Kenting Hotels: detail of Caesar Park Hotel.
Each year millions of tourists visit Kenting. So the range of Kenting hotels is really wide, with offers truly for all budgets. The number of hotels and B&Bs is so high that often you can find vacant rooms in the top season - albeit at higher rates.
But if you're lucky enough to visit Kenting in the low season, then it is not hard to find really great deals.
For now our personal experience includes two hotels in Kenting. As I wrote above, there are many other Kenting hotels but our two hotels, however, are among the most representative of Kenting and are mentioned in all the travel guides.
These hotels are the Caesar Park Hotel and Kenting Youth Activity Center.
Caesar Park has been renovated not long time ago - with a beautiful South East Asia style - which is not very "local" but is actually better than many monster-hotels that spoil Taiwan landscape.
Caesar Park Hotel has recently achieved 5 stars ranking, that, in our opinion, deserves them all..
Caesar Park Hotel Kenting: the view from our room.
Caesar Park is located at the eastern border of the main Kenting village, no more than 5 minutes walk from shops and the night market.
Xiaowan beach is just in front of the Caesar Park Hotel, across the street. The hotel manages part of the beach - and provides a beach cafeteria too. The beach seemed well maintained.
Caesar Park Hotel Kenting: the beach.
Caesar Park Hotel provides two main restaurants. One is the Orchid Garden Chinese Restaurant, the second, that serves buffet meals and breakfasta, is called Compass. We had dinner in the latter and we were completely satisfied. Compass offers a wide variety of Chinese, Japanese and Western food, of which we fondly recall a super fresh sushi and excellent pancakes.
The Caesar Park is primarily a family hotel, there are many activities for children. So there are a lot of children around. And in low season there are also flocks of high school students, that can take advantage of special discounted rates.
Caesar Park Hotel Kenting: our room.
Our room was quiet anyway.
The room was new and huge, very nicely decorated. The posh large bathroom had a shower and a shiny bathtub. The bathroom was divided from the bedroom by Japanese-style sliding panels. Everything was spotlessy clean.
Taiwan Tourism Trade Fairs are held in Taipei, Kaohsiung and Taichung, one or two times per year. They are a great place to buy coupons for Kentings hotels and resorts all around Taiwan at super discounted prices, by 50% and more!
Normally the rate is from 7,000 NTD and up. As we came in November, in the low season and not on the weekend, we had a discounted rate of 4,200 NTD. The rate also included an excellent breakfast for two, discounted price for the buffet dinner (700 NTD for two, with a buy one-get two formula), and one or two trips coupons, which we have not used.
With the price we actually paid, 4,200 NTD, the Caesar Park, which rivals the Chateau Resort among the best Kenting hotels, is definitely a good choice and also a convenient one. You have also to consider the dinner for two at 700 NTD! Caesar Park also provides a free shuttle from the HSR station in HSR Zuoying-Kaohsiung to Kenting (3 hours by bus!).
Caesar Park Hotel Kenting: the bathroom.
In high season, when the rates exceed 10,000 NTD ... well ... probably we would consider different, more convenient, Kenting hotels.Caesar Park Hotel
Kenting has two peak periods.
The highest season is the winter time, around a month, that goes from Christmas to the Chinese New Year.
Then rates skyrocket. I advise you not to book Kenting hotels for this period, if you can.
By the way, at that time the weather is often windy, because of the NE monsoon, and sometimes a little too cool for enjoying the beach.
The summer period, from June to September, is also high season but not so crowded and expensive - many Taiwanese have just brief holidays during the Chinese New Year period. Chinese New Year falls, depending on the year, from mid-January to mid-February.
Kenting Hotels: Kenting Youth Activity Center.
Kenting Youth Activity Center is praised by guides and websites as one of the more interesting Kenting hotels. In fact, the hotel complex was built in the style of typical fujianese mansions. It is located in a nice quiet area, secluded from the main road, which covers about 25 hectares. The Activity Center overlooks the sea and has direct access to the fine rocky coast of Frog Rock.
To visit the Kenting Youth Activity Center - and Frog Rock shore - you don't need to be a resort guest! You can access the facilities as a visitor just paying 30 NTD at the entrance.
It is a good way to have a look!
The complex has been obviously built with great care, taste and skills. Though it is a reconstruction, or rather, an idealization of a traditional village, is not kitch at all. It is actually quite charming ... if there were more places like this in Taiwan!
Kenting Youth Activity Center: the side facing the sea.
Disappoint came when we got to the room. The rooms are tiny and a little bit aged. Double rooms have the size of a doll house, we were in a four people bedroom, it was still very small.
This is not the kind of room you will like to spend a rainy day ...
The spartan and tiny room (for 4 people!) at the Kenting Youth Activity Center.
Our room, although small and spartan, was clean enough ... except for some little things stuck on the walls and on a pillow. At the first sight I thought they were snots :)) My wife, thanks to his childhood in a country house in Taiwan, immediately identified them as gecko droppings :))
Our room had obviously been cleaned, then kept closed for some time (with the gecko inside?), and not checked before being assigned to the guest.
Charming secrets at the Kenting Youth Activity Center.
Kenting Youth Activity Center is managed by a government agency. This explains some laxity and stiffness in the management (the restaurant shut down at 7 PM!). Indeed, we had been warned in advance by some other guests, that we met in Sheding.
The atmospheric restaurant at the Kenting Youth Activity Center.
The dining room has been built as a traditional chinese inn - like the one in the movie film "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" by Ang Lee. We liked the restaurant very much. Breakfast, a simple Chinese fare but prepared with the freshest ingredients, was really good.
The simple, hearty Chinese breakfast.
We paid 3000 NTD for our room. The rate included the breakfast, as usual in Taiwan.
Is it worth of that price? The complex, again, is very beautiful and charming. For shops and buses, just walk out of the Youth Activity Center, and you are in the center of Kenting.
Rocky coast at Frog Rock.
Depend on your priorities! We think the price is a little bit exaggerated, for the privilege of living in what it looks like a noble Taiwanese dwelling, but in tiny, bare rooms.
When in low season, a luxurious resort as the Caesar Park Hotel costs only NTD 4200, the Kenting Youth Activity Center should perhaps consider to adjust their rates down accordingly.Kenting Youth Activity Center
As mentioned above, there are a lot of Kenting hotels and B&Bs.
Many small hotels along the main street, quite good looking, offer double rooms for 800 NTD. This at least in the low season. They are affordable and explain how Kenting is so popular among young Taiwanese students, who can afford here weekends with the girlfriend.
A budget accommodation that is normally recommended is the Catholic Hostel, in Wenhua Rd (Tel: 08-8861540), just off the main street and not far from the restaurant Amy's Cucina.
Howard Beach Resort is a mega hotel on the side of Caesar Park. Busloads of tourists from Mainland China stay here.
Fullon Resort Kending is located in a more secluded location overlooking Shadao Beach. The view from the hotel should not be bad at all.
An interesting choice could be Kentington Resort, located inland at Manjhou, not far from Jialeshuei.
Chateau Beach Resort on Kenting beach.
Chateau Beach Resort offers what no other hotel in Kenting can boasts: direct access from your room to the best part of Kenting beach. Ideal for beach holidays but you have to pay for the privilege.
Some of the many B&Bs available in Kenting and the villages around are listed here