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“Value for Money Hotel”
Review of Empress Hotel

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Empress Hotel
Ranked #369 of 582 Hotels in Taipei
Reviewed 2 August 2014

The reviews point to one thing- its old but its clean. But with the Agoda price of just about US$ 60 a night, I took the chance. Hotels in Taipei have been very pricey nowadays and a clean decent hotel on good surroundings with a free buffet breakfast is worth a try.
While the building is outdated, the corridors, bathrooms and lobby have been refurbished. The room is really clean, forgot about the furniture which is really outdated. Room smells clean and fresh, despite the old stained carpet. Beds and pillows are very comfortable. This hotel is frequented by Japanese tourists, so the breakfast is a fusion of Chinese, Japanese and American; a bonus for the price you paid. The area is very nice, with small restaurants, supermarkets and a street food area where you can try authentic Taiwanese local food. Its about 10 minutes walk to the nearest MRT station, so going around is easy. While wifi is only available at the lobby, it is super fast by Taiwan standard.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled on business
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Thank rse-wpi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5 - 11 of 213 reviews

Reviewed 23 October 2013

I have stayed at the Empress about 10 times over the last 5 years. My only complaint is that if you go in January, they have no heat. Normally Taiwan isn't cold, but temps can drop at night into the 50's in January and February. I asked at the desk if they could turn up the heat in my room, and the maid brought an extra blanket! I could live with this, it certainly wasn't freezing. Also, the AC is not homogeneous throughout the hotel. In summer, I would suggest staying on a lower floor to maximize the cold air. I once had an upper floor room and could not cool it off to suit me.
The breakfasts aren't much, they usually have some type of egg and meat buffet, but you can always make toast and coffee or tea.
The rooms are always clean, with daily maid service. The toilets flush weakly, but this is Taiwan, not US. There are numerous restaurants within a few blocks, some of them with American style food. There are plenty of cheap bars nearby, but watch out for the "hostess" bars, where you can spend a lot if you are not careful.
Cabs are cheap in Taipei, so location of hotel is OK. The High Speed Rail station is a 10 minute cab ride.
In summary, a good choice for someone on a budget. If you are a business traveler with an expense account, there maybe are better choices with more amenities. For me, the staff was always helpful, especially the night guys.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled on business
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4  Thank crobar13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 August 2013

This is a review about my wife’s stay. She arrived from Viet Nam to be told that she did not have a reservation, they refused to call the local Taiwan office of the travel agency as “it would cost a fortune and you will have to pay for it” - after my wife called me back in Australia (at her cost ) I contacted the Australian travel agent who rang their agent in Taiwan who then rang the hotel. After a two hour delay it turned out that she did have a reservation. The hotel office had received the reservation but they had not told the front desk. No offer of an upgrade or complimentary drink or payment for the phone call back to Australia. The owner of the hotel was there during my stay but made no apology or even a greeting.

Outside and within the lobby the hotel looks OK but the rooms are poor – big stains on the carpet – poor computer facilities, no microphone for using Skype etc . I had to take a packed breakfast because I was leaving to go on an early tour – very poor packed breakfast (donut, orange juice, egg – purchased from Family Mart next door) I was told a coffee would be extra even though it was at the hotel breakfast bar.

If you normally stay in hotels I would not recommend this hotel – if you normally stay in backpackers then perhaps this might be ok.

Room Tip: Don't stay at this hotel
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled solo
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Thank Hang L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 June 2013

I think it's helpful to approach a stay at the Empress Hotel in Taipei with realistic expectations as to what it is and what it is not. It's not a paragon of sophistication and refinement by any stretch of the imagination; it's also not the final, squalid circle of Hell as some reviews have made it out to be.

While I wouldn't call it dilapidated, the hotel's decor is completely outdated, some of the furnishings almost comically so; what doesn't appear worn still looks like it traveled in a time capsule from the early 1970s. The rooms even have old-fashioned keys instead of key-cards, something I haven't seen in a long time, at least not in a major modern city.

