My family and I just finished a 2-night stay at the end of June 2014, and I must say that I am completely satisfied with this newly-build property at the heart of downtown Hualien. Not only did it meet our expectations, it has some surprises in store for you.
Here is my background: I was born in Taiwan, but have lived in the US for the past 30 years. I have never been to Hualien but have always wanted to visit there (especially 太魯閣 the Taroko National Park). I travel frequently on business and am Marriott Platinum. I was eager to check out Just Sleep because of all the high ratings it gets here.
Location: Just Sleep is in a centrally located triangle downtown district. Many of Hualien's famous little restaurants (公正包子 gong-zheng bao-zi, 一心泡泡冰 yi-xin pao-pao-bing, etc) are all within walking distance. However, you should know that summer in Taiwan can be unbearable - hot and humid, regularly in the 90s that feels like 100+F. This 10-minute walk will bring out a uncontrollable sweat for me, even at 9 PM. So as for "within walking distance", YMMV.
The hotel is about 40-minutes drive to the 太魯閣 Taroko National Park, an attraction you MUST NOT miss while in Hualien. We like it so much that we drove through it two days in a row.
Staff, lobby and parking: lobby is spacious, pleasing and clean, and the staff is super friendly and very nice to us. I spoke to them in Mandarin but I believe that they can also speak English well. When we checked in, the attendants offered us maps, a coupon book, and explained clearly to us the places to go. I was rather impressed. The free parking is in the back of the building. There are just several spots (maybe 8-10?) and you walk through the back door to get back into the hotel. When we parked our rental there the first time, a hotel worker actually waited for me there and walked me back to the hotel through the shortcut. Nice.
Rooms: we love the handsomely dark but nicely-spot-lit hallway - reminders me of the Lowes hotel in Philadelphia. We reserved a room with two double beds. It was very large by all standards (about the size of a Springhill Suites but undivided). There is more flat spaces for desks and luggage than most hotels. The built-in PC is a nice touch. The fishbowl bathroom is interesting - it looks beautiful, but basically one person can use the bathroom unless your family is *extremely* close. The beds are comfortable. We need another chair by the desk so we dragged one of the two sofa chairs over. There is also a small frig and a safe in the room. Overall, I was very impressed with our room.
Breakfast: I didn't actually go down to eat the free breakfast while we stayed there, but my wife really enjoyed it. There are a good mix of Chinese and Western breakfast foods - buns 包子, congee 粥, scrambled eggs, bacon, etc. There is something for everyone in this superb breakfast bar.
Library and Art Gallery: "Just Sleep" is more than "just sleep" - it has an excellent library on the second floor. "Woooow" is everybody's reaction when they first see it - we know because we heard it several times when my son and I sat there for a long while reading their collection of old comics. The floor-to-20' ceiling book shelves are filled with books of all kinds, and displays a collection of toys that will fascinate kids young and old. I was able to connect with my younger-self and with my son by reading 老夫子 (Old Master Q) and Doraemon with him. The small Art Gallery on the third floor is nicely appointed.
Overall, I was very please with Just Sleep in Hualien. The only thing I can find fault with this hotel is its name - it's offers travelers so much more than "Just Sleep". Highly recommended.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Just Sleep Hualien is located in the bustling culture of Hualien City, with numerous local food carts and restaurants. Nearby is the beautiful Nanbin seashore and the Hualien Cultural and Creative Industries Park. Guests may enjoy the gorgeous ocean and mountainside view, and experience the innovative spirit of the Hualien cultural center. ... more less
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