Hostels have always been one of the top accommodation choices for budget travelers. Not only do they offer the MOST reasonable rates, every hostel also has a distinct style (quaint, minimalistic, traditional… etc) and it provides an awesome opportunity to socialize with people from all over the world!
All photos are mine unless otherwise stated.
Since our flight landed past midnight and immigration took quite a while, we opted to take the bus to get to the hostel. We lined up for the bus heading to Taipei Main Station, and upon getting there, we took a cab straight to Houze Hostel. It’s located right in the heart of the city, along Nanjing East Road, right by Exit 6 of Songjiang Nanjing Station. The hostel is surrounded by cafes and restaurants, and it’s within the vicinity of numerous convenience stores.
We arrived at the hostel at 330AM and we were basically locked out for at least 5 minutes. The code we were given for the main door didn’t work despite our many, many, many attempts. Thankfully though, there were people still lounging at the lobby and opened the door for us. Imagine if no one was around…we would’ve been stuck outside for who knows how long.This is the first thing you see upon entering the main door. To the left is the check-in counter. The front desk staff left our room key in an envelope with Vina’s name written on it, so we had no problem getting in our room even without the front desk staff!Right behind the counter is a shelf with coffee mugs and beers for sale.
LOUNGE, DINING AREA, KITCHEN
This area is hardly ever empty. Except of course when you’re roaming around the hostel at almost 4 in the morning… So Lara, Vina, and I took the liberty to take group photos on our last night at the hostel.The dining area and the kitchen are located across the reception. Since the reception is only available until 10PM, guests that wish to purchase drinks can just leave their money in the box on top of the fridge and get their change. I wasn’t able to take a photo but to the right of the fridge would be the sink, the microwave, the fridge you can keep your food in, and utensils.
To get to your room, you would have to tap your key card. The hostel’s safety feature is pretty excellent, considering that it doesn’t have a guard on duty. Safety wasn’t a problem at all!Once you get through the main door, you’d be greeted by a pretty long hallway. Our room was only a few steps away but the toilet and the showers were at the opposite side of the hall. Still, it wasn’t a problem getting to and from since the hallways were well lit and the floors/carpets were clean.
TOILETS & SHOWERS
I’m not going to lie, I really loved the shower area. No joke. It didn’t feel uncomfortable sharing the whole bathroom with other people since it was so clean, it smelled good, and it was well lit!
On the left: toilets which have signs indicating which ones are for the girls and boys. On the right: counter with about five sinks, hand soap, and tissue paper.Inside the shower area, there are more sinks and a cubby hole where you can leave your stuff in. There’s also a little bench inside the actual shower stall for you to place your stuff.
Since it was a common restroom, I was a tad worried about where to place my things while taking a shower since I didn’t want anything to get wet. But the shower stalls in Houze Hostel actually had a bench and a couple of hooks so that was a big plus! The hostel was also generous enough to place complimentary shampoo and liquid body soap for the guests to use.I would say this part of the restroom is like a powder room? Anyway, it had mirrors, hair dryers, and a counter. It also had a box of cotton pads and cotton buds!
We spent a good amount of time getting ready in there every morning throughout our stay. Our room only had a teeny mirror and it didn’t really have good lighting so we preferred getting ready in here. And we all got to get ready at the same time so that’s a time-saver!
Our room was so cozy. I loved how the blankets were so thick, fluffy, and warm. The kind of blankets that you would actually find in good hotels! PLUS, they give one for each guest, as opposed to other hostels I’ve been to. I swear, this is probably my favorite part throughout our stay at Houze Hostel haha! Anyway, our room was actually good for four people, but there were only three of us so we got quite a lot of space. Vina and I stayed in the bottom bunk, and Lara stayed “upstairs.” There were bedlights and outlets on each bunk, and I appreciated that since I happen to use my phone quite a lot 😛
Just a few take-aways from my Houze Hostel experience:
- The wifi was fast and reliable throughout the whole hostel. It’s so unfair when hotels, hostels, or even coffee shops bait customers with their complimentary wifi but said wifi is almost always crappy, so thank you for the A+ wifi, Houze Hostel!
- Free water. Water is an essential when traveling and it makes quite a difference when you don’t have to spend money on water, especially after a long day.
- The hostel also allows guests to prepare their own meals. You can basically look for a grocery store and prepare your meals in the hostel!
- Accommodating front desk staff. They were ALWAYS willing to help, answer questions, and offer recommendations! And that time we needed to get our deposit back (since we ended up not checking out late), the staff that time did not give us a hard time! No passports and ID’s needed, she just had to check their system and that’s how it should always be! @/Pilipinas
- Our room did not have a window. I don’t know if that’s the standard but our room felt a little claustrophobic without having a window. And it made it extra hard to wake up since we couldn’t see the morning light!
Xie xie, Houze Hostel!
B1, No. 125, Section 2,
Nanjing East Rd., Zhongshan District
Taipei City, Taiwan 10491