I don’t think I will ever be the type to be a backpacking traveler. The fact that I have back pains resulting from poor posture and my sudden weight gain (I’m unfortunately an emotional eater and the past year have been a rollercoaster of emotions), I am physically limited to carrying light luggage in order to not strain my upper body. I also rarely manage to get so much bang for my buck, because I make mini splurges here and there, which includes blowing a good portion of my budget on accommodations alone. I really admire those who can do it long term and I have high hopes that there will come a time where I can travel with them and learn their ways. But for now, let me tour you around this shabby chic boutique hotel I stayed in for my long weekend in Taipei.
C always teases me that I have the affinity to book “hipster” rooms. Even when I’m booking via Airbnb, the rooms I book look like it came out of a Pinterest board. When I chanced upon DG Hotel, I already knew it would be the hotel I’m going to stay in. It was fairly new as it just opened a few months ago (June 2016), and didn’t have any English reviews yet. I knew it was risky to book a room that hasn’t been reviewed extensively yet, but I did the same when I booked Cambana d’Angkor Suites and I was not disappointed. So I went ahead and booked it (primarily because even their website is screaming my name haha).
The hotel is located on Dihua Street. Its location is a treat in itself because the old architecture has been preserved by the government. The area is generally quiet, which is something I like, and does not resemble the busy Taipei I often watch on television. It’s a great exposure to how the locals live because I rarely saw tourists while I mulled around the area. However, the downside to this are the limited food choices. The hotel has a cafe which serves Western cuisine, a wine & tea place beside it (Grand mom’s tea house is only open during lunch (11:30-13:30?) and dinner (19:30-21:30?) and I think a restaurant that is only open for lunch (but closed on Mondays) a block away. Yansan Night Market is a 20-minute walk away but it is only open at night. It is quite accessible since one of Daqiaotou Station’s (Line 4, orange line. Also, one station away to get on the Tamsui line/Line 2 where Taipei Main Station is) entrances is a 10-15 minute walk. A bit of a long walk (with stairs) before you get to board the train though (just a note for people with knee problems). For convenience, you can simply take a cab and the staff will call one for you. Keep one of their calling cards with you for when you take a cab ride back. Fare to and from the airport should not cost you more than 1200 TWD.
Their check-in time is at 3:00 PM. I arrived before 11 AM but I was told of their check in time, so I had to avail of their free wifi to do a quick check of my itinerary before I headed out. It kinda sucked that I wasn’t able to freshen up first, but they did let me avail of a late check out (past 4 PM) on my last day – free of charge.
The staff is very helpful. Although there were times that the language barrier is a challenge, they will drag someone over who is great in English to do the translating. Or literally show you their phones with the directions in English. Someone is available at the reception at all hours (I would know, I got back past midnight and still got to chat with Audrey and this girl with glasses whose name I forgot, sorry!). The hotel door would be closed if you arrived a bit late (maybe around 9 PM?), but you can use your key card or ring the door bell. They do have maps of the area available but it’s in Mandarin. I only took one copy to take note of where the station is, as well as the convenience stores. It would be so much better if they have English ones for foreigners like me. 🙂
The thing that really sold me that I really loved about this hotel is it looked so much better in person than in their photos. Even the smallest details are well thought out. Look at the details of the hotel lobby!
It was not named a garden hotel for it to not be filled with flowers. They have a mix of real and fake plants all over, and there were times I couldn’t tell the difference. I’m not gonna lie, I may have occasionally touched the decor to find out if it was real or plastic. Haha!
Ask anyone who knows me really well and they would tell you that this is probably how my dream house would look like once it’s built. Of course, if I put in C in the picture, I’d have someone veto some of my ideas. Haha!
Even the elevator doors are painted on. One question: CAN I LIVE HERE?
This is the hallway leading to my room on the third floor.
I booked the Joy Double Room and got this quaint space. I had a small sitting space, hangers for my clothes, and unfortunately, no English instructions on how to operate the AC. Haha! That may seem to sound so random, but I have the tendency to adjust the temperature to freezing. I literally had to go on Google to search ‘how to adjust Mandarin AC’. And yes, I realize now while writing this that I should have just called the reception for help *facepalm* but a very short instruction manual would have been great.
