Starting the Taipei travelogue series with our stay at Chaiin Hotel, and yes, it’s spelled with two “i”s.
During our last visit to Taipei, we stayed at the Ark Hotel, and we would’ve considered staying there again, but unfortunately it was already fully booked for the Easter weekend. Given that Taipei is incredibly tourist-friendly, there were plenty of other options available regarding accommodation, and finally we decided on Chaiin Hotel.
We stayed in a Superior Room with a double bed. A Standard Room would’ve been cheaper, but I didn’t want to stay in a windowless room. Having natural light in the mornings is a necessity for me, and I wouldn’t mind paying a bit more for that.
Also, you can’t really tell, but there’s a mini-fridge under the writing desk. In it were two complimentary bottles of water.
Note: the glass walls for the bathroom are translucent, and there’s no additional curtain or cover, so hopefully you’ll be staying with a significant other, or someone whom you’re really comfortable with.
Slippers and hairdryer provided.
The sink was located right next to the door. All the basics were provided, and then some. These included:
- bar soap
- shower cap
- razor and shaving cream
- toothbrushes and toothpaste
- shampoo, conditioner, body wash, body lotion, and facial cleanser
- cotton buds and cotton pads
It’s the first time I’ve ever seen a hotel provide facial cleanser, so I’m really impressed. I didn’t use it (as my skin is sensitive), but the fact that it’s there is much appreciated.
In my hurry I actually forgot to take a picture of the bathroom – d’oh! It’s simply a WC and a shower with a glass door. The shower area itself was fairly spacious, with a little cubby hole of sorts to hold your toiletries.
Electric kettle, coffee and tea. And my favourite Lotus biscuits!
View from our room. We stayed on the 12th floor, which was the highest.
One of the best things about Chaiin Hotel was its location. Dongmen MRT station was literally steps away, and the famous Yongkang Street was within walking distance. There was also a HSBC ATM located nearby, which was quite the lifesaver for us as we had to withdraw more cash!
I was also really stoked about staying across the street from Tienren Tea, until I tried the tea and it tasted nothing like the one in Hong Kong. The green tea just tasted like regular Chinese tea, whereas the HK version has a subtle sweetness.
Complimentary breakfast buffet. Aside from the usual scrambled eggs and sausages, there was also soup, congee, fried noodles, and strangely, nuggets and french fries.
Bread and cereal station.
Did a bit of a food hack and created my version of toast with butter and condensed milk.
The “orange juice” was really fruit punch, and it was so bad I almost spat it out. Luckily, the mocha from the coffee machine was tolerable.
I don’t have high expectations for a hotel breakfast, especially since this isn’t a five-star resort. Aside from the punch, the rest of it was fine. I’m the kind of person who wakes up famished and must have breakfast within minutes, so being able to fill my belly without having to walk too far is a definite plus.
The one negative about the hotel was the elevator. It was painfully slow, and given that we were staying on the 12th floor, walking up and down the stairs wasn’t exactly feasible, especially with luggage. Some genius decided to give people some incentive to take the stairs by installing some artwork and calling it a vertical gallery.
We did walk two flights of stairs from the lobby to the ground floor. If you’re travelling light and don’t mind walking, the art is worth checking out.
The total cost of our stay was HK$1272, which works out to HK$636 (~US$81.80/~S$114.30) a night. Like I mentioned earlier, the location was great, probably the best thing about the hotel. The room was alright, and service was impeccable (I can’t praise Taiwanese hospitality enough!). The downside was the elevator that travelled at a snail’s pace. Aside from that, we had a pleasant stay.
However, I should mention that we probably won’t stay at Chaiin Hotel again, but there are other factors at play here. It’s the second time we’ve stayed at the Dongmen area, and we’ll probably choose another area the next time we visit Taipei so as to experience more of the city.