Hotels in Taiwan
Grand Hotel in Taipei.
With so many hotels in Taiwan, you'll be spoiled for choice.
Taiwan has an extensive numbers of hotels, mainly based on a robust domestic demand and an equally strong demand from neighboring countries, especially Japan and China.
On this page I'll try to give you an overview of which kind of accommodations Taiwan offers.
From here you will find links to different pages, dedicated to hotels in specific locations - such as Taipei or Taichung - or particular kinds of accommodations.
As always on Taiwan Travel Experience, I will try to give a personal touch, based on our (my and my wife's) experiences around Taiwan.
One thing that is not always clear to some Europeans is that hotel rates in Taiwan are always per room and not per person.
So, if a double room rate is 5,000 NTD, it means that the rate per person is 2,500 NTD.
Breakfast is always included.
In 4 and 5 star hotels, you will have a luxurious buffet breakfast, with both Western and Chinese dishes.
In mid-range or budget hotels you may find a chinese breakfast only. Do not worry. An automatic dispenser with coffee and cappuccinos will be there, and often at least toasts and omelettes.
I have also to mention local hotel groups that generally have lower prices but, at least in the business hotels field, offer similar quality and comfort.
Among the most popular Taiwanese chains I can remember Howard and Landis.
Tap water in Taiwan is not considered to be safe for drinking. It's fine for cleaning your teeth tough. So in all the hotel rooms you will find complimentary water bottles and all you need to prepare a cup of coffee and tea.
Travel Fairs are normally held two times per year in Taipei, Kaohsiung and Taichung.
There you can buy hotel coupons with huge discounts - often 50%.
Taipei and Taichung Travel Fairs take place in the cities World Trade Centers - Taichung Trade Center is in the Industrial Park.
In your room's bathroom you will also find not only soap and shampoo, but disposable razors, toothbrushes and toothpaste and so on.
Hotels in Taiwan are carefully managed to optimize the occupancy. So rates vary greatly depending on the period of the year and days of the week.
In tourist locations the higher rates will apply during the period of Chinese New Year (approximately one month between January and February) and on weekends.
Regarding business hotels in Taipei, the busiest periods are obviously during the workweek and when important trade fairs are held.
Taiwan, like Japan, has a vast amount of hot springs that fuel a thriving industry of spa hotels.
The first spa hotels were built by the Japanese at the beginning of 1900, when Taiwan was in fact a Japanese colony. There are still some inns dating from that era, especially in Beitou area of Taipei City.
Beitou Hot Springs Resort
in Taipei at the japanese time.
After a period of darkness following "Taiwan restoration", Taiwan spa hotels flourished again from the 80s.
To this period belong many "bathroom tiles" giant hotels that still disfigure several Taiwanese hot springs resorts.
Some hot springs hotels are newer, recently built by Japanese architects in the same way of contemporary Japan "onsen".
In my opinion, the latters are by far the best, both for Zen elegance and comfort.
Taiwan hot springs hotels have public pools, normally open to hotel guests and paying visitors. Pools can be communal, where both genders bathe together - in this case you have to wear a bathing suit - or separate for men and women - and in this case you will bathe naked, as in Japan.
However each room have also its own small private pool, larger than a bath tub. How large, this will depend on your hotel range (and rate).
In this regard I would like to give you my personal advice ...
Hotels age rapidly in Taiwan, for different reasons (including the extremely humid climate).
Particularly with regard to hot sprigs hotels I will strongly suggest to choose the newest ones, if you can.
Your hot springs experience will be much better.
In Europe a historic hotel normally offers charm and grace. In Taiwan, the charm of an old aged hotel is often limited to the external appearance, not to your room (and this only when is really carefully maintained :))
Hotels in Taiwan
A famous high end homestay in Chingjing Farm in Nantou County.
In the last few years it happened that a growing number of Homestays, Ming Shu in Chinese, opened for business.
They have been remarkably successful, Taiwanese like them.
The best ones are often reviewed on magazines and TV programs.
Actually is not rare that they are small family-run hotels, which provide not only breakfast but other meals, than simple B&Bs.
Also, the best MingShu offer various kinds of activities such as local tours, farming and so on. Some are located at tea plantations (and thus, more correctly, are kind of agritourism resorts).
In any case, they are a very interesting alternative to normal hotels, often quite affordable, often with their own unique character. The only problem obviously can be the language - not many homestays owners speak English.
More and more homestays provide online English booking systems that allow you to overcome at least part of the communication problem.
This government website (in inglese) lists many homestays, each with their own address, website and phone number. Enjoy!
Don't be too surprised!
Since ancient times temples and monasteries in the Far East have offered a shelter to travellers.
Recently, however, their offer has expanded and "modernized."
Some temples (Buddhist and Daoist) rent out rooms that can compete with high-end hotels, at a fraction of the cost.
Taiwan, as Japan, has its own kind of love hotels.
In the unlikely case you have never heard about Japanese ones, love hotels are places where couples, married or not, can rent a room for love making.
Not only young people, who live with their parents or in university dorms, but also many married couples do not have a lot of privacy for them.
Houses are small, and more often than not, the older parents live with them (including the dreaded mothers-in-law, the biggest threat many young women in Taiwan face in their life).
That's why there are love hotels which play a real social function in the Far East.
A room in a love hotel can be rented by the hour (usually at least two-three hours) or for the entire night - in this case, you cannot check-in before 9 pm.
Why I am writing about love hotels here? First, I just want to show that a stay in a love hotel can be a (fun) part of your Taiwan experience and you don't need special language skills or connections to rent a room in one of them.
Second, love hotels can be also a great solution for tourists.
Being used by different guests during the day, they can offer, at a lower price than normal hotels, clean rooms - from large to simply immense - with all amenities like jacuzzi, parking, private sauna and so on.
Contrary to what one might think, love hotels, at least the best ones, are not shady places. Some also offer family rooms with different beds.
In Taiwan, there is a number of hostels. They are often located near the train stations or nearby universities.
This is the english website of Taiwan Youth Hostels.
Hotels in Kenting: our experience in some of the most characteristic hotels of this beach town in Southern Taiwan, with photos.
Hotels in Taroko: our personal experience in the best hotel of the most beautiful place in Taiwan.
I am planning to add pages about hotels in major cities such as Taipei, Tainan, Taichung and so on.
For now, if you are planning a trip here in Taiwan, I provide here links to Tripadvisors pages full of hotel reviews and with which, however, you can also book your hotel:
You'll notice that several hotel related links in Taiwan Travel Experience will bring to Tripadvor pages about hotels in Taiwan.
I have used Tripadvisor for some time, even before starting this website. I have found here many reviews (often the only available) of different hotels in Taiwan.
I am convinced that the vast majority of these reviews, written by fellow travelers, are authentic. When I had the opportunity to try the same hotels, I often found the same qualities or flaws as described in the reviews.
Also, I can not be everywhere, or personally try all the hotels in Taiwan:)))
This website is, in large part, a one man work, myself.
So I think, without doubt, that linking to the various hotel reviews that can be found on Tripadvisor, adds value to the visitors of my website.
Whenever is possible I will still add our reviews, of course.
Tripadvisor is an aggregator of booking online services such as Agoda, Hotels.com. So often - not always - you will find not only reviews but also the current rates and you can book online your hotel.