Tainan Caoji Book Inn Gallery Me

The best luxury hostels in Taiwan according to me

In Taiwan, Travel Planning by Jaclynn Seah4 Comments

One thing I love about Taiwan is that when it comes to accommodation, it’s easy to get decent budget hotel rooms or great hostels for the indie backpackers like me who want to enjoy that communal spirit. Now I appreciate good design and I’m past the age of toughing it out in cheapo hostels, so I thought I’d put together a list of my favourite luxury hostels in Taiwan – posher accommodation options that may not be dirt-cheap but are still relatively inexpensive and also feature great design and ambience.

My rec list of luxury hostels in Taiwan:

I still remember my first hostel stay in Taiwan during my University days. Definitely cheap but it was a pretty squeezy stay in a place that looked liked someone’s old apartment, complete with a porta-toilet shower on the balcony and super hard beds. These places I’m recommending are definitely nicer!


TAIPEI

Star Hostel Taipei Main Station

For those who like the Muji aesthetic and want a hostel with a super convenient location.

Location

Address: 4th Floor, No. 50, Huayin Street, Datong District, Taipei 台北市大同區華陰街50號4樓 [google maps

Taipei Star Hostel has an excellent location right next to Taipei Main Station, which makes it very convenient for those coming off the Airport MRT, as well as getting to the main bus, train and MRT stations. Q Square Mall and the underground Taipei City Mall are just 5 minutes away, so plenty of food and shopping options.

Rooms

  • Dormitories: 6-8pax/room at NTD 580-670 (S$25-30) per night
  • Private rooms: 1-5pax/room at NTD 1,400-3,100 (S$67-136) per night
  • Breakfast included

Check out Star Hostel Taipei Main Station on booking.com [affiliate link]

I stayed in a Single private for 1,450 NTD (S$67) per night that had an ensuite shower, toilet, air-conditioning and a TV mounted on the wall. I even had my own hairdryer and a free towel. The single room was very minimalist and not very large, but considering I was out most of the day, it was comfortable enough for me to rest in at night.

The dorm rooms beds actually look pretty comfortable and roomy from the pix, and at half the private room rate, they are an option I might consider on future trips back to Taipei.

Taipei Star Hostel Room

The toilet + shower was to my right, the sink and door behind me.

 

Facilities

The hostel actually occupies the 4th and 5th floors of the building it is in, and it is a lot bigger on the inside then it looks from the outside. You remove your shoes at the main entrance and use a keycard to access the hostel living area, and also to access your individual room.

The overall design is lots of clean white walls and wooden furnishings. The lounge area is the centrepiece of the hostel and is a stunning welcome with high ceilings and natural light. There are lots of cosy nooks to sit around in, and a kitchen as well. They had a craft beer pop up when I was there and I made some new friends over craft beer.

Breakfast in the morning is a rotating menu that is prepared and plated by the hostel staff, with freshly cooked food and fresh fruits, it’s worth waking up for. 

Taipei Star Hostel Common Area

Just a small section of the common area – how cute is this place!

Taipei Star Hostel Breakfast

Make time for breakfast, which is plated by the kitchen every morning and is always different. 

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YILAN

Yilan Inspiration Hostel 霊感青年旅舎

For those who like hostels with character and don’t mind that it’s not very centrally located.

Location

No. 29, Luozhuang North Street, Luodong Township, Yilan 265宜蘭縣羅東鎮羅莊北街29號 [Google Maps]

Yilan Inspiration Hostel is a 15-minute walk from the Luodong train and bus station and located in a residential area along a canal, though if you ride a scooter it’s just 5 minutes away. It’s a 20-minute walk to Luodong Night Market, but the owner does have bicycles that you can rent for free to save you the stroll.

Yilan Inspiration Hostel View Window

View from my window of the 6-bed dorm just above the lounge area. There is a river right in front of the hostel that you can’t quite see from this pic.

