taiwan information - hotels / motels / inns
What’s the difference between 酒店 (jiu dian) and 饭店 (fan dian) in Taiwan?There is a difference from 酒店 (jiu dian) and 饭店 (fan dian) in Taiwan. While both are translated to mean hotel, 酒店 (jiu dian) refers to mostly sleezy hotels, while 饭店 (fan dian) are the decent types.
Taiwan doesn't sleep - just look at the number of 24-hour stores out there. But since you have to....
For the budget-minded, there are hostels in Taipei and most other sizeable cities. Camping is also available in many areas.
Motels (汽車旅館) can be easily found in suburbs of major cities. Many are intended for romantic trysts, and also offer "rests" (休息) of a few hours in addition to overnight stays (住宿). A single room with attached bathroom will cost you about US$40 to 50 each day.
Motels are an oddity in Taiwan. While motels around the world are considered low to medium quality accomodations, motels in Taiwan can be quite extravagent. Many feature enormous baths with massage jets, separate massage showers, marble tiles, and so forth. Suites come with flat screen TVs as well as centrally controlled sound systems. It's truly a rare sight. Taichung is considered the motel-capital of Taiwan. Check-in time for overnight stays are usually later at night. During the day, stays are charged hourly.
Taiwanese hotels range in quality from seedy to very luxurious. Due to the complexities of doing business with both mainland China and Taiwan, most Western hotel chains do not operate on Taiwan, the most notable exceptions being Sheraton, Westin and Hyatt. There are still plenty of five-star hotels around, and in fact these are often the only ones that show up on hotel booking sites. Keep in mind, however, that many of the international hotels tend to be outrageously expensive, while comparable and much cheaper accommodation is usually available in the same vicinity. For example, the airport hotel at CKS International charges about three or four times as much as a hotel in Taoyuan which is a half hour cab ride away. Taxi drivers and tourist offices are invaluable resources for finding cheaper hotels
Many hotels in Taiwan have both Chinese and Western names, which can differ radically. Find out and bring along the Chinese name (in Chinese characters), as locals will usually not be able to identify the English ones. Especially when you visit the regions less traveled by westerners (mostly because there is no business there), don't be shy to walk in on the more pricey hotels, especially off-season. The Ceasar, the Chateau and the Howard Beach Resort at Kenting, for example, located at one of the nicest beaches of tropical Taiwan, can be of exceptional value if you stay there during wintertime, as the rooms not yet let for the night are offered far below their normal price at last minute.
As in much of Asia, hotel beds in Taiwan are generally much harder than in the West. Only in the most upscale Western style hotels will you find beds any softer than a billiard table.