I arrived in Star Hotel in the middle of the night, after dropping off my friends in their hotel nearby. I took a taxi to Huayin Street without any idea where it even was, and just relying on the reservation printout and Google Translate to communicate with the cabbie who spoke no English at all. I was let out in a narrow alley lined with shops and neon signs, and I squinted as a I checked out the bright facade of the building, with its automatic sliding doors that led to the elevators. Star Hotel takes up the 4th and 5th floor of the building.
After the brief elevator ride, one is greeted by a wooden structure in the lobby which kind of reminds me of a greenhouse. It had glass and wooden partitions. Some novelties are also sold in the lobby, together with food items that one can have in the middle of the night or when the cravings kick in. I was welcomed by a man who motioned me to read a sign on the counter which said that arrivals after 10:30 will have to self-check in for the night. The sign read that I just had to go to the front desk by 8am the next day to pay for my stay and officially check in.
I already knew I was in for a treat because the foyer is super nice. Aside from that, the man in charge of welcoming in late night stragglers asked me to put my shoes in the cubby holes provided, and to don slippers. To keep the floors clean, he said. I went up to my bunk bed and settled in for the night. I already saw a preview of the gorgeous lobby lounge and the kitchen, but I guess all further exploration was going to have to wait for the next day because I was already about to pass out.
Earlier today, I was greeted by a very helpful and friendly front desk receptionist who introduced herself as Tatiana. Tatiana spoke excellent English, and she helped me extend my stay (I extended right then and there. I didn’t want to take any chances and get kicked out of the hotel because I only booked for three nights.
Anyway, Tatiana showed me around the hostel. She also gave me a map with coffee shops and restaurants marked out for me, because I’d told her that I was going to get caffeinated in the city. If you do check in here, which I highly recommend you do, ask for Tatiana because she has excellent tips – from renting U Bike rental bicycles and for finding a yoga studio nearby.
The hostel is just so gorgeous. I don’t even want to go into detail explaining, but here are the photos to show for it.
The lobby is so full of sunlight, and the green plants just make the atmosphere so relaxing and calming.
Grabbing breakfast at the kitchen and pantry is made super nice by sunlight streaming in. The smell of coffee wakes you up as you walk in.
Don’t you just want to stay here all day?
Not only is the place so charming and cozy, they also serve a pretty damn good breakfast. Best of all, it is located centrally and within walking distance of Taipei’s Main MRT station, which means that I can just go anywhere from here and be in the city’s best attractions and spots without having to sweat it.
I love the mix of wood, plants, sparse furnishings, clean lines, and industrial concrete.
These cubbies contain guests’ shoes, which are not allowed past the reception area. You have to check shoes into these cubbies, and you are given indoor slippers.
There are plenty of nooks where you can work or socialize.
The beds are also super clean and comfortable. I am staying in a 6-bed dormitory, which is not at all cramped. It doesn’t have an ensuite bathroom but I don’t mind it too much because the shower and toilet are just down the hall.
Each bunk has a privacy curtain and its own reading light, plus a bank of sockets that take any regular chargers. It was a relief learning that I don’t have to buy an adapter, and my plugs work just fine as is.
At a little over a thousand pesos, I say this is incredible value for money. I love being comfortable in a space, and I just adore the beautiful touches that the owners put into every single detail. The art in the hallways, the plants, the nicely plated food at breakfast, and the general laid back feel is something that is worth all money. What a privilege it is to stay here!
4F, No. 50, Huayin Street, Datong District, 103 Taipei, Taiwan
Tip: Book direct from their website home page for cheaper rates instead of booking through Booking.com or Hostelworld. They will also give you free use of a bath towel if you book direct.