Rooms

  • Dormitories only: 4-10pax/room at NTD 500-600 (S$22-26) per night
  • Buffet breakfast included

Check out Yilan Inspiration Hostel on booking.com [affiliate link]

The dorm rooms each have their own concept – I picked the 6-bed dorm room with the tents because it looked the cutest, but just know that the mattress you sleep on inside the tent doesn’t have springs – not the most comfortable if you have a bad back.

I got to peek into the 4-bed dorm which has little wooden houses for each bed like mini log cabins. Pix of the 10-bed dorm with sturdy built-in beds stacked up in 3 layers make me think of a cat’s playground.

The bathrooms are shared and located outside of the rooms, with separate toilet and shower cubicles. 

Yilan Inspiration Hostel Tents

Tents in the 6-bed dorm

Yilan Inspiration Hostel My Tent

My tent for the night. You can zip up the doorway for a little privacy and there is a light overhead in each tent

Facilities

Overall the hostel has a quirky and homey feeling. The welcome area has a cheery counter and there is a  nice wooden communal area right in the front room. They have a little retail area selling stuff made by local Taiwanese designers. The rooms are located on the 2nd and 3rd levels up a rather narrow staircase.

Yilan Inspiration Hostel Reception Lounge

Friendly reception and lounge area

Yilan Inspiration Hostel Exterior

From the outside

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TAICHUNG

MINI Hotels Taichung Train Station 

For those who like a great central location, fun quirky design and don’t mind a very snug space 

MINI Hotels isn’t actually a hostel, but its private room prices are on par with some of the luxury hostel private room prices, which is why I included it in this list.

Location

No. 69 Dayong Street, East District, Taichung City 401台中市東區大勇街69號 [Google Maps]

MINI Hotels Taichung Train Station is located 5-min walk from the Taichung Train Station, making it very convenient to get to and around Taichung and Taiwan. Taichung City’s attractions are more spread out, but you are within walking distance of the popular Miyahara Dessert place and the Painted Animation Lane.

Taichung Mini Hotel Rooftop View

View of the surrounding area from the rooftop terrace

Rooms

  • Private rooms only: 1-6 pax/room at NTD 1,230-4,280 (S$55-188) – price fluctuates depending on season/date

Check out MINI Hotels Taichung Train Station on booking.com  [affiliate link]

I had a single loft room which as advertised, was very snug but it was surprisingly comfortable. A staircase by the entrance leads up to the loft bed which could fit 2 people. There are a slim table and chairs, fridge, luggage rack and TV, as well as your own attached bathroom. It’s honestly quite surprising how much they could fit into a small space.

Taichung Mini Hotel Room

From the doorway – I’m using a wide angle camera so you can see that space is very tight indeed, but I either sat on the stairs, chairs or lounged in the bed upstairs

Taichung Mini Hotel Room Toilet

A peek into the toilet

Facilities

The hotel design leans towards Instagrammable, with popular props like a fake telephone booth and even a car in the lobby. Each level has its own colourful mural design splashed across the corridor walls.

Breakfast takes place in the dining area just above the lobby area. If you want some fresh air, there is a rooftop area where you can look at downtown Taichung City from above.

Taichung Mini Hotel Lobby

Quirky props in the lobby make for good photo ops

Taichung Mini Hotel Murals

Murals decorate the corridors on each level

Taichung Mini Hotel Dining

The dining area

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TAINAN

艸祭 Caoji Book Inn

For the book lover and those who love a bit of nostalgia.

Location

No. 71 Nanmen Road, Central West District, Tainan City 台南市中西區南門路71號 [Google Maps]

艸祭 Caoji Book Inn is very close to the Confucius Temple Shopping Street and the Koxinga Museum. It’s about 20 minutes walk or a short bus ride from the Tainan train station. It’s right next door to the famous Narrow Door Cafe.

