Thursday, October 9, 2014

Accommodations Review: Les Suites Ching Cheng (Taipei, Taiwan)

We booked 4 nights in the Junior Suite at Les Suites Ching Cheng (TripAdvisor ReviewsOfficial Website) in Taipei. Note that contrary to a review on TripAdvisor, this does NOT have a soak-in onsen style bathtub (much to my disappointment!). The room with the onsen tub is the Corner Suite.

  • Nice, spacious suite
  • Complimentary fresh fruit changed daily (and no ants!)
  • Comfortable bed and pillows
  • Free smartphone with free international calls to certain countries that can also be used as the room key, a metro card, and has free Wifi hotspot (by far the best perk of our stay)
  • Just a few steps away from Nanjing East Road MRT Station
  • Nespresso machine in room
  • Close to a McDonalds, Family Mart, small shopping mall
  • Pretty good English service at the front desk
  • Complimentary breakfast (though we did not have it)

  • Extremely expensive laundry, even for a business hotel
  • In-room wifi signal not that reliable
  • Towels a little thin (not luxe at all)
  • The nearest metro station (Nanjing East Road MRT) is not that central, so you will definitely have to transfer.

This hotel is somehow classified as a boutique hotel on TripAdvisor, but make no mistake, this is a straight up business hotel. However, what makes it worthwhile for a tourist is that they offer the free use of a smart phone (I think it was a Sony Xperia Z2) that has free Wifi hotspot, international calls to some cities, can be used as the room key and also as an MRT card (we had already purchased our Easy Cards, so we didn't use this last feature).

We booked the Junior Suite room based on a review on TripAdvisor suggesting that this room would have an onsen soaking tub. This review was in fact mistaken, as only the Corner Suites have the onsen tubs (they must have been upgraded to a Corner Suite). This meant some serious disappointment upon arrival. We asked about availability to upgrade, but were told the cost would be an additional 2000 NT + 15% tax per day (about $75 USD per day for 4 days, which was more than we wanted to spend just for a tub). In the end, the disappointment waned and I did enjoy our room very much.

I thought this hotel might have coin laundry facilities, but was disappointed to find they only have your standard hotel laundry service which is charged per item. It is extremely expensive (it was more expensive than the laundry prices at our 5* resort in the Maldives!!), but we managed to find a 24 hour laundromat about 10 minutes away (walking). I have an exciting separate post for that!

The location is both convenient and inconvenient: it is only steps away from an MRT station, but the station is not that conveniently located. Luckily, taxis are incredibly cheap in Taipei!

Junior Suite - bed

Junior Suite - Nespresso machine

Junior Suite - sitting area and desk

Junior Suite - bathroom

Junior Suite - shower stall (great water pressure)

Free chocolates provided on our second day

Bottom Line: The wifi hotspot was incredibly handy, and I would stay here again for this perk alone, though I would not spend the extra money on a Junior Suite. Though I would definitely do some research to see if the smartphone thing is common in Taipei - if so, I would look for a hotel with coin laundry facilities to make the stay more convenient.

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