Our room was surprisingly large -- huge, even -- with high ceilings and a great, big closet. The furnishings and carpet looked old and a bit shabby and were probably never stylish, but everything was very clean. The carpets had been recently shampooed and smelled mostly fresh, though in a hotel which allows smoking (as almost every hotel I've come across in Asia does) there is still always going to be at least a faint, lingering odor of cigarettes, as was the case here.

The bed was typically Chinese, which is to say hard as a brick, but again, the bedding was spotless and it was comfortable enough (to be fair, I've also grown used to hard beds since moving to China 2 years ago).

The bathroom had been more recently renovated, it looked more 1990s than 1970s. It was very clean and well-lit, if completely devoid of any charm. There was plenty of hot water in the shower and the commode flushed properly, so no complaints from me.

The a/c worked very well. There was no wi-fi in our room, but there was internet access of the wired variety available, though we didn't make use of it. Our room had a fridge in good working order and an electric kettle and Nescafe. No safe, as I recall, nor any kind of a view to speak of.

We didn't partake of the breakfast buffet or check out the restaurant at all; we had a very early morning flight so no time for that, and nothing to report back on.

While not exactly friendly, the staff was courteous enough and efficient, speaking only the barest minimum of English. You haul your own luggage, but there's an elevator.

The location was fine, easy enough to get to by cab, but no metro station right close by. It's only a short ride to Songshan Airport.

The price was pretty middle-of-the road -- not crazy cheap but definitely not expensive either.

And that kinda sums it up: everything is just sort of middle-of-the-road at the Empress Hotel. It's nothing to write home about, but you can get a clean room, decent bed, working toilet, hot shower, internet access and a hot meal -- and you won't bust your budget. If you go with that expectation in mind you shouldn't be too disappointed.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Shanghyper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 April 2013

The Empress Hotel doesn't live up to its name. It's over priced and in a word 'appalling'.
We arrived a day late due to our HK flight from SF being diverted to Beijing and we're still waiting for our refund (2 weeks later) from the Empress Hotel.
The bedroom smelt damp and no wonder there was a large damp patch beside the bed. The very old carpet was musty and there were no disposable slippers to wear, just a pair of brown plastic slippers that looked like everyones foot disease nightmare. The bed was as hard as rock, painful. The lighting was grim, even with the lights on the room was dark. Drawing the curtains didn't help as it looked on to the other side of the hotel and an adjoining building. We itched all night but that could have been psychological. The buffet breakfast was cold and dismal. Go to the Y-Hotel, it's cheaper, modern, clean and a better location.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank C B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 June 2012

The hotel is quite expensive for what it offers, despite being located in a not so popular area. About 15 minutes walk from the Metro. Room was spacious. View was a backyard from the room that was not so pleasant. Only Oolong & green tea offered in the room. Coffee had to be purchased from outside. Reception staff provides travel information though dont seem to be that much service oriented. Serves only breakfast here & rather poor choice & same things repeated most time.
There are many 7-11s & Family marts & other eateries closeby. Wasnt a great place for a pleasant stay.

Room Tip: Unless there is a specific reason to stay in this part of the city, better look for other hotels
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  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled solo
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Thank rarecare
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 May 2012

Stayed at this hotel for 2 nights. It was comfortable and cozy yet basic. The breakfast was good and staff was friendly. The business Center was small with only 2 PCs but it was manageable. Asking the clerks behind the desk for taxi cabs were quite convenient without having to hail one from the street. A night market was close which makes it quite convenient. The a/c did not work very well and thus our room was humid. One thing I would say about the rooms is that they could have placed an outlet near the table between the beds for convenience.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
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Thank unforgotten_reverie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Empress Hotel

Address: No.14 The Hwei Street, Taipei, Taiwan
Region: Taiwan > Taipei
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #369 of 582 Hotels in Taipei
Hotel Class:3 star — Empress Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 60
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Also Known As:
Empress Hotel Taipei

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