Tainan Narrow Door Cafe Me

Me standing in the entrance way of the Narrow Door Cafe. You can see Caoji Book Inn right next door on the right

Rooms

  • Smaller 2-6pax/room female-only and 4pax/room mixed dormitories at NTD 1,080-2,560 (S$47-112) per night
  • Larger 10+pax dormitories at 1,080-1,280 NTD (S$48-57)

Check out Caoji Book Inn on booking.com  [affiliate link]

The star feature in this hostel are the beds in the Mixed Dorms, little capsule beds built between and behind existing bookshelves. These beds cover 2 levels and aren’t segregated by separate rooms and doors – you just have a curtain for some privacy and earplugs to block out sound, and a large locker under your bed to put your things in. Each area of the mixed dorm has at least 10 beds in it.

There is a separate wing with its own entrance strictly for female guests that costs a little more – I stayed in that female dormitory which had at least 20 capsule beds in it, also with its own curtain and capsule and lots of books all around. The room wasn’t full that day so it felt pretty spacious and quiet.

They have smaller 2-6pax female only dorms as well for those who prefer more privacy.

Tainan Caoji Book Inn Bunks Shelves

The co-ed dorms in the bookshelves. The space where I’m taking this pic from is technically the corridor as you need to walk by the beds to get to the rooftop lounge area

Tainan Caoji Book Inn Room Reading Me

I had to stay in the female dorm because the co-ed dorm was fully booked, but there were a ton of books here as well

Tainan Caoji Book Inn Bunks

My little capsule – lockers were underneath (you can’t see in this pic) and inside the capsule there are sockets, lights and hooks

Tainan Caoji Book Inn Bathroom

The toilet is amazing – it reminds me of Japanese bathhouses and besides free shampoo and soap, they have free lotions and other skincare products as well!

Facilities

The hostel is complete hipster heaven filled with random oddities and antiques in every corner. The ground floor and entrance is a quaint bookshop cum cafe with a nice quiet ambience perfect for reading with a cuppa. The back area has a reading room and a basement of sorts which doubles up as a gallery for mini exhibitions.

In the secured living areas, there is a lounge and breakfast space on the top level (Level 4 I think) with lots of table and chairs, and an outdoor patio as well.

Tainan Caoji Book Inn Gallery

There’s a hole in the floor! Walk through the basement to get to the reading area in the back. The stairs lead up to the female dorm.

Tainan Caoji Book Inn Gallery Me

Bookshelf display in the basement area – there was an art exhibition in the rest of the space

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Other Taiwan Accommodation Recs

I’ve stayed in plenty of hostels while exploring Taiwan, and while most of them were good stays, those featured in the list above really stood out for me. While my other stays might not warrant a detailed feature, I’ve compiled a list of budget hotels and cheaper accommodation that I would still recommend to my friends visiting Taiwan. [affiliate links]

Taipei

  • Datong – Taipei City Home: Located near the Star Hostel, it has a homey feel and a great chatty host, great for those who like a more personal touch
  • Datong – Mudan House: Close to Dihua Street and the local favourite Yansan Night Market. Not the most central of MRT lines but still near enough the station and easy to get around.
  • Da’an – First Hostel: Close to Shida Night Market, it’s not the most central but the hostel has a nice Scandinavian aesthetic and it offers FREE LAUNDRY.

Read more about exploring Taipei here.

Kaohsiung

  • Hengchun – Rainbow Wave: I made a lot of friends in this hostel which offers surfing lessons. The owner and his partner were really friendly and lovely people, and the breakfast is hand-prepped every morning at the counter and of excellent quality.

Read more about things to do in Kaohsiung here.

Offshore Islands

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Are you a luxury hostel lover? Tell me about your own recs for places to stay in Taiwan.

Comments

  1. OOh the tent and book ones are cute! I love Taiwan and hope to go back again in the future. Thanks for these cool recommendations.

    1. Author

      there’s another Taipei Star location in the Da’an district closer to Taipei 101 that looks just as pretty!

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