I stayed here for one night in November 2011 in an Executive Single room and the only reason for staying here was due to the Grand Hi-Lai being fully booked for the two nights which I had wished to stay in Kaohsiung and so the travel agent (Asiatravel) was able to secure a room here for the one night when the Grand Hi-Lai was fully booked.
I arrived by taxi after getting off from the subway station, which I had arrived at after taking the subway from the Zuoying Main station, which was where I had disembarked from the high-speed rail which goes all the way to Taipei. The station (which I think was the Formosa Boulevard station) at which I had disembarked didn’t seem to have a dedicated taxi stand and as a result, I was trying for some time to hail a taxi and was eventually successful but I think that for the sake of convenience and if there is a large amount of luggage involved, it might be a better idea to catch the taxi directly from the Zuoying station or perhaps to get off at the Kaohsiung Main subway station.
The hotel reception was on a separate level from the ground floor and check-in was done in a separate area which provided a sit-down check-in and while that sounds nice, the area was actually quite busy at the time and I had to wait my turn before checking in and the attendant didn’t appear to be that friendly but was alright. The check-in process in total took around 20 minutes.
As the travel agent had booked an Executive room, since the others were fully booked, it was quite spacious and the living area was large with a large bathroom as well but the room definitely appeared to be quite old although it was still quite comfortable. The decor just seemed quite dated and old and it was clear that the hotel as a whole was also beginning to show its age with the public areas looking quite dated in terms of style.
The bellhop who brought up the luggage was friendly and that was a welcome improvement from what I had experienced in the reception area.
The TV in the room seemed to be an older style but it was still an LCD or plasma and appeared to be serviceable, though there seemed to be a slight reception problem affecting only one channel though. There wasn't a huge channel selection particularly in English, although the Chinese selection was quite comprehensive.
The furniture in the room was in an older style and seemed to be cheap-looking, including the sofa and the carpet, although they were clean.
The room was brightly lit especially at night when the lights seemed to give a very bright ambience, certainly much brighter than in most hotel rooms.
The bathroom had a separate bath and shower and it was in an older style with a bathtub which was not very large. It was still quite well-maintained and the only issue here appeared to be with the potential slippage that could be experienced with the bathroom tiles on the ground not providing the best grip for wet feet, although I don’t think that should be an issue if care is taken.
The room included quite a nice constantly heated hot-water flask, which seem to be quite common in hotel rooms in Taiwan but again, I wasn’t sure of the water quality in the flask because I doubt that hotels would fill these flasks with mineral or purified water so it’s always an issue as to whether the water is of a good quality or not. The only way to be sure that the water is absolutely fine and fresh would be to empty the flask and then fill it with bottled water but then I thought it might just be better to boil the water with the kettle when needed.
The safe in the room was in an older style in keeping with the room’s character.
There was an extra charge for the Internet in the room which amounted to TWD100 for one day’s unlimited usage, which I suppose was quite an acceptable charge compared to that in most other hotels, bearing in mind that the official rate was TWD200 and the lower rate was offered upon check-in by the reception member. However, a previous review mentioned that internet access was complimentary in the hotel lobby.
The view from my room wasn’t that great but it would have been hard to see how to get a good view in hotels in this city because there are only mainly office buildings in the city and the only possible better view would probably be what I experienced at the Grand Hi-Lai the next day, with a view out towards the harbour in Kaohsiung but that wasn’t exactly a spectacular view.
I have videos of the hotel room on the link found in my profile section.
I didn’t manage to have much interaction with the staff here but did ask for an umbrella at night and also checked out of the hotel and asked for help with the taxi to catch to the Grand Hi-Lai. The staff members appeared to be reasonably warm but didn’t quite seem to be at the levels of the staff members at the Taipei hotels such as at Les Suites Taipei or the W in Taipei.
Location and Facilities
The hotel was located a fair distance from the nearest subway station so that wasn’t convenient but I found that there were quite a few good and interesting eateries nearby and also a Family Mart which provided basically all the grocery provisions and snacks that could reasonably be expected in a short stay here.
I had a look at the outdoor pool from my room and that looked sizeable and had a Jacuzzi pool located next to it but I didn’t have time to try it out myself and usually am not a big fan of pools exposed to public view and easily seen from individual rooms.
I had a comfortable stay here, as the room was quite good and I found the location of the hotel interesting with many good food outlets nearby. Although the hotel room was not the most modern, it still seemed comfortable and quite well-maintained so overall, it was a good base to explore the city of Kaohsiung.
NOTE: Videos of the hotel room can found through the link in my profile section.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the heart of the business district with easy access to the railway station and major highway.Also,with the Liuho Tourist Night Market and other shopping areas nearby, plus convenient transportation,your business trips and traveling plans are all within reach.305cozy and classic guest rooms are matched with prestigious wooden furniture and artworks bearing intense Chinese classical tone and reflecting the extraordinary taste of distinguished guests.Providing six fine restaurants, our professional chefs together prepare delicious Chinese and Western cuisine with each being an inspiring enjoyment of the taste and texture. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Howard Plaza Kaohsiung
- Kaohsiung Howard Plaza Hotel