They do have some guidelines in the bedside table, but again, it’s all in Mandarin. There’s also a big ass TV in front of your bed, and a box of tissue if maybe you managed to go on a channel where they are showing some Hallmark movie.. But it’s not gonna happen so do not even bother turning on the television unless you understand Mandarin.
The bed is sooo comfortable. The photo below is even taken after I jumped on it – you know, for science. I slept like a baby all three nights of my stay, and I spent the night of my birthday in this bed, eating cheesecake. There’s also an abundance of pillows, because obviously, this room is for two people. Even if I had someone with me, it is guaranteed that we will not be left wanting for pillows. They also have blackout curtains which are great if you plan to nurse hangovers while you’re in Taiwan. Or if you just got out of the shower and do not want to be seen by the neighbors in the apartment building across the street.
Below the sink is the extra towels you can use. The bathroom is probably my favorite part of this room which is weird because I did not even have a tub. But they do have a rain shower head and a detachable shower head. The knobs are pretty easy to figure out. You can also lather as much liquid soap and shampoo on yourself, but for folks with crazy damaged hair like me, bring you own hair products. 😛 You can also adjust the vent in the bathroom. I video called C just to tell him I can click a few buttons and literally dry clothes in the bathroom (thanks to the sun icon in the button, I didn’t need to heed Google for help). But the best part is *drumroll*, the toilet. Aside from the fact that there’s a freaking painting above the toilet, you don’t even have to hold a bidet in your hand! They have a switch with two options: wash your ass or wash your lady parts. Shitting will never be the same again. (Do you guys realize how mind blown I was in Japan and Taiwan? lol)
You can use their safe, water kettle, mini ref, and hair dryer. They also provided a basket of coffee, bottled water, and your usual toiletries. They replenish this basket every day too. I would know because I hoard hotel toiletries for when I go on vacation where I hoard more toiletries (it’s a vicious cycle). However, what they don’t do is clean the room every day unless you put on a sign at your door. While at home or renting Airbnb rooms I tidy up my things, I don’t really do the same in hotels because hotels got me spoiled, yo. I’m used to getting back to my room at the end of the day with the trash cans empty again and the bed tidied up. My most memorable on was with the staff at Wakeup Copenhagen who were insanely tidy – my already folded up clothes that were stacked in a table was folded up again, albeit more neatly (like how they fold clothes in stores!!). So if you’re like me, do yourself a favor and get that ‘Please clean my room, thank you very much’ sign from your bedside table before you go wander off for the day (they would not tidy your bed, though, but that’s okay).
This is the hallway that leads to the cafe. The hotel has a cafe that opens after breakfast and I’m not sure what time it closes.
But first, let’s discuss, just how adorable this hotel is. I wanted to spend every breakfast just posting photos of it on Instagram (@teeshue, if you’re interested in mine).
I think you can buy those pillows from them? You can ask the staff to confirm. 🙂
They did not miss any details. Whoever did the interior design of this place, all the highest of fives to you. And are you interested in being my friend, and maybe do my future home? (I’m not even kidding at this point)
On Sunday morning, there was this set up where you can toast your own bread and get your own juice/milk/coffee/water/jam/utensils. That was the only time I even had anyone else eat breakfast the same time that I was having my breakfast.
This may seem like it’s open, but there’s a glass wall with that fence. The roof is also made of glass but it’s not unbearably hot inside this air-conditioned area.
Mismatched and floral chairs tied in the look. If there was something disappointing with my stay, it’s the fact that I can’t take all these furniture home with me.
They have huge breakfast servings. It’s big enough that I often eat my lunch late because even with all the walking, I’d still be full. So if you want to go on a food trip in Taiwan, eating breakfast here may not be the best idea. 😛
Overall, I had a great stay over at DG Hotel. Helpful staff, fantastic interiors, and nice rooms. If I’m being honest, it definitely is an expensive choice if you’re planning to just sleep in it (there is another themed hotel I was looking at that was cheaper). However, it’s perfect for a relaxed stay and for special occasions. Have you seen their Exquisite Double Room? If I was honeymoon-ing, I would probably book that! 🙂
DG Hotel, No. 334, Section 1, Dihua Street, Datong District, Taipei City, Taiwan 103
P.S. Here is Day 1’s vlog! 🙂