Review: Northbound Hop – Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting

Introduction
KA 432 HKG – KHH 333 Y
Ferry Ride Cijin Scenic Area to Gushan Ferry Pier
Toong Mao Evergreen Hotel Kaohsiung
Exploring Kaohsiung
Jinzuan Night Markets
Exploring Tainan
Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting
Exploring Pingtung County
Kenting Street Night Markets
International Terminal Kaohsiung International Airport
KA 437 KHH – HKG 333 Y

Ranking: Location 5/5 Service 4/5 Modernity 4/5 Little things 3/5 Meals 2/5 Overall 4/5

For the final night of our trip we were booked at the Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel in Kenting. Let me start by saying that this hotel was rated the worst in the whole of Pingtung County (before I added on my review), and is generally only rated three stars. My Toong Mao quest has consisted of trips to ultra-cheap hotels, and this was no exception.

After a two hour drive we reached Kenting. (More details on the drive later.) I previously thought that the exterior of the hotel looked extremely queer and dated, but in the location it was situated it looked quite good.

IMG_0001

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting exterior

IMG_0002

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting entrance

The lobby looked quite dated, and the first impressions of the service were mediocre. The woman who checked us in wasn’t really friendly, though I’ve yet to see the most impressive part of the service (for a three star hotel, of course).

IMG_0003

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting lobby

IMG_0004

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting lobby

A common area with a small gym was also located in the lobby, and it was…small.

IMG_0005

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting common area

We were assigned room 130, which was on the same floor as the lobby (and probably too close to the lobby, as it was a 5 second walk from the entrance to the room).

IMG_0006

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting Room Number signage

The hallways were much fresher than at the Kaohsiung property, probably the brightest and shiniest (in a good way) that I’ve seen anywhere.

IMG_0032

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting hallway

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting
Check-in: Thursday, May 15, 2014
Room Type: Delicate Double Twin
Room Number: 130
Stay duration: 1 night
Check-out: Friday, May 16, 2014

We were shocked by the size of our entry level (Deluxe Double – there aren’t any higher level rooms but none with two single beds either) room, especially compared to the Toong Mao property. We knew that we’d be getting double beds, but we weren’t expecting such a big room. While there was virtually no entryway and we’d have to survive the catastrophes from the restaurants outside, the room was easily 600 sq. ft – the same as a bigger room in five-star properties.

The orange-white-wood colour scheme was original (by original I’m talking about the orange wall), and great, too…at least better than the Hotel Kempinski Gravenbruch. 😉

IMG_0007

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting Deluxe Double Twin Room

IMG_0008

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting Deluxe Double Twin Room

IMG_0009

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting Deluxe Double Twin Room

The key had to be slotted in for power, but naturally I resorted to sticking a brochure in the key holder. 🙂

IMG_0010

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting Deluxe Double Twin Room

I found the double bulb lights to be a classy touch.

IMG_0011

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting Deluxe Double Twin Room Lights

I’m still getting over the sheer size of the room – a totally useful 100 sq. ft of empty space in the middle of the room, right?

IMG_0031

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting Deluxe Double Twin Room

The ceilings were very high, which I loved, as it made the room seem very spacious. Queer, as this room is on the first floor.

IMG_0017

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting Deluxe Double Twin Room Ceiling Lights

I found out that out of the whole hotel my bed was the only bed consisting of two single beds put together and not one double bed. I actually can say that I prefer this over a double bed, as I enjoyed falling between the beds countless times between 3am and 5am on Friday morning.

IMG_0007

My bed

The universal power plugs on the bedside were a really nice touch, but given the amount of power adapters I had it wasn’t of much use. 🙂

IMG_0018

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting Deluxe Double Twin Room Power Plugs and Switches

The bedside table had the same tangram puzzle and yoyo as the Evergreen Hotel and had a functional room phone, which is always a nice touch in such a hotel (trust me, I have heard of some of the most bizarre problems with hotel phones that you can imagine). The WiFi password was also located there. Yes, this hotel has free WiFi, which is all it takes for me to be happy in life. 😉

IMG_0019

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting Deluxe Double Twin Room Bedside Table

There were also comfortable bamboo chairs, which were a great substitute for the backless chair that is situated at the desk. The bamboo chairs were great for sitting on and working, but since I work in 10 minute periods, I don’t know how the bamboo chair would feel like for a three hour make out work session. Also present was a hot water dispenser, which catered for the tea bags they gave us (for free).

IMG_0020

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting Deluxe Double Twin Room Relaxing Area

Unfortunately the room faces the carpark, which I didn’t mind, but that also meant that it faced a dog in the middle of the carpark that we thought had died. Fortunately it was a beautiful day, and in Kenting looking up is more exciting than looking down. More details in the next installment. 😉

IMG_0021

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting Deluxe Double Twin Room Views (or lack thereof)

Fortunately we got to watch some dog fights (as the dog wasn’t dead after all), which made for some pretty exciting views.

