Taipei Hostel: Ximen Wow Hostel

Being centrally located in the up and coming travel destination that is Taipei is a must when exploring the city. Fortunately, the Ximen district  -Taipei’s heart – houses more than a handful of hostels and hotels that can fit most of your accommodation needs. Being my group of friend’s defacto organizer I began searching for a good hostel that would fit everyone’s wants while working on a budget. After adjusting my filters on my search in Booking.com I was so happy to find a property that met all of what I was looking for; Ximen Wow Hostel.

 

Location

Ximen Wow Hostel sits on the 8th floor of the building along the main street of the Ximen Walking Street. Not only it is centrally located in the Ximen district, it is also strategically situated just less than a hundred meters away from the Ximen MRT station.

 

 

Amenities

As you step out of the elevator, you will be greeted by a futuristic industrial looking door that opens as you stand in front of it. The Ximen Wow Hostel staff is always there to welcome you as you enter. From there the hostel features a wide open space where people can come together and socialize. The common area is highlighted with a huge communal table, where you can just sit with other guests and get to know more friends.

Ximen Wow Hostel common area and main hall way (click to enlarge)

The hostel features several mixed rooms while acknowledging the needs of solo female travelers with their female dorms. At the end of the hallway are the shower and toilets with an open concourse layout. The showers has rain-shower-heads with uninterrupted hot water coming out that sometimes it was just difficult to stop showering.

I’ve felt secured all the time while in the hostel because of their advance security system. Each guest is given a personal access card.  You can use these cards to gain access to the hostel (doors are closed by 11pm). The same access card is also used for to access your personal lockers that are big enough to fit a medium bag inside.

I guess my favorite part of the hostel is their veranda. Ximen Wow Hostel veranda offers a good view of the Ximen skyline while letting you observe the busy Hanzhong street. The veranda offers a quick escape from the hustle and bustle of the Ximen district. The veranda allows you to take a step back and just savor the moment. I go to Taipei when it’s spring time so chilling out on the veranda literally will make you chill out (which is a nice experience for people from the tropics like me) and just feel the the warmth of your jacket.

Ximen Wow Hostel Veranda (Photo from Ximen Wow Hostel Facebook Page)

Rooms

The room that was assigned to us has a 17 bed capacity, that’s more than enough to bring more friends next time (I had 11 friends with me on this trip). Each bed has a curtain providing some level of privacy for each guest. I like their curtains because they are thick enough to actually give you some privacy. You also get to have a comforter and a comfy pillow for your stay. The rooms in Ximen Wow Hostel are equipped with climate control making the temperature when you sleep just right and comfy. It’s also important (at least for me) to mention that the rooms smelled clean, I mean who would want to sleep in a moldy smelling room? If you are a night reader, it’s also great to know that your enclosure has its own light and a power socket so you can charge your gadgets at night (only get one socket so bring an extension cord if you need more).

Breakfast

Breakfast, to be honest this is one of the things that made me chose Ximen Wow Hostel over another property. I appreciate the fact that when you wake up that there is food and coffee that you can consume and not need to forage for food anymore. Ximen Wow Hostel lets their guest cook for them selves giving you some freedom over how you want your eggs cooked. There are jams available over the counter including a garlic flavored margarine (that I love so much) and a toaster so you can heat up of even make you bread nice and crispy. They also have a microwave so if you are person who needs rice in the morning, you can heat up your FamilyMart bought rice before you eat.

Staff

Taiwan is just starting to open up to the rest of the world, but you don’t have to worry about communication gaps. Ximen Wow Hostel staff has an amazing command of the English language! You can ask for directions, advise about your itinerary or even where to eat. My friends really felt welcome specially with Chen who always makes sure that we are okay. Chen is also sooo patient about me asking him every single day for more than a week about the charges being reversed on my card and he didn’t sound annoyed at all. Now that’s a talent! Hahaha! In general the staff are great to talk to and have lots of cool ideas and recommendation, I’m sure you’ll have a great time with them.

 

Price

You will find slightly cheaper hostels than Ximen Wow Hostel in the Ximen area but they can be farther down the alley or doesn’t have breakfast. I bit of a walk is okay but bringing a group of friends with me made me want to have a hostel that include breakfast. The hostel is also accessible for vans during non-pedestrian hours and can be easily spotted as soon as you walk several meters from the train station. A bed starts at $15-$17 a night on weekdays, reasonable enough for the quality of the hostel.

So I guess if you are looking for a hostel that is just a stone throw away from the train station; a place where you can socialize a lot easier and where morning food is I’d say that Ximen Wow Hostel is a definite match for you!

Taipei Hostel: Meander Hostel

Booking hostels can be bit tricky. Sometimes you see really good photos and ratings but when you just get disappointed when you get to your room. I wanted to have a great experience on my return trip to Taipei which happens to be my birthday trip as well ^_^. S0 I pulled up and search for Taipei Hostels in Agoda.com, sorted it out starting with the cheapest ones and checked out the ratings. I was surprised finding a high rating property within my price range and yes the rating is true!

What I like about Meander Taipei Hostel

As soon as I step in I was warmly welcomed by the Meander Taipei Hostel staff, like genuinely warm. I noticed that their lobby offers this wide open common area where every one can interact. As soon as I checked in I was toured around the area by their the wonderful Sarah, she’s just so bubbly I love it. She showed me to the kitchen area where breakfast was being served and just right across it are the viewing area and a huge dining table where everyone can talk while eating.She then introduced me to their events wall. If you don’t have anything planned out when you get here, all you need to do is just check out what is happening on the events board. There’s always something to do everyday!

Meander Taipei HostelReception with their cool staff.

Meander Taipei Hostel

Meander Taipei HostelNot gonna run out of things to do with the events board!

You rarely see hostels with good beds real beds, some of them even just use foams and throws in a linen and a pillow and that is it. Meander Taipei Hostel actually provides you with real beds, yes the not a futon or a foam but some real mattresses and it sure was comfy sleeping on those. Aside from linens they will also provide you a comforter which is awesome specially that Taipei weather can be a bit chilly at times. The only set back is that you have to bring your own towel, which is I feel isn’t a big thing considering that they offer far more quality than most hostels.

Meander Taipei HostelGet the privacy you need with these capsule design bunk beds

Meander Taipei HostelYour own socket, USB charging dock and light in your capsule!

They have about 188 beds where 28 of them are private rooms while the rest are dorm rooms. It is also notable that they don’t put more than ten beds in a single dorm so it doesn’t get too crowded. WiFi is also excellent ideal for Digital Nomads who take their work with them to where they go.

The hostel has this youthful vibe that makes you just want to hang out in the common area and chill out with other travelers. They also have a culturally diverse staff allowing them to support most major languages if you don’t speak English really well.

Meander Taipei Hostel is located about 500 meters from the Ximen MRT station where you can find lots of stores and food shop. You can just walk around and enjoy the local events and have a good time without getting far from the hostel. But if it is just breakfast to startup your day is what you are looking for, there’s not even a need to get out of the hostel. Your booking with Meander Taipei Hostel includes breakfast which is served at the kitchen area from about 7 am till past 10 am.

Meander Taipei Hostel

 

How To Get To Meander Taipei Hostel

From Ximen MRT station just walk straight west through Chengdu road for about 500 meters.

Meander Taipei Hostel Map

If you like this hostel, you can book them through     agoda-logo   for the best rates