Friday, February 24, 2017

ALoft Hotel Taipei Zhongshan

Last September, having just one month left in Tokyo hubby and I decided to take a quick trip to Taipei just to visit our favorite eats. J. joined us and helped book our camp site: ALoft Hotel Taipei Zhongshan. It was centrally located and convenient, being just one block away from the MRT Zhongshan Elementary School Station (中山國小站).

Even though the three of us stayed at the same hotel, hubby and I took a different flight and arrived on a different day. We booked with Cathay Pacific since we'd never flown that airline before. I purchased the Jill Stuart Rouge My Dress Trio Flowery Balloon Collection via duty free shopping on that flight, a decision I still regret.

The hotel has modern decor which was nice, but it was also very scantly lit. We took this photo by the elevator. See how dark it was?

This is the wall tiles. Not sure why they thought going modern-goth was a good idea. May be some people like this, but hubby and I kept wondering when they're going to turn some light on.

Everything else was pretty straightforward. Our room was nice, clean, and modern. I especially appreciated the Bliss toiletries and came home with four 15mL/0.5fl oz. tubes of Bliss Tried + Blue Body Lotion, one for each night we stayed and they've been a really nice travel tube of hand cream for my bag! Will review next.

Being in Taipei, of course hubby and I didn't think twice to venture out for breakfast everyday. My god, how can anyone say no to this delectable goodness for pennies?!? Hubby made sure my scallion pancake (蔥油餅) had an egg and a ton of hot sauce in it, though the spice level barely registered (I eat pretty damn spicy...). Either way, I cried tears of joy it was so good, and it brought back fond memories. Back in 2012 when hubby and I were in Taipei last, there was a scallion pancake cart right at the alley where we lived, and together with a fried chicken shop and a Coco Tea stand, they were a godsend to us as we snacked to our hearts' content. Good times, folks, good times.

Anyway, one morning it rained dogs and cats. Instead of dragging ourselves out and about in the mud, we decided to try the hotel's breakfast buffet on the top floor for once. The dining space was also a bar that hosts live bands on certain nights. Again the decor was modern and fun.

But their breakfast buffet was a terrible mistake. It was insultingly bad. Being a mix of both Western and Taiwanese staples (porridge, hot soy milk, etc.) but somehow all were bland, boring, and utterly tasteless. We were incredulous, underwhelmed, and disappointed. There we were in Taipei and the Holiday Inns probably served a better continental breakfast buffet. 

And the most annoying part was: they charged us USD15 per person for the grand privilege! Do you know how many delicious scallion pancakes with egg and hot sauce I could have stuffed my face with for $15? Hell, I could have had a better-tasting ham and cheese Egg McMuffin and hash browns for a third of that price! Grrr. Not happy. Point is, if you're in Taipei and staying at ALoft Zhongshan, forget their breakfast buffet and explore the local offerings instead.

In fact, for your convenience, literally right behind the hotel is a small night market that was more like an all-day market. They were open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That was where hubby got our yummy scallion pancakes. There was also a King Tea shop for your boba tea, juice, and smoothie fix. We sure learned our lesson, so don't make the same painful mistake we did.

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