Tuesday, February 14, 2017

My Hotel in Taipei (Tango Inn Taipei Ximen) and Hotel Room Prices are Never the Same

Hotel rooms are very similar to commodity goods and capital stocks. They start with a baseline price or a rack rate as they call it in the hotel industry, but depending on the supply and demand in the market (e.g. events in the city, weekend, public holidays, a specific month, etcetera), their prices can fluctuate. Ergo, the special deals and discounted promotional room offer we receive in our junk mail folder. But they can also skyrocket to 3x or more its baseline price. Seriously.

Tango Inn

I know it sounds ridiculous but this happened to me recently when I was in Cologne for business. I paid a 3-star €80 hotel room for the exorbitant price of *gasp* €260! Why? Because there was an important event happening in town, well 2 events actually, and all hotels in the city centre have joined the bandwagon and have doubled and tripled their asking price. This is the supply and demand dance which is not regulated at all in this industry. This is usually the case with cities that host a large number of famous trade fairs and conferences throughout the year. Normal tourists who are shelling out money from their own pockets are most often the victims.

Tip: Always research ahead of time. If worse comes to worst, there is always Airbnb and other B&B sites as a fallback. Or book in the suburbs, you will be surprised.

In Taipei, I paid about €106 a night at Tango Inn Taipei Ximen Hotel, but when I checked the rates today, they were going at €94 (after discounts). The difference is not huge but it shows that no same price is ever given to a room. I normally book my hotels at Booking dot com for the reason that it is the most user-friendly hotel booking website I have ever encountered. I have a Genius account there, which means I get insider discounts and privileges, but I am far from being a loyal customer though. I book directly with the hotels if they give me a better price or concession, such as with the case of our recent stay at the Avanti Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City and Makati Diamond Residences in Manila.

So what’s the lesson here?

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the Read more link below]

Shop around. Be patient. Click around. Do a little bit of online research. Google! Travel planning can be fun you know.

Personally, I do not have a bottomless travel fund so I befittingly employ some conscientiousness on my part. I noticed that I learn to appreciate my holiday and travels more when I am able to get the value out of the money I have spent for. So whatever I am able to squeeze out from my hotel costs (this goes for flights as well), I can spend the savings on my dinner or sightseeing activities. That is a win situation for me.

The Tango Inn Hotel in Ximen, Taipei is part of the Tango Brand that renders a new concept in casual and stylish travelling with a focus on self-service and having a great hotel experience in terms of offering a prime location, ambience and the highest level of convenience. They call themselves the leaders of low-key luxury. Hmm, this is the first time I have ever encountered such value proposition statement. Does this mean lower end spectrum of luxury? Or subtle luxury? Something else perhaps?

Except for the strange sewer-like odour in the lift, I love this hotel because:

1. It is a brand spanking new hotel. You can really smell it that it is NEW.

2. I love its sleek minimalistic design. Design and ambience are a decision making factor for me. This is truly a stylish hotel done with taste, elegance and simplicity. The public breakfast area is very impressive; it looked more like an exclusive bar and lounge in Xinyi. Check out the lighting design.

3. The toilet! They have the Japanese Toto automated washlets. The toilet seat has a warmer/heater, it comes with different modes of water cleansing rituals and even has an air purification system, which really is a butt dryer, haha. #needtobuythisforhome

4. The bed is very comfortable. Firm and good. The pillows too.

5. The food is nothing spectacular but they offer the concept of the 24-hour buffet. They served croissants, muffins, green salad, fruits and drinks. So in principle, you can just come back anytime and grab something to eat and drink throughout the day.

6. There is a public self-service laundry area.

7. The staff at the reception were very nice and helpful. They speak good English. They did a lot of work for me re-confirming my reservations in Chinese by phone. Thank you so much!

8. It’s literally around the corner of Ximending Pedestrian Zone. As a woman travelling alone, I feel safe staying in a crowded area. One of my most important decision making factors.

9. Full-length mirror =)

10. Ximen metro station is just a 5-minute walk. The location of the hotel is very convenient to use as a base to go around the city and explore the districts in Taipei with the metro.

That’s all folks!

Note: I only review and post stories about the hotels I have stayed at. I am not paid to do this nor my stay is sponsored. This post is part of the ongoing documentation of all my travels.

Here are my pictures and I start with the room as I received it on my first night.

The automated washlet with a seat warmer/heater, different modes of warm water cleansing, air purification (yes, the butt dryer) and more, which I  really have no clue about because they are all labelled in Chinese.

Tango Inn

I really liked how they revolutionised spacing here. The toilet and bath are separated from the hallway and bedroom with two sliding doors also acting as side wall panels. 

Tango Inn

The breakfast is rather simple than I have expected, but this is a 24-hour self-service concept so you can technically stuff yourself with muffins every 2 hours if you want. 

The breakfast lounge from a different angle. Just look at the lighting design. 

An unidentified door across the hotel.

This is the small and quiet alley of the hotel. The busy Ximending is just around the corner. I really liked that it is in a quiet area but very near to everything.

I do not stay late outside, so my late evenings are usually spent internetting and watching TV in my hotel room. That's Marie Le Pen of France and Geert Wilders of the Netherlands... they are the Trump counterparts in Europe.

On the corner of the hotel is this cool street painting of the American and Canadian flags.

Travel Period: January 2017
Destination: Ximen, Wanhua District (Taipei), Taiwan

Keep in touch and follow me on Facebook: Travel & Lifestyle Diaries by Dutched Pinay Travels
Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

All pictures were taken by a point and shoot pocket camera or a smartphone.

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