Many travellers who visit Taichung would usually choose to stay in Xitun district, for that is where Fengjia Night Market, 1 of the busiest night markets of Taiwan is located. Besides, the district is also bustling with lots of shops, food & commercial activities. Same goes for me when deciding where to stay this time in Taichung. I had only stayed 1 night in Taichung during my first vacation to Taiwan back in 2012, & I still remember Fengjia Night Market was so huge we couldn’t complete touring within the night. Thus, it was a no-brainer that Xitun would be our home in Taichung for the 3-night stay.
许多到访台中的游客一般都会选择住宿西屯区，因为那是台湾最热闹的夜市之一 —— 逢甲夜市的所在地。除此之外，西屯区也有好多商店、美食等带给游客不少便利。因此，这趟台中行，我也决定选择住宿西屯区。还记得上次2012年9月初访台中，只住了一晚，连逢甲夜市都无法逛完呢！所以，这次，我无论如何都要住在这一区，让自己逛得过瘾。😅
However, likely because Xitun is an extremely popular district to stay in, while there are many hotels & guest houses to choose from, those more “presentable” ones seem to be more pricey than I had hoped for. After quite some time searching, I finally found Hotel Mapp, about 10-min walk from the night market, to suit my requirements in terms of price, room size, design & location. We booked a business twin room at the hotel for about S$110 per night, which was within my budget. Read below for other aspects of Hotel Mapp for your consideration in future. 😉
也许是因为大家都像我一样喜爱西屯区的热闹，虽然这里有数不尽的旅店民宿等住宿选择，但条件较优越的都比我预期中的贵。找了好久，终于找到希堤微旅，离逢甲商圈步行大概10分钟，感觉在价钱、客房、设计与地点方面都还不错，所以就在 Agoda 预订了一间城市伴侣双人房，一晚约新币110元，还没超出我的预算。以下是我对3晚住宿希堤微旅体验，各方面的评价，供你参考。😉
1. Location 地理位置
Located on Shangshi Road in Xitun, Hotel Mapp is directly opposite Carrefour Qinghai Mall & in between Fengjia & 2 big departmental stores: Mitsukoshi & Top City. So while it takes a walk to the famous night market, there is plenty around the hotel to explore, regardless of whether we walk towards the department stores or night market. Taichung Railway Station is about 25 min away by public buses along the main road, where most buses will take you to the station. In addition, because it is slightly away from the heart of Fengjia Night Market, it is not so crowded & we could enjoy some peace & quiet to rest for the night.
2. Hotel design & interiors 旅店设计与装潢
Designed & built by renowned architect in Taiwan in 2016, Hotel Mapp’s white structure, large French window with balcony left a deep impression on me when I was shortlisting my Taichung accommodation. The design looks pretty unique to me, although I must admit online pictures look nicer compared to when I was there haha. Maybe they could do with better cleaning & maintenance given the building is all-white. Nonetheless, it was quite a stark contrast to its surrounding old buildings. The name Mapp was chosen because its concept is of a traveller’s map where one could take a pit-stop to rest before going out to explore again. We could spot little creative details in many areas of the hotel. There is also the chic ESME Cafe on the second floor, which not only provides cafe-style breakfast to its guests, but is also open to the public. Take a look at some of the decor in the hotel below:
3. In the room 客房一览
There are only 21 rooms in Hotel Mapp, so I would consider it a boutique hotel. Our business twin room was on level 6, the second room on the right along the hallway. There is no balcony & upon entering the room, it appeared somewhat smaller than I had expected. Agoda listed the room as 21 square metres, which I thought would be a comfortable size to be in. However, after opening our 2 big luggage (28-29 inch each) in front of the beds, there was little space to move about. The consolation was everything in the room looked cosy & neat, which means housekeeping is doing a good job at maintaining the amenities in the barely-2-year-old hotel. The bed was also quite comfortable, of the right hardness, though I had to ask for additional pillow as they only provided 1 pillow per bed. It was also good to have a small beauty mirror on the work table in the room so I could use it when the bathroom is occupied.
While the bedroom felt a little squeezy, the bathroom was spacious & airy. I like the refreshing fragrance of the toiletries (shampoo & bath liquid) provided. But it was a pity that drainage in the shower wasn’t very good. We noticed that every time after a shower, it would be flooded with big puddle of water that took a long time to drain. As for the toilet, I was glad it was the Japanese Toto Washlet type which allowed me to wash my bottoms & enjoy some warmth (it was a little chilly at night in Spring) hehe.
4. Breakfast at ESME Cafe ESME 咖啡馆的早餐
The Agoda hotel booking came with complimentary breakfast for 2 every morning. I was kinda looking forward to it when I read reviews online that its breakfast was cafe-style with a small spread of buffet items. At least it was not the typical hotel buffet breakfast that could be boring. Located on level 2 of the hotel, the cafe follows through the same interior concept as other parts of the hotel, which was modern & pleasing to the eye.
我们在Agoda 预订房间，附带早餐，可到二楼的ESME 咖啡馆享用。读了一些网上的评语后，有点期待尝一尝它的早餐，因为是以套餐为主，附加一些自助餐点，不像一般旅店沉闷的早餐选择。来到二楼，咖啡馆的设计就像旅店其他楼层一样，简约但不失时尚感。
When we arrived at the cafe slightly after 8 am on the first morning, there was no other guests except us. We were given a set menu to choose from, but essentially, there were only 4 sets to choose from, & the only difference between each set seemed to be only in the choice of bread used. The staff suggested that we share a set instead as the portion was quite big. Since we could also help ourselves to the handful of buffet items, we did what he suggest & shared a set.
Actually I thought the portion was just right for 1 person, yes quite hearty, but no need to share, because the buffet spread was actually nothing to shout about. Except maybe to try the soup. Taste wise, it looked better than its actual taste. Oops… hahaha not that bad, but maybe I had set too high an expectation due to the positive online reviews read. Anyway, below are some photos of the chic interiors of the cafe. 😉
The next morning, we ordered 1 set each, & this time, I had the Muji Breakfast set which came with soft white bread. The accompanying ingredients remained similar as the one we ate earlier. Eating 1 set alone was filling enough, without the need to tuck into any buffet items, which was fine with us.
5. Service & other facilities 旅店的服务及其他设施
Given that there are only 21 rooms at Hotel Mapp, I had expected warmer service from the staff, closer to the minsu style. But I was a little disappointed when it didn’t happen. Throughout our 3-night stay at the hotel, we only saw a handful of other guests, but other than the typical greetings from reception staff, there was hardly any interaction excepted when we asked them for help. While the staff were nowhere near hostile, they didn’t really appear approachable, & the hospitality just felt “transactional” & less of personalised human touch. In fact, we bumped into the housekeeping staff a few times along the corridor/ in the lift, but she was expressionless all the time. -_- OK, maybe I had been “pampered” too much by the staff at accommodation I stayed during my enjoyable Taiwan trip last June. 😛
As for other facilities in the hotel, free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property, but note that it is unsecured network, i.e. you don’t need a password to use it. Free laundry service is also available on level 7, but it is self-service (2 washing machines) & there is no dryer to dry the clothes thereafter. Thus we didn’t make use of the service, because I seriously wonder where could I hang my clothes dry in the room? 😶
Overall, I think Hotel Mapp is still worth to stay in again for the location, general comfort & design, if the price is right. It wouldn’t be my top recommended choice the next time I visit Taichung, but it still has some merits to be kept on the list of possible accommodation in Xitun. 😛 Hope my review has helped you somehow in picking an accommodation for your next Taichung trip! I shall end this post with a photo of the hotel exteriors at night. 🙂