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Reviewed 9 March 2017

The Friends hotel is an older hotel in a very convenient location. I stayed here previously in 2014 for a week in a 3 person room (1 double bed, 1 single bed) with my parents. This year, I stayed with my husband over a two week period in a 2 person room (1 double bed). Because of the price, location, and breakfast, my parents do not stay anywhere else when they visit Taipei even though they think service and quality could be improved.

The pros:
(1) Budget-friendly price, around ~$50 USD/night
(2) Excellent location: Guting MRT station is right outside the hotel, 7-Eleven and Watsons right across the street
(3) Very good breakfast included: rice porridge and toast/bread rolls, eggs, ham, rotating dishes of vegetables and tofu. Complimentary afternoon tea (tea and packaged crackers) is also offered.
(4) For longer stays (7? cannot recall), they offer complimentary pick-up/drop-off at any location within Taipei City limits, including the airport.

The cons:
(1) Not all the hotel rooms have been refurbished (reflected in the price of each room). Our window screen was stuck and unable to be closed, the walls had black spots (mold)? all over them, the furniture had seen better days. My brother's room had a water leak from the ceiling. My parents room had a clogged drain. Overall, the linens were clean.
(2) Hit and miss service: for the most part, the front desk was courteous and helpful. During our previous stay, we tried to receive outside phone calls from our room phone but was unable to do so (the caller received a continuous busy signal even though the phone line was not in use). The person calling ended up calling the front desk and asking to be transfered. After this happened twice, the front desk became rude to the caller, even though they explained the situation was related to the room phone.
(3) English-only speakers may find communicating with the front desk a little difficult.
(4) The breakfast is good but the ladies cooking and attending the breakfast station can be a force to be reckoned with. A few unwritten rules I've gathered based on being yelled at the breakfast ladies and watching them yell at other guests :)
(a) Eat your breakfast and do not linger. Afternoon tea is for having a leisurely meal and conversation. They will tell you to leave if they see you have finished your breakfast and are just sitting around the table and talking.
(b) Do not talk too loudly! (that one may just be my family...)
(c) Make sure the ladies see you putting your voucher into the basket on the counter. During the previous visit, I was accused of eating without a voucher. Saw another guest be accused of the same thing. Either introduce yourself to them as a guest of the hotel or make sure they see you holding a voucher every morning. Truthfully, they are not too scary. In comparison to my previous stay, the breakfast ladies seemed to have mellowed out a bit (I only saw them yell at some other guests once during my entire stay vs every morning during my previous stay).

All in all, the Friends Hotel is a good choice on a budget. No frills but a clean, convenient place to stay.

Room tip: Some rooms are refurbished, some are not, should be reflected in price but room quality varies.
Date of stay: October 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank anontraveler a
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 18 July 2016 via mobile

Stayed here again after a few years and the hotel seems to be in even worse shape. The room we had on the 10th floor was awful: mold on ceilings and bathrooms, hard mattresses, no a/c so they put a fan in the room, and the mini fridge was gross. I ended up not taking a shower that night and moved out the next day. Also didn't trust to put our water in the fridge. And no wifi! Definitely wouldn't recommend.

Date of stay: July 2016
Trip type: Travelled with family
2  Thank cvu79
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 23 October 2015

This hotel was very competitively priced and centrally located. It was clean and neat and the staff was friendly and helpful. It is right outside the metro station and walking distance to a lot places I needed to be.
The breakfast was very "local" but included in the price. Wifi is only at the reception area not in the rooms.

Room tip: All rooms pretty similar I think
Date of stay: October 2015
  • Trip type: Travelled solo
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Calliopehk
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 23 June 2015

The staff is the main problem. They just can't feel the spaciousness of the room.... insist the more expensive room is more spacious, because the gross area is bigger. When you pay more expensive room, the natural expectation is you will have a better room than the less cost one. But it's not the case. You will a more noisier and less spacious room. Yet no WIFI service at all. The breakfast area is so small to accommodate such no of guests. The ratio is just not enough. The idea of free transport was good. But the idea of reservation is not fullfil. You are required to reserve in advance of 2 hrs ahead. This sounds reasonable. But the problem is guest would expect on time, because you have reserved 2 hours ahead of time. The only good thing about this is the location right next to Guting station.

Date of stay: June 2015
1  Thank wildehk
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 12 June 2015

the light is too dark make guest feel uncomfortable, lack electric adaptor for businessman to work conveniently and breakfast quality need to be improved, the hot water take 20 minutes to come out not only waste too much water under Taiwan drought recently and waste too much time, you need wifi on every floor because tablet and smartphone are popular today,,bathroom need electric adaptor,i never see any hotel without it.

Date of stay: June 2015
  • Trip type: Travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with TravelKing.com.tw
Thank tdavidtien
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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