Future Star Hotel Review - best budget hotels
Future Star hotel is located excellently, as it is only a 1-minute walk from Ximen MRT Station Exit 6. It is actually next to the "Zhen Shan Mei Theatre", with its prominent (read: humongous) plasma screen display once you step out of exit 6 of Ximen Station. Future Star occupies 7-9 floors of a building and the feeling of Future Star reminds me of a KTV lounge. The receptionist even passed me a remote control for the TV set in my room when I checked in.
The rooms on the 9th floor are cheaper (NT 1080), as according to the receptionist, they are more dated. Rooms on the 7th floor (NT1380 onwards) have more modern designs, but the check-in/out counter is also at level 7, so noise disturbance may be an issue. Guests living on levels 8 and 9 have to pass by level 7 on their way in or out. So if you want a quieter room, and don’t mind an older room, go for rooms on the 9th storey. The rooms in Future Star were okay –the design was not that old, but more importantly, the rooms were clean with no bed bugs, nor rats or cockroaches running around.
The bath tubs have sliding doors to prevent water from splashing out. All standard toiletries, such as toothbrushes, shavers, hairdryers, etc, are all provided. However, their hairdryers have an automatic temperature sensor which will cut off its power if used for too long – which is around 3 minutes. After which you'll have to wait for around 5 minutes for it to cool before you can continue drying your hair again. The hairdryers are fitted in the bathroom and cannot be unplugged and used in another socket.
What you see on their website is how much you pay, nett. In fact, the hotel will even give you cash coupons to offset your room charges if you stay in the same room for consecutive nights. I extended another day and they gave me a NT200 discount, so I only paid NT 880 for the second day.
Future Star hotel is cheap because it is located on the upper floors of a building (as opposed to occupying the entire building as Rainbow, Stars, Neijiang and Ta Shun Hotels do), offers no breakfast (which is no problem because you’d want to sample the local fare yourself), and has no laundry service as well. If you want a quick and simply breakfast, there's a very friendly lady selling porridge at a roadside stall downstairs.
The hotel will ask for payment in advance when you check in, either daily or the full 4 nights. I paid for the first night only, just in case I decide to change hotels in the event that I do not like it. I found Future Star hotel very acceptable for the price -- it’s clean and not too noisy (just some traffic noise that can be heard in the early morning, which is expected since it’s so near the street.)
How To Get To Future Star Hotel From Taipei Airport
From Taipei Airport, look for the Guoguang Bus, and take it to Taipei Main Station, then take a cab to Future Star. It isn't likely that the cab driver will know this hotel, so be sure to have the Chinese address. Once you’re there, the hotel is right behind the big LCD display at Ximending Circle, next to a convenience store. It’s a grey building, but you can't really tell that it's a hotel from the ground floor.
Other than the Guoguang bus, you can also take the Freego Bus, as they provide a free transfer from downtown Taipei to Ximending. In any case, a bus trip from CKS Airport to Taipei Station takes about 1 hour, and longer if there's rush hour or heavy traffic.
Alternatively, you could take the MRT since it's just 1 stop from Taipei Main Station to Ximen MRT (Blue Line). As you come out from Ximen MRT station Exit 6, head for the sidewalk on the left, crossing only a very minor road; Future Star is just 3 storefronts away.