Taiwan 2017: VIA Hotel Ximending (丰居旅店-西門町) Review

Last April, the boyf and I traveled to Taiwan for the very first time. We decided to base ourselves in the vibrant shopping district of Ximending, where we found home in VIA Hotel. Truth be told, I wanted to try AirBnb for our Taipei trip. But since there's only two of us, I figured I'd try the latter the next time, which is what I actually did when I went to Singapore with the family (more on that after I finish my Taiwan posts).

VIA Hotel Ximending

I first found out about VIA Hotel from Andy's blog. It's located right smack in Ximending where we want to be at. And since there was an option to book VIA Hotel without pre-payment using Booking.com, it was a no-brainer that I'd go for this hotel!

Getting there...

Even without a pocket wi-fi (when we first arrived in Taipei), it was pretty easy to find VIA Hotel. From Taipei Main Station, we took the blue Bannan Line train and got off at Ximen Station. From Ximen Station Exit 6, you'll find the vibrant Ximending area on the right.

Ximen Station Exit 6
From Ximen Station Exit 6

We just headed right from the station (look for H&M), when you pass by the iconic KFC, you know you're in the right direction. Then head another right (the side with the Superdry store) at the fork with the The Face Shop in the middle. Just walk straight, then when you find a Starbucks with a 7-Eleven below, enter that small alley. VIA Hotel is just a few steps away.

Turn right at the fork to reach VIA Hotel Ximending
Starbucks and 7-Eleven Ximending
VIA Hotel Ximending from Starbucks and 7-Eleven

The Facade

Although the hotel's signage is hard to miss if you followed the directions above, there are still some people who have a hard time looking for it since you won't really know it's a hotel if you don't know what you're looking for.

The alley where VIA Hotel is situated is filled with boutiques and small eateries. If not for the signage, you won't even know there's a hotel here.

VIA Hotel Ximending Facade

VIA Hotel's reception and common area is at the 2nd floor of the building, easily reachable by their two elevators which is more than enough to service all guests. We actually never had to wait to use the elevator. We don't usually have to take the elevator with other guests too!

VIA Hotel Ximending elevators at the ground floor

The Common Area

Apart from the reception desk, there's also a common lounge at the 2nd floor. Here, VIA Hotel provides complimentary snacks and drinks 24/7. There are biscuits and sweets, breads, chips, tea, milk tea, coffee, juices, soda and more. And did I mention already that this is open 24/7? Yup, you can enjoy complimentary goodies and lounge here any time of the day (or night)!

VIA Hotel Ximending Front Desk
There's a Ximending tourist guide map, a computer guests can use, and even a luggage scale on the hotel's second floor.
VIA Hotel Ximending 2nd floor lounge
VIA Hotel Ximending Lounge at the 2nd Floor
VIA Hotel Ximending complimentary biscuits
VIA Hotel Ximending complimentary biscuits and chips
Complimentary biscuits and chips
VIA Hotel Ximending complimentary breads and pastries
White bread, whole wheat bread and other pastries
They have finger sandwiches at times too!
VIA Hotel Ximending complimentary bean snack
VIA Hotel Ximending complimentary chocolate wafer snacks
VIA Hotel Ximending complimentary rice cracker snacks
VIA Hotel Ximending complimentary tea, milk tea, instant coffee
Instant coffee, milk tea and tea
VIA Hotel Ximending complimentary soda and juice
Free-flowing sodas and juice
VIA Hotel Ximending free coffee, hot and cold water, bread toaster
Free coffee, hot, cold and warm water, and free use of bread toaster
VIA Hotel Ximending free use of microwave
You can even heat up leftovers using the microwave!
VIA Hotel Ximending late-night snacking at the lounge
Enjoying late-night snacks at the lounge

There's also a common laundry room at the hotel. You can grab some detergent at the 2nd floor and use the self-service washing machine and drier at the 6th floor. Sadly though, I wasn't able to make use of their laundry room since we were usually out until late. The laundry room is only open until 9PM if I remember correctly.

