I was recently invited to review Forte Orange Taichung Park Hotel in Taichung city, Taiwan. Situated right in front of Taichung Park, it is a stone throw away from the Taipei Railway Station (old), 25 minutes away from HSR (High Speed Rail) Taichung Station and yi zhong retail street.
At first impression, the building is pretty old compared to the Holiday Inn Express Hotel next door. However, the huge Orange Mascot picture does bring you a smile when you look up at the face of the building.
The Forte Orange is a basic business hotel. The lobby is simple and tidy with a small corner with a computer terminal for internet access and the other towards the dining room for breakfast.
The are different types of room in this hotel and while I was there, I stayed in their deluxe double room. The room is simple and spacious but worn from their last renovation.
The room is pretty dimmed since two ceiling light bulbs were blown but overall the room is clean and tidy.
The double bed (yes it’s slightly smaller than a queen) is springy, the usual of old hotel configuration standards.
Shower room and toilet
The toilet and shower room is separated.
This seems to be the trend of many business hotel but I find it is pretty unnecessary. While yes, one can shower and one can use the water closet but I do find it a hassle to switch in between. The heavy glass doors both swing out and they meet in the middle of the sink area.
There were times where my travel buddy Tiffany is standing at the sink and I almost knock into her when I swing open the glass door.
I wonder if the designer had much thought into designing the toilet.
There is not much hooks to hang clothes except for the clothes rail outside both doors which is kind of meaningless because you need to step out to get your towel. Not sure about the westerners, but for me as an Asian, definitely an awkward moment when the room mate is not your spouse.
There is only a small clothes hanger rail and a small table at the corner of the room. The room is spacious enough for a closet to be build though.
Toiletries provided are basic and minimal. The shower gel and shampoo are available in the dispenser mounted in the shower room. Hair dryer is affixed to the mirror at the wash basin.
2 complimentary bottles of bottled water is provided every day (not shown in the photo) along with some hot tea packets with the hot water kettle and mugs.
Airconditioning / Temperature of the room
The room do not have the musty smell of old buildings which was a plus but the location of the ventilation shaft for the air-con was not in the best position too. I would suggest asking for two room cards and leave one in the room for the air-con to be left on so that on hot summer days you get a nice cool well circulated air-con room when one reaches back to the room.
Electricity / Electric outlets
Tiffany and I noticed that the electrical outlets and labelled clearly at 110V. In Taiwan the outlet voltages at 110V which is typically fine as long as the chargers of our devices ranges from 100V ~ 240V. The mains came with a friendly addition of a 3 pin plug configuration.
However the outlet plugs are pretty loose. There are a couple of electrical outlets that do not work and for the rest, we needed to jiggle out plugs to hit the “sweet spot” to get our devices lighting up and charge properly.
The WiFi signal from our room was decent. At the 32mbps downlink, internet speed was smooth and there was not once an experience of intermittent. If you need a LAN cable, the reception do have one for loan at no additional cost.
Breakfast in the hotel is pretty basic. With the standard continental breakfast, with an item or two such as soya milk and mantou (chinese buns); which are indigenous to the local Taiwanese culture. Occasionally, they will change out the hard boiled eggs and serve Taiwanese tea eggs instead. I managed to grab one and the tea eggs are a delight!
I find the neighbourhood of the hotel pretty interesting. Located directly across the park and diagonally to Holiday Inn Express, there is also a nightclub and church just by its left and right along the same corridor.
A flock of white pigeons greets you with their flying display every morning at the park and while it was already amazing from the picture window of my 8th floor room, imagine being right there in the park for a morning walk. (Unfortunately I usually missed the birds by the time I prepped myself and got outdoors.)
In the evening, the lights of the bridges in the park brought out the classic Chinese garden atmosphere. It was such a coincidence that it was mid-Autumn festival celebration (or they term it as moon festival) during the weekend I was in Taichung. Locals were setting off fireworks which was visible across the lake at Taichung Park. It was really a treat.
While the park is beautifully lit, the corridor along the hotel is pretty dim. However, you definitely would not miss the purple and orange lights emitting from the entrance of the underground nightclub and also short skirt ladies smoking at the lobby of the adjacent building.
However, these ladies are not the typical sticky nightclub women often portrayed on television, they were just there having their “smoking and ranting” break so passer bys are pretty safe.
Noise level around the environment is almost zero from the room despite a high traffic junction just outside the hotel.
Other hotel amenities include:
- Conference Room
- Fax amp; Mail Services
- Laundry Service
- Taxi Service
- Travel Consultation
My rATINGS for FORTE Orange – Taichung Park Hotel: 3.5/5
This hotel has met all the basic requirement for a business hotel. Its customers are mostly travel tour groups from China and Taiwanese family vacationers. Besides the awkward configuration of the hotel, the overall comfort level is decent. Social medialites like us are satisfied with the WiFi speed. The hotel is just a little old. A fresh coat of paint, and maybe maintaining the electrical points would do the hotel much good.
For an regular rate of TWD5500 (SGD236 @ rate 23.3) a night, it is quite expensive. Comparing Forte Hotel discount rate at TWD2650 to Holiday Inn Express next door at TWD3300 for similar room, I think Forte Hotel needs to do better to up their game.
Last but not least, thank you Forte Orange Hotel – Taichung Park for the nice mid-Autumn Festival gift!
Tiffany and I were there during the mid-Autumn festival weekend and although we are miles away from our families, we are very much loved and well taken care of. Also I must say, the mini yuzu is very nice and sweet!!! Pretty different from the yuzu we have in Singapore.
Forte Orange Hotel – Taichung Park
No.17 Gongyuan Road, Taichung 400, Taiwan
Booking website: http://forteorange-taichung-park.hotel.com.tw/eng/
More stories and reviews soon!
*Above staycation was sponsored by Forte Orange Hotel. Please note that although the hotel stay is sponsored, quality of my reviews of hotel are not compromised.*