There is a hardly a better place to be based for a visitor to Kaohsiung: Hotel dùa is set smack in the heart of the city, steps away from the Formosa Boulevard MRT station (the only MRT station where the two metro lines meet), making it incredibly convenient to reach all major attractions. The Formosa Boulevard