On my trip to Taipei last month, I stayed in a 6-bed dormitory at Star Hostel. Star Hostel is a backpacker’s hostel in the heart of Taipei city, located at Huayin Street, Datong District of Taipei City. With Star Hostel’s convenient location via 10 minutes’ walk away from Taipei Main Station Metro (MRT) on the Tamsui-Xinyi and Bannan MRT line, which makes getting around Taipei city a lot easier. Star Hostel ranks number 1, among the top 10 hostels for The Best Large Hostels category in the HOSCAR awards 2019 by Hostelworld. The hostels for HOSCAR are awarded based on their reviews in 2018. Together with the recommendations by friends from Singapore and Taiwan, who stayed at Star Hostel during their trip to Taipei, I decided to give this hostel a try.
Lobby and reception counter with friendly and helpful staffs
The Deluxe Dormitory is a 6-bunk bed shared room, with 100cm by 200cm per bed. Each bunk bed has a drawn curtain for privacy, a bedside lamp and 2 power sockets. Each guest in the room is provided with a personal digital locker with 3 clothes hangers, and there is a shared drying rack in the room for drying used towels.
There is free WI-FI connection throughout the hostel and it is strong and stable even in the dormitories and rooms.
Even though it was the cold winter season outside in Taipei, the room air-con temperature was manageable and not too cold at 25 degrees.
As Star Hostel only occupies the fourth and fifth floor of the building, the Deluxe Dormitory is located on the fifth floor or rather the upper floor. However, guests staying on the upper floor are only allowed to access the upper floor via the staircase, which might be a little inconvenient for anyone carrying heavy luggage.
Deluxe Dormitory Room
Each guest is provided with a personal digital locker
The bathroom is a common bathroom with shampoo and shower gel provided in each shower cubicle. The bathroom also has hair dryer and towels are free of charge when bookings are made through their website. Other toiletries such as, toothbrush and toothpaste, soap and comb are for sale at the counter.
No shoes are allowed inside Star Hostel and guests are provided with slippers to change into.
Shoe cabinet are labelled according to room or bed number
Coin operated washing machine and drying machine are available on the sixth floor, which is the rooftop level for laundry and smoking area.
Laundry area with washing machine and drying machine
The guest kitchen at Star Hostel comes with refrigerator, microwave, toaster, electric kettle, pots and pans for guests to use. Drinking water and complimentary tea are available at the guest kitchen as well.
Next to the guest kitchen is the café where free breakfast is served from 8am to 10am daily, with the menu serving different types of food each day, along with freshly brewed coffee. As for guests with special dietary requirement, the café staffs would separately prepare the breakfast according to their requests.
Every night from 9pm to 12am, local Taiwanese craft beer, Alechemist 禾餘麥酒 would be setting up their pop-up store at the café selling their draft and bottled beer.
There is a mini store at the lobby selling refreshments and snacks, such as soft drinks, beer, mineral water, instant noodles and chips. The mini store also sells gifts such as Taiwanese postcards and Taiwanese souvenirs for guests to bring back home for keepsakes.
Mini store selling refreshments and snacks
Outside the guest kitchen is the Star lounge where guests chill and hangout, and it gets rather lively during the morning breakfast timing and during the evening. There are tables and power sockets for laptops where guests can use it as a common working space. As no food and drinks are allowed in the rooms and dormitories, the Star Lounge is the only place aside from the guest kitchen and café where food and drinks are allowed.
Not only is the Star Lounge a common working space and a lounge for guests to hangout and chill, usual night events such as Nintendo Switch X Mario Kart Night or Movie Night are held here as well. Star Hostel also organises other events such as Taiwanese Snack Night, Dumpling Party and DIY Bubble Tea. The events schedule is available on Star Hostel’s website event page.
Star Lounge for guests to chill and hangout
Tables at the Star Lounge as a common working space for laptops
The location of Star Hostel makes it accessible to various places within walking distance such as the Taipei City Mall 台北地下街, Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Taipei, Zhongshan Market, Zhongshan Metro Mall 中山地下街, Shin-Kong Mitsukoshi Nanxi Departmental Store 新光三越台北南西店, Taipei Old North Gate 台北府城 北門 and Dadaocheng 大稻埕.
Star Hostel is located at 4F, No.50, Huayin Street, Datong District
Dihua Street 迪化街 in Daodaocheng 大稻埕 becomes the lunar new year market a few weeks before the lunar new year
Lunar new year market at Dihua Street 迪化街 in Dadaocheng 大稻埕
Xiahai City God Temple 霞海城隍廟 in Dadaocheng 大稻埕
Dadaocheng Wharf 大稻埕碼頭
Overall, Star Hostel left me with the impression of a lively, clean and conveniently located hostel with friendly and helpful staffs that are willing to serve. I would highly recommend Star Hostel for someone who prefers convenient access in getting around Taipei city or even out of the city due to the location right next to Taipei Main Station, the city’s main transport hub where the Taipei MRT, Taoyuan Airport MRT, Taiwan Railways (TRA) trains and Taiwan High Speed Rail (HSR) services, as well as the local and intercity bus services are based at. Not only that, Star Hostel’s events such as, DIY Bubble Tea, Dumpling Party and Taiwanese snack night are activities that gives the hostel a lively vibe of fostering bonding and interaction among guests, which are highly recommended for travellers who wants to make new friends and at the same time enjoy local Taiwanese food. History and heritage enthusiasts are also highly welcomed to stay at Star Hostel because of Taipei’s historical sites like Daodaocheng 大稻埕 and Taipei Old North Gate 台北府城 北門, that is located within walking distance. With Star Hostel’s good reputation and affordable rates, the bookings are always in high demand, as my initial plan was to book a Single Room but it was fully booked, hence I decided to book a bed in the Deluxe Dormitory instead.
For more information, visit Star Hostel website here