Taiwan Holiday with the Toddler [Hotels Review]

We’re back from our holiday! Glad to say that we survived 10 days travelling with the little one. As promised, this is a review of the hotels we stayed in at Taiwan and how baby-friendly they are.

To recap, we stayed in 5 hotels in Taichung, Cing Jing, Tainan and Yilan. For our pre-trip planning post, please refer to here.

Taichung: Plaza Hotel (達欣商務精品飯店)
Address: No. 180, Jianguo Road, Central District, 400 Taichung, Taiwan

Our room at Plaza Hotel was 15sqm and came with a queen sized bed and no windows.

What we like about this place: Location of the hotel was ideal because it was just a few minutes walk from Taichung railway station and there were mini bus services doing pickups right outside the hotel to send us to our Cing Jing minsu.

What we dislike about this place: The room felt like a prison cell due to the lack of windows. We have stayed in rooms without windows before at Cityinn Taipei but this one felt like a prison cell because of the lack of decor. The room also felt especially small.

Baby-Friendliness: (5 being super baby-friendly)
2/5
Areas that are baby-friendly:
1. As you can see in the pictures, the bed is located in a corner of the room, which means we can let the toddler sleep on the bed without worrying (as much) that she will fall off the bed so long as we put her in that corner and surround her with pillows.
2. They had baby chairs in the restaurant where we ate breakfast. Breakfast is provided and it was traditional taiwanese fare… porridge and some simple dishes. We are not fussy about what Baby E eats (so long as it’s not too unhealthy) so we were ok with it.

Areas that are not so baby-friendly:
1. Because the room is small, a toddler who is still learning how to walk might bump into things rather easily. We did not have such a problem because Baby E is rather mobile and knows how to get on and off the bed safely.
2. Also because the room is so small, the tabletop is small as well. Hence, we had a lack of space when it came to trying to portion out the milk powder to make milk at night.
3. Carpet looked dingy and dirty. Our toddler likes to get on her knees and crawl around at times and it really disturbed me when she did that in this room.
4. There’s no bathtub so parents with babies who need to use the bathtub might need to figure out alternatives. Sink is too small to bathe a baby too, for those who have that habit. Toilet tiles looked a bit slippery but we put the bathroom mat in the shower for our toddler to stand on so it was still ok in that sense.

Cing Jing: Sen Love B&B (森之戀)
Address: No.9-7, Bowang Ln., Cingjing, Nantou, Taiwan

Our room at Sen Love was a 21sqm Double Superior room with queen size bed. It’s one of their cheaper rooms. If you see the picture on top, the ones with full length windows are the more expensive rooms.

Sen love view
Amazing view from Cing Jing’s Sen Love

What we like about this place:
1. The view was amazing! The above picture is what I took in the morning. Imagine waking up to this every morning. It was also especially tranquil given the secluded location.
2. The host, Ms Hong, drove us out and dropped us at an attraction of our choice and was kind to pick us up when we called her on the phone. (ie. having a Taiwan sim card is of utmost importance if you are staying here and have no transport of your own)
3. They offer a hotpot for dinner which you have to book by 4pm daily. It’s called a mini hotpot for one but two of us + Baby E shared one and were very full at the end of it (We added a bowl of rice at NTD10 though). The cost of the hotpot was NTD300.
4. No mosquitos in summer at this property! Due to the high altitude, it was cooler at this property and temperature was at a comfortable 16-20 degrees celsius when we were staying at this property. We felt thankful to have booked this property when we headed down the mountain to Green Green Grassland and Little Swiss Garden, where it was hotter and there were mosquitoes. We were then told by the boss of a beef noodle eatery that mosquitoes can’t fly up to the altitude where Sen Love is. #thankful

What we dislike about this place:
1. Just as its location resulted in amazing views and tranquility, it was also difficult to get here without transport. We felt bad whenever we had to call the host to pick us up even though she was so kind about it.
2. The bathroom does not have separate glass partitions so it gets pretty wet after a shower. ie. keep the toddler/baby out of the bathroom.
3. If you’re sleeping on the side of the bed near the window, light from the toilet gets reflected directly to your eyes through the mirror so you might want to sleep with your back facing the mirror.
4. Curtains are not the blackout kind, so it gets pretty bright in the room at 5 in the morning. The kid kept waking up and wanting to play because it was bright.