The Hotel Room

We booked a Deluxe Double Room which was pretty spacious at 23sqm. It came with a double bed (duh!), a desk and chair, a safe, a fridge, a blow-drier, a small clothes hanging rack, a full length mirror, en suite toilet and bath, and even a massage-r thing!

VIA Hotel Ximending Deluxe Double Room
Nice room with lots of floor space for our luggage and shopped goodies
VIA Hotel Ximending Double Bed
Very comfy bed with Sealy Posturepedic mattress
VIA Hotel Ximending Hanger
Clothes hanging area is pretty small but perfect for outfit planning!
VIA Hotel Ximending Desk
VIA Hotel Ximending desk, safe, fridge and hanger
VIA Hotel Ximending safe and fridge
Very handy for goodies and leftovers that need to be refrigerated
VIA Hotel Ximending Back Massager
This was my best friend in the hotel!
VIA Hotel Ximending En suite bath
Clean and spacious toilet and bath
VIA Hotel Ximending Deluxe Double Room Bathroom
VIA Hotel Ximending Toiletries
Complete with toiletries
VIA Hotel Ximending Lemon Verbana Shower Gel and Shampoo
Lemon Verbana-scented shower gel and shampoo smelled nice. It would be better though if they also had conditioner.
VIA Hotel Ximending Zen-style Bath
Our bathroom came with a Japanese zen-style tub. They even provided bath salts in a cute wooden bucket!

The Service

I booked our room at VIA Hotel via Booking.com. And although no pre-payment was required at the time of booking (December 2016), come last week of March 2017, the hotel had to pre-authorize my card. It was a debit card that's connected to my Booking.com account, and I've just used up most of the balance. So during pre-authorization, I didn't have enough funds. VIA Hotel was considerate to message me and give me 36 hours to sort the issue though. They were very courteous in the mail too.

VIA Hotel Ximending Review

We left our luggage at the hotel when we arrived early in the morning. Check in at VIA Hotel in the afternoon was a breeze too, as well as check out during our last day. The front desk officers were always nice and friendly, and spoke good English. Some receptionists spoke better than others, but we never encountered any communication problem. They were nice to reply to me in English even when I use my broken Chinese too. Haha!

During our 2nd day, I advised the front desk that a package (pocket wi-fi) for me will be delivered to the hotel. When the package came, they left a note in our room and I got to claim the package from the front desk very easily.

If you need directions to certain landmarks, or would want to ask for sight-seeing or restaurant recommendation, or if you want to book for tours, the front desk officers will also be more than happy to help. We needed to exchange more PHP to TWD, and the receptionist that day was very helpful to give us a map and point us to the right bank and direction.

VIA Hotel Ximen Review

Even the housekeeping did a good job. They'd always keep our room tidy and replenish our toiletries. They even tucked my plushie in when I left it un-neatly lying on the bed. (Good night, Chimchim!)

Overall, I have nothing but good things to say about VIA Hotel. The location (within Ximending and just 3 minutes away from the Ximen Station), the facilities, the rooms, the strong wi-fi, the service are all good value for money. As a boutique hotel, VIA Hotel Ximen is very straight-forward -- no frills, yet still chic and comfortable. It's perfect for travelers who are are not looking for luxury yet would also want a comfortable and pleasant stay in Taipei. And yes, that's what we got and more during our 5D/4N stay. And another yes, we'd definitely want to book VIA Hotel again next time!

Check-in: From 15:00
Check-out: Until 12:00

Type of Rooms in VIA Hotel Ximen
Single Room (1 single bed)
Economy/Standard/Deluxe Double Room (1 double bed)
Standard/Deluxe Twin Room (2 single beds)
Triple Room (1 double bed and 1 single bed)
Quadruple Room (2 double beds)

VIA Hotel Ximending
2F, No. 17, Ln 114, Sec. 1, Chunghua Rd.,
Wanhua District, 10843 Taipei, Taiwan
Official Website | Facebook


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