Hualien's Wow Youth Hostel
Some travelers look for picturesque hostel bunks and lounges. Some prioritize coziness and safety. Others just need the nearest place from the train stations or tourist attractions. Others want the cheapest- comfort be damned. As for me, I tried to check all those four for my accommodation, and it was surprisingly easy to find the best place to stay in Hualien. When I laid my eyes on Wow Youth Hostel, I knew that I was going to have a short but perfect stay.
1. Ambiance 5/5
Obviously for the youth but oldies will not feel out of place, either. There were a bunch of kids staying when I was there. But I also shared my room with 20 something ladies and a middle- aged woman traveling alone. Beer bottles, random ornaments, and artworks decorate the place. There are chairs made from drums and lamps using bottles. All stairway landings have different and colorful murals representing the beauty of Hualien. The whole building emits a laid- back feeling and invites you to relax after a long day of a tour.
2. Comfort 5/5
The lounge has enough seats for people to hang around during the day and even at night. The hostel rooms usually have 5 or more beds. It is better to stay at the upper bunk. It feels less constricting than the usual private space given in hostels. You can totally stand tall on it. The best part is the ensuite bathroom which is not very common in hostels. It is easier especially if you need to use the bathroom during the night. The mattress and comforters were soft and comfortable that I easily slept on it.
3. Location 5/5
The hostel is a 5- minute walk from the station. You can see it once you get out of the train station and it is impossible for you not to find it. It is also near the bus station, tourist center, convenience stores, restaurants and even souvenir shops.
4. Cleanliness 5/5
The whole place is impeccably clean. The common area is always spotless, and the guests themselves clean up their own messes. It is hard not to do the same if everyone feels responsible for their own trash. Good thing that the staff and guests work hand in hand to keep the place look good as new. The housekeepers clean the rooms and change the comforters and sheets when they are taken out and put on the cart outside.
5. Amenities / Facilities/ Features 5/5
Each guest is given a cabinet that can fit a carry-on suitcase and a smaller bag. Every bed has one pillow, comforter, and two hangers. There are no bath towels, so you have to bring your own but they made up by having an ensuite bathroom which I loved very much. The sink is placed outside so people sharing the room can alternate in brushing their teeth and showering. Apart from this, there are still shared bathrooms and comfort rooms on the 4th and 5th floors.
The hallways have phone lines so you can easily get connected to the reception area in case you need help. There is a free WIFI and paid laundry on the top floor.
The hostel charge is inclusive of the breakfast. It is just a simple spread of bread, cheese, ham, jams and butter. But they have raw eggs which you can cook however you want at the open kitchen. They also have fruits that you can get for free all throughout the day. If you want to cook your own, you definitely can. The utensils, some condiments, and cookware are available for free.
6. Service and Crew 4/5
The crew was not as friendly as the crew members I have met in Taipei, but they were not exactly snob either. There were very helpful especially when I had trouble in finding where to get a tourist SIM Card. The Trip Bar on the first floor of the building is in partnership with the Taiwan Vista Tour which offers a customizable trip around the country.
7. Rate 5/5
It is not that cheap but given the location, the free breakfast, and services available around the area; I believe it is worth it. The few dollars I could save on the other hostel options would be spent for an additional ride or breakfast I would have had to buy outside. So, while the charge is something I wish would be cheaper, I can say that I got what I paid for.
8. Overall Rating 4.9/5
I would stay here again if I get to revisit Hualien! Recommended for solo and even group travelers!
Wow Youth Hostel is located at No.83, Guolian 1st Rd, Hualien City, Hualien, Taiwan 97055. The WOW sign is visible the moment you step out of the train station, so it is hard to get lost.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.