Baby-Friendliness: (5 being super baby-friendly)
3.5/5
Areas that are baby-friendly:
1. Relatively large and clean room which felt airy and safe for baby to play on the floor.
2. Furniture did not come across as having sharp edges (Disclaimer: Our toddler is stable on her feet so she doesn’t bump into anything anymore)
3. Water dispenser is located right outside the room so there was no need to boil water to make milk. However, do note that hot water is supplied during certain hours so be sure to fill your hot flasks before the supply is cut off. Alternatively, there’s a kettle in the room.
4. Baby chairs and Skip Hop bowls and cutlery are available in the restaurant. While I’m not a fan of Skip Hop cutleries because of the heavy and bulky handles, Baby E was excited to see them.
5. They have outdoor swings that can entertain the kid for awhile.

Sen love swings
Outdoor swings at Sen Love minsu

Areas that are not so baby-friendly:
1. There’s a gap between the bed and the wall because the room wasn’t a complete square layout. A small pedestal was placed there but there was still a gap. Baby E was playing on the bed and fell right through and it was a nasty shock for her.
2. Bathroom floor gets pretty slippery after a shower. The toddler was nervous about standing there to shower and requested that we put the nonslip mat on the floor for her to stand on.
3. Our room was on the second floor and the stairs down to ground floor was pretty steep. To provide a perspective of how steep it was, this is a picture that I took of Baby E walking down the stairs. It was a little scary carrying her down that stairs as well…

Senlove stairs
Steep staircase at Sen Love minsu

Taichung: Holiday Inn Express
Address: No. 94, Section 2, Ziyou Road, Central District, Taichung City, Taiwan 400

Hol inn taichung park view
Holiday Inn Express room with Taichung Park view

Our room at Holiday Inn Express Taichung Park was 25sqm and had a king size bed. Reception staff were very kind to upgrade us to a room with Taichung Park view and even offered to provide us with a baby bath tub for the kid. We were bowed over by how good their service was, and we felt really at home here. Location wise, this was a short walk to the bus terminal and train station.

What we like about this place:
1. Large, spacious rooms
2. Friendly staff with amazing service attitude
3. Blackout curtains! This was a welcome relief after two nights at Sen Love where we woke up at 5am daily.

What we dislike about this place:
1. Nothing that I can think of!

Baby-Friendliness: (5 being super baby-friendly)
4.5/5
Areas that are baby-friendly:
1. Staff had the initiative to check if you need a baby bathtub when we were checking in.
2. Baby chairs and cutlery provided at the restaurant. Thoughtful staff placed us near the buffet area and explained that it was so that we could keep an eye on Baby E while getting the food. While dining, Baby E dropped her spoon and I put it aside thinking that I could make do with her fork, and a staff appeared with a clean spoon. I was awestruck at the quality of service there.
3. Coin-operated laundry area (NTD 80 to wash and NTD 80 to dry) that allowed us to wash Baby E’s laundry.
4. Separate glass partition for shower. Flooring in the shower area felt non-slip and didn’t feel slippery after a shower.
5. Rounded furniture that ensures that your baby will not hit his/her head on sharp corners.

Areas that are not so baby-friendly:
1. I can’t think of any, other than the fact that the bed frame is a little high and parents will need to watch the kid to ensure that they don’t fall off accidentally. Baby E learnt her lesson after falling off at Sen Love so she stayed in the middle of the bed at all times.
2. Having a step stool in the bathroom would have made it perfect for the toddler.

Tainan: Deely House (迪利小屋親子民宿-民生館)
Address: No. 10, Lane 173, Section 2, Minsheng Road, West Central District, Tainan City, Taiwan 700

Our room at Deely House was the Little Red Riding Hood theme room, located on the 5th floor of their older property. Room size was 21sqm and there are no lifts in the property.

What we like about this place:
1. Baby E, and my inner child as well, really loved this room because the decoration was sooooo cute! There was a slide, a ball pit, soft toys, building blocks and other toys. Baby E didn’t want to leave the room at all!
2. The really nice housekeeper who came out of the property to direct our car in! She even offered to help carry one of our luggages up which we felt bad about because she was so petite.
3. They even have a UV sterilizer in the lobby for guests’ use!

deely-hse-sterilizer1.jpg
Deely House’s UV sterilizer

What we dislike about this place:
1. The carpark is located a distance away from the property (about 5mins walk) and the hubs lost his way on the last day while trying to drive back to this property. This property is located in one of the alleys which makes it harder to locate. The result was a lot of anxiety on my part because I sat there with a bored toddler for 1.5hours waiting for the hubs to drive to the property to load our luggage. We also particularly disliked the carpark because it was really hot down there (serves us right for visiting during summer) and the QR code given to us for free parking didn’t work initially. We emerged hot and sweaty and almost wanted to give up and go back to bathe and sleep instead of travelling out.
2. When we open the cupboard next to the bathroom, the door will usually flip the switch and turn on/off the lights of the bathroom. It was a minor inconvenience.
3. Curtains were the same type as Sen Love and it gets pretty bright at 5am as well.
4. Toilet floor gets pretty wet after a shower and it was a little slippery. Though the housekeeper was kind enough to warn us about that when showing us to the room.
5. Bugs. There was some sort of bug in the room. Initially I thought it was mosquitoes but the bites were limited to the areas of our bodies that touched the bedding and only appeared after a night of sleep there. Hence we thought it might be in the bedding. Thankfully, Baby E was clad in long sleeve shirt and pants with socks so she emerged unscathed. My bites had two puncture marks while the hubs’ doesn’t (we slept in separate beds as the housekeeper was kind enough to add a bed at the platform above the ball pit) and they were extremely itchy. I had about 7 of these bites after 2 nights there.

