane as the previous reviewer mentioned, but I actually felt quite safe. I got back around 3am one time and did not feel scared at all (I'm female). There are quite a few businesses also on the same laneway. The private ensuite room ended up only costing ~$50 CAD a night, which is unbeatable for a solo traveller on a budget.
The bad - Cockroaches, and very unstable wifi connection. Wifi and being able to connect to the internet was very important to me as I needed to look online to find a place to live for the next 3 months. The internet worked fine the first day but on the 2nd day it didn't work at all. I knocked on the door of another room to see they might have the same problem and they said the internet connection cuts out from time to time. I called the main building to see if someone will fix it but no one ever did. The next day it happened again, and by then I was losing my patience. I ended up having to trek over to the other building with my laptop to use the internet there. Totally NOT acceptable and I let them know of my frustration. From then on, it happened another 3, 4 times during my stay (too often if you ask me) but the rest of the time they were good about going over to fix the connection promptly.
As for the cockroaches, I understand they're a part of life here. During my stay I saw a few scurrying around- no big deal. However, it got very annoying when I was packing my stuff up on my last time, and found one crawl out from my clothes. That was not fun. I had to repack everything and make sure I didn't have any cockroach stowaways. So it's best to keep all your luggage and stuff zipped up during your stay there!
All in all, not a bad place to stay for the price. However, if your budget was a bit higher, I'd definitely recommend another hostel/hotel.
- Also Known As:
- Taipei Ximen Backpackers Hotel Taipei