IMG_0028

Frolicking dogs in the distance

The toilet was nice as well though by no means impressive, with a walk-in shower, a single sink and a toilet. Ultimately I prefer a hotel that has its toiletries inside the bathroom instead of on the desk, but it’s no big deal (or actually it should be, given the size of the room).

IMG_0012

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting Deluxe Double Twin Room bathroom

IMG_0013

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting Deluxe Double Twin Room shower

A tradeoff to the nice room was the shower which you had to swipe to the very left to get a favourable water temperature (this is for room 130, don’t burn yourself).

IMG_0014

Counterintuitive shower controls

The towels, as expected, were covered with large Toong Mao branding. They were fluffy though not overly so.

IMG_0015

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting Deluxe Double Twin Room towels

Speaking of the toiletries, they were the exact same kind as what we got in the Evergreen hotel (which is the equivalent of Hyatt Portico amenities).

IMG_0016

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting Deluxe Double Twin Room amenities

The hotel also provided better slippers than at the Kaohsiung property.

IMG_0033

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting Deluxe Double Twin Room slippers

My friends then came down from room 206 and exclaimed about the discrepancy of the hotel rooms. I had to go check out their rooms to see what was different. After passing a nice lounge area on the second floor (maybe that’s the tradeoff?) I went into their room.

This was kind of like the Westin Nagoya Castle – except that this was the same room type. For those who don’t follow Lucky, the Westin Nagoya Castle Deluxe Room was worlds apart from the suite in the same hotel.

IMG_0027

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting Deluxe Double Twin Room on the Second Floor

The biggest contrast in the rooms was the bathroom. We had a walk in shower, while all my friends got was a bathroom-shower combo – that’s right, the walk in shower is the whole bathroom, which means you get the whole bathroom wet by using the shower. I’ve had one of those showers in Niseko Village back in 2011 – and I really didn’t like it.

IMG_0026

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting Deluxe Double Twin Room on the Second Floor Bathroom

IMG_0025

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting Deluxe Double Twin Room on the Second Floor

There was no tradeoff to the view either – the same old b#^&* dog. At least they get a more panoramic view of the parking lot! 😛

IMG_0023

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting Deluxe Double Twin Room on the Second Floor Views

At least their lamp was a tad fancier…

IMG_0022

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting Deluxe Double Twin Room on the Second Floor Lamp

I figured that all of the rooms on the first floor look pretty much like ours, and the second floor rooms are identical to the room my friends had.

That night we had dinner at the hotel’s unnamed restaurant. The food was okay, though I wouldn’t go there if I wasn’t forced to (and I was in this case).

IMG_0029

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting Restaurant Body of Water

Speaking of hotel facilities, I didn’t get to visit the pool room or the beach, the latter due to scheduling issues – I don’t see the use to go to Kenting then. 😦

At night I shopped at Kenting Street. Details of that in one of the following installments (look, I put my trip report series up there for a reason).

IMG_0030

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting Exterior by night

On the morning of our stay I went and had breakfast at the restaurant. The buffet was extensive, but the food quality wasn’t good. It was better than the food at the YMCA Self Service Hotel Hong Kong, but not by much.

IMG_0035

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting Breakfast Spread

IMG_0036

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting Breakfast Spread

IMG_0037

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting Breakfast Spread

IMG_0038

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting Breakfast Spread

IMG_0039

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting Breakfast Spread

IMG_0040

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting Breakfast Spread

IMG_0041

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting Breakfast Spread

IMG_0042

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting Breakfast Spread

IMG_0043

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting Breakfast Spread

IMG_0044

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting Breakfast Spread

I just got a bowl of noodles and some mantou, as the rest of the food was simply f^&*ing disgusting.

Checkout was quite swift – pretty much all we had to do was give them our room keys. The most impressive part of the service was that the people at the checkin desk waved to us as we left. I know this is Taiwan, but normally they have bellmen to wave us off – if they don’t hire bellmen they normally don’t bother. This left me in tears was one of the nicest touches I had ever seen at a hotel, much less a three star one.

Bottom line

Overall this is a great choice in Kenting. Despite not having high hopes, we left quite impressed. We were let down by the meal service, but overall the hotel was a great choice – and showed touches of a holiday resort (billiards etc.) too. As much as this isn’t expected at a ~HK$1000 hotel, the only thing the hotel lacks (for the first floor rooms of course) is a Taiwanese feel. Take the W Taipei, which I stayed at in 2013, which is modern and shows Taiwanese culture at the same time. I loved this resort, but I really hope there was a smaller discrepancy between hotel rooms.

If I can secure a hotel room on the first floor I’d return in a heartbeat. However, Kenting itself isn’t that interesting (take my opinion with a grain of salt because I visited neither the beach nor the park), so I’d stay close to Tainan (the Shangri-La perhaps?) on my next visit.

I leave you with the Toong Mao’s advertising campaign…

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 4.01.24 PM

Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting Advertising Campaign

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s