deely house bites2

Baby-Friendliness: (5 being super baby-friendly)
4.5/5
Areas that are baby-friendly:
1. Bath tubs, baby shower foam, step stools! It was a mother’s dream come true, particularly when I had been lamenting about the lack of step stools at the past 3 properties.
2. Play area and lots of toys meant we had an easy 2 nights without having to entertain the toddler.
3. They even have a UV sterilizer at the lobby downstairs! (I cringed at the thought of having to climb 5 flights of stairs to use it though…but it’s a nice thing to have if you’re on the 2nd or 3rd floor staying in the Alice’s Dream or Rapunzel rooms)

Areas that are not so baby-friendly:
1. The table top was really tiny and it was difficult to make milk in the middle of night.
2. 5 flights of stairs was a little tough to handle if you’re carrying a baby or helping a toddler climb up and door the stairs. I knew there was no lift but still chose to book this room because the slide was lower and more suitable for toddlers, but thought it would have been more intuitive to have rooms suitable for toddlers to be on lower floors and those for bigger kids to be on higher floors.

Despite having bug bites, we didn’t regret going to this property and really enjoyed our time there. The delight on Baby E’s face was amazing!

Yilan: Pokara Resort (波卡拉渡假會館)
Address: No. 34, Maobu Road, Jiaoxi Township, Yilan County, Taiwan 262

Our room at Pokara resort was a 18sqm Superior Double room with a king size bed. Due to the fact that partitions are glass, the room felt bigger than what it really was.

What we like about this place:
1. Has a bali-feel and decoration was really pleasing to the eye.
2. Free parking just outside the property
3. Room felt spacious and comfortable
4. Flooring was wood and we didn’t feel squeamish when the toddler sat down on the floor to play
5. Property owner even provided teabreak daily from 4-7pm. The homemade garlic bread spread was amazing! We did feel like we were eating non stop though.. haha
6. Service staff were really polite and I even saw one running across the property to offer to help a group of people to take pictures because they were trying to operate their selfie stick. Amazing service.
7. Blackout curtains! Thank god!

What we dislike about this place:
1. A large group arrived on the last night of our stay and they were quite noisy. Despite the owner’s efforts to block out noise by having double doors, we could hear the noise generated from the group having breakfast outside our doors (ground floor units are directly next to the dining area). Our sleep was thus disrupted.
2. It’s located at a really secluded area and you’re not going to be able to make it there without your own transport. They do offer pickup services at the train station if I’m not wrong, but thereafter it might be difficult for you to settle your meals. I saw someone eating cup noodles though… and gathered that with the hi-tea provided and cup noodles, you can survive without going out.

Baby-Friendliness: (5 being super baby-friendly)
4/5
Areas that are baby-friendly:
1. I didn’t notice any edges that are overly sharp in the room.
2. They had a bathtub in the room which might help with bathing the baby, but it’s really huge. Be sure to clean the bathtub on your own because I rubbed my hands against the tub to clean it for Baby E to soak in and found that there was actually a layer of dirt. (Ok i’m OCD when it comes to the kid)
3. They have a counter right next to the bathroom which made it really convenient to make milk for the kid. I was glad that we chose to stay there for 3 days.
4. A baby chair appeared at the dining area on our second day there and we were very thankful.
5. They have this chair with a lot of compartments in the room that turned out to be the key entertainment of the kid for the 3 days we stayed there.

Areas that are not so baby-friendly:
1. The kid slipped in the bath tub =( Guess some sort of non-slip mat for people who shower in the bath tub might have been nice.
2. The bed is really high. Baby E climbs on and off the bed with the help of the pedestal next to the bed which is actually quite dangerous because it can topple. Of course, no amount of nagging can stop the kid until she hurts herself, as usual.
3. No baby cutlery… we made do with a teaspoon and porcelain plate.

So that’s our hotel review for Taiwan in terms of baby-friendliness. In the next post, we will share the highlights of our trip! Stay tuned!

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