Review: Kindness Hotel Hualien, a great base to visit Taiwan’s Taroko Gorge

The Kindness Hotel Hualien offers large, modern rooms near the train station with friendly service. The included breakfast and dinner, as well as drinks and amenities like bike rentals and a laundry room, make it very good value. If you are planning a visit to the nearby Taroko Gorge, the Kindness Hotel Hualien is a great base for your stay, especially for families!

Location: The Kindness Hotel Hualien is located a 5-10 minute walk from the Hualien train station, the ideal location if you are traveling by train and are planning to visit the Taroko Gorge. There are a few local restaurants and shops near the hotel, although the downtown area with best restaurants and larger stores is a 20-30 minute walk from the hotel.

Service: The front desk welcomed us warmly and there was at least one English speaking staff available at all times. She explained the hotel amenities, including the vouchers for breakfast and midnight snack to us and handed us the keys to our room. I went back to the front desk later to ask for assistance and one of them was always able to help. Check-out was just as quick and easy.
Housekeeping was very thorough and left our room clean, with sheets and towels replaced and amenities restocked appropriately. Room cleaning stretched well into the afternoon, but they did it earlier when we requested it.

The restaurant staff was just as friendly and thorough. The welcomed each guest to the restaurant and kept the buffet stocked despite being busy. They also kept tables clean and cleared – so much so that one time when we both went to the buffet at the same time, they had cleared our table by the time we got back…
Overall, service at the Kindness Hotel Hualien was very friendly and professional. While English isn’t spoken widely in Hualien, there was always staff at the front desk or in the restaurant who was able to assist.

Room: We had booked a Standard King, non-smoking room and that’s what we assigned. Unfortunately, the previous guest didn’t follow the rules and had smoked in our room, leaving a noticeable smell. We opened the windows and didn’t ask for a re-assignment.

The room had been recently renovated and had the comfortable king-size bed in the back-half of the room. It has a high headboard with nice backlighting. There are only two pillows, but nice sheets and comforters. Sheets were changed daily unless you indicated otherwise.

Near the window is a seating area big enough for 3-4 people, with a sofa with ottoman and couch table.
Along the opposite wall are a wardrobe and a cabinet with a mini-fridge and tea/coffee facilities. A desk with chair has plenty of outlets to get work done, as well as a mirror to be used as a make-up table. Next to it are a cabinet with some storage and above it a huge TV, at least 55 inch I’d estimate.

All of it is held in beige/brown tones with light-colored wood furniture with white tops and blue-grey carpets. The dark wallpaper behind the bed and the backlit headboard added some accents that made the room look more modern and not as bland as at the Kindness Hotel Tainan.
The free WiFi internet in the room is reliable with your own router in the room and very fast at an average speed of 23.8Mbps. You’ll be able to stream movies or have calls without problems. This was a business service and upload speeds were even higher, so you could easily get work done, too!

The bathroom is large and well equipped. There is a nicely shaped sink on a cupboard with plenty of storage. Next to it is an electronic Toto toilet with bidet seat, a luxurious touch common in hotels in Taiwan. In the corner is a glass-enclosed shower with spa-style massage shower heads. There are six massage shower heads, a hand-held shower head and a regular, top mounted shower head, so everybody should find a nice way to shower here! Opposite the sink is a deep soaking bathtub, long enough to be comfortable even for my 1.90m/6ft3.

The Kindness Hotel provides a full range of toiletries, including different “male” and “female” soap and shampoo (neither smelled great to my nose), conditioner, face wash and lotion as well as a dental kit, razor and a number of other amenities. It won in the quantity department, although the quality was pretty basic.
The bathroom is held in brown marble-style tiles and was perfectly clean and well maintained. Spa-style showers and electronic toilets require some maintenance and everything was working very well.

Restaurant & Amenities: Kindness Hotels offer a full range of amenities. Outside the hotels are bikes for rent that are useful to explore Hualien town.
The hotel has a laundry room with multiple washers and dryers. Laundry detergent and softener are provided., all of it is free of charge for hotel guests. All the machine buttons are labeled in Chinese, so I needed the staff’s help to operate them.

The biggest attraction for many guests is the restaurant that serves a huge buffet for breakfast and dinner, as well as coffee, soft drinks and ice cream in the afternoon, all included in the price of your stay!

The restaurant is a massive dining room. The tables and chairs are basic, but the lighting, some artwork and (fake) trees make it a nice enough place to have a meal.

The buffet consists of three rows of banket tables of approximately 100 feet/30m length. During breakfast, you’ll find bread and pastries, fresh fruit, meats and eggs as well as a long list of Chinese hot dishes. There is also a make-to-order station serving various egg dishes and local specialties.

During the “Midnight Snack” served from 8:00-10:00pm, you’ll find an equally long list of hot dishes, as well as ice cream and a big selection of desserts. Most guests seemed to make this “snack” their main meal and we did so, too, one night. There is certainly plenty of food to fill you up. One night, we came back after a nice dinner in town for a little dessert and ice cream. The selection of dishes is geared towards the mostly Chinese audience and the quality of food was ok.

Value & Rewards: Kindness Hotels is a small chain of hotels in Taiwan and they don’t offer a rewards program. We booked through and earned 10% in welcome rewards for a future free night.
We paid $76/night. That’s decent value for the room, but very good value if you consider that this is really a full-board rate including a huge breakfast, drinks and snacks during the day and a full dinner buffet. It’s especially great value for families with hungry teenagers, making this as close to an “all-inclusive” stay as I’ve seen at regular hotels. You can find current rates for your dates here!

Bottomline: The Kindness Hotel Hualien offers large, modern rooms near the train station with friendly service. The included breakfast and dinner, as well as drinks and amenities make it very good value. If you are planning a visit to the nearby Taroko Gorge, the Kindness Hotel Hualien is a great base for your stay, especially for families!

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