In the past few years we have seen a surge in budget boutique hotels. They are designed for the young traveller who still cares about comfort, but would rather spend their money on what the city has to offer, rather than Egyptian cotton or a 24-hour spa.
Taipei's CHECK Inn Hotel is ideal for that type of traveller - and the £60 per night price tag doesn't mean you're living a hostel life. Think clean, decent-sized showers with organic essential oil shampoo, comfy mattresses, large windows and surround-sound speakers.
The hotel was opened two years ago when owner Bart Day moved back to Taipei after living in New York. His time spent in the Big Apple is apparent throughout the hotel - from the simple, loft-style rooms complete with iron details and exposed brick to the coffee bar and café downstairs (serving up clam chowder and chicken tenders) and the bright cinema lights illuminating the entrance.
The hotel is located in the old part of Taipei which has a slower pace than the Central Business District and plenty of attractions. Turn off the main street and find small street food vendors and hundreds of foot massage parlours. Walk a couple of feet from the entrance of the hotel and you'll find Xingtian temple. Head in the other direction and find our favourite hot beef noodle soup spot, Shi Ji Beef Noodles.
There are 65 well-sized rooms in three tiers - single-single, classic views, classic double. All rooms have their own shower and bathroom, large windows and exposed brick and industrial details.
What's for breakfast?
A small buffet breakfast for hotel guests with a selection of eggs, bagels, fruits and more. There's also a café downstairs usually filled with young Taiwanese locals.
How about lunch and dinner?
There is a café downstairs that serves up casual, American fare throughout the day and a tea time special.
Is there a bar?
The café downstairs has beer and soft drinks.
Things you should know
Rooms are simple, this is no fancy affair. Some guests have complained about noise, but we slept like babies.
Within a short walk you can find…
Shi Ji Beef Noodles 史記正宗牛肉麵 - Taipei is famous for its beef noodle soup but this is a personal favourite shown to us by @TaipeiEats. They're known for their white broth beef noodle soup.
Xingtian Temple - This is a relatively new temple built in 1967 and is always busy with crowds of worshippers kneeling inside and offering fresh flowers and tea on the altar.
Fortune Telling Street - Vendors read people's fortunes in this pedestrian underpass outside Xingtian Temple.