Having had bad experiences at a few budget hotels, I was quite skeptical when I read the many great reviews about this hotel at tripadvisor. Took a risk and booked the hotel. The on-line booking was challenging and not very user friendly. Almost gave up but decided to drop an email to the hotel. Promptly received a reply which sorted all my requirements. Although it was off-peak season, the hotel was quite well booked and all the better rooms were taken up. Was only able to get the lower end rooms that were "windowless". Kept my fingers crossed and showed up at the hotel. Was pleasantly surprised at every turn from check in to check out.
The "windowless room" was not bad at all. It actually felt quite nice and cosy. The decent furnishing and the layout of the room certainly helped to give you a good sense of psychological space.
The most important thing about budget hotels is cleanliness and Dong Wu get top marks. The rooms and every nook and corner of the hotel was spotlessly clean. The furnishings were well maintained. The bathrooms were of a reasonable size not the usual claustrophobic cells that you find in less expensive hotels. The hotel facilities were spartan but everything works and are in tip top condition. Wireless internet works like a charm and with good speed. If you forgot to bring your computer, there are desktops available in the dining area which doubles up as a lounge. It is also well stocked with wide range of magazines that will put any airport lounge to shame. The buffet breakfast is a decent spread, mainly Asian cuisine. Not fantastic but certainly decent enough for most people.
Location is not its strong point if you like shopping within walking distance. It is located in the older residential part of Taipei which is a little run down. But like most parts of Taipei it is safe to walk even late at night. Although away from the shopping and tourist sites, it is functionally well located. The Daqiaotou MRT station is less than 5 minutes walk from the hotel. However it is towards the end of the new "Luzhou line" and changing trains is a necessity to get to most places that a tourist wants to go. There is 7 Eleven convenience store right next door. There is also a small night market behind the hotel which sell all manner of street food that those with a strong stomach might want to try. There are also lots of shops and eateries around the hotel.
Overall, it is a great hotel for folks who like explore a city on their own, traveling around using the local subway, buses and trains. It is clean, safe, comfortable and you will be served by really helpful staff. The hotel really go the extra mile to be helpful to guests especially those who cant speak the Chinese language. It takes pride in having had good reviews which will probably ensure that it will continue to be a great hotel to stay in. In the lobby it proudly displays the 2011 TripAdvisor award. It even prints it on the room key cards.
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