It is very rare for me to rave about a hotel, lest to say one not bearing an international branding. I found this gem after stalking TA reviews for a few months and I had booked ahead knowing that Taipei rooms get snapped up quite quickly.
PRICE - I paid TWD2,880 per night for a total of 3 nights for a twin room (2 single beds) with shower. A 4th night was booked for a 3person room (1 big bed and 1 single bed) at TWD3,580 as we had a 3rd guest but the initial room could not accommodate an extra bed. Do note though that their cheapest room has 2 big bed and some room types offer a bathtub instead of a shower for a slight more expensive price.
CHECK IN - we checked in smoothly at 4pm on a Monday afternoon and were given the key immediately. In Taiwan, it is usual for them to charge your card for the full amount of your stay upon check in but this is only for pre-authorization - you have to pay for real only upon check out.
ROOM - The room was very nice, smallish but as all hotels especially in Ximending area. Water, coffee, tea, cups, and toiletries are all provided for. Sink area is an open concept, and a frosted glass separates the sink area from the shower and toilet area. The mind boggling thing is this whole area is designed to be occasionally wet if you have a violent (that's the only word I can think of) shower but otherwise okay. The 2 twin beds are separated by a pillar which was not very frenly but they make smart use of the structure by turning it into a cupboard space complete with a metal rode that serves as a hanging rack - very useful when they have no cupboards. A TV and a working desk / table top was useful too. Luggage have to be placed strategically so you dont end up bumping your toes when you walk around. Cleanliness not a problem at all.
On my last night, we changed rooms and were quite happy when they told us they had upgraded us to the 4person room out of goodwill, yey! Means more space and 2 big beds for us! The room was spacious and bathroom was bigger too.
Smaller issues - in both rooms the air conditioning was freezing no matter how I set it. The staff tried to resolve it but couldnt too. The Seally mattresses were a little too soft for me too.
SERVICE - it seems the hotel takes care to hire only young(er) staff to be aligned with the youthful image. Service was cheery, efficient, and pleasant and nothing to complain about. Luggage deposit service is available if you have odd flight timings too. Although they could have been a little more flexible for me to simply change rooms in my transition - instead I had to pack everything, check out at 12noon, leave my luggage with the front desk, and re-check in at 3pm. But that's a minor flaw in the context of my whole stay.
F&B - Prices are inclusive of a 24hour pantry which you can grab bread, biscuits, soft drinks, tea, and coffee from anytime of the day. I expected a smallish pantry but was surprised by the variety on offer! The food and drinks can be brought back to your room if you like too. The coffee machine dispenses some nice coffee :) Too many local food to try in the area but I would recommend the bittergourd juice with honey (not bittter!), grilled corn (super delicious), and onion pancakes with egg (like roti prata!).
LOCATION - Best location ever. The hotel is located on the 2nd level of a building so you can literally shop on level after you get out of the lift. Some other hotels also claim that they are in Ximending but they actually meant they are on the fringe of it, not in it. Via is literally IN the middle of the actions, excellent for shopping, eating, whatever - and best choice for dropping off your shopping bags and going for somemore. There's also a 24hr proper massage place 2 streets down which will serve insomniacs well. The lane which the hotel entrance is located in is not accessible by car but cabs can stop you along Zhong Hua Road and its a 1min walk in, no problem at all - the landmark you will need is Uniqlo (refer to map). Once you get your orientation around Ximending, going anywhere is no problem. The train station is 5mins walk away too which can get you to anywhere in Taipei.
OTHERS - The bathrooms are separated from the beds by completely transparent glass - it comes with a curtain for privacy of course but watch how the curtain sometime dont completely close up.
I would recommend this in heartbeat - there is nothing else in the vicinity that offers the same location at the same price point, with new-ish modern rooms to boot.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Via Hotel welcomes all travelers, short haul or long stay, for business or for fun, single or group... whoever comes with open heart, big curiosity, and fixed budget. We serve you with world-class Sealy Posturepedic mattress, stylish bathtub, free self-servie laundry, 24hr traveler cafe, and friendly staff always ready to help you plan the trip. We are here for you. Welcome to explore Taipei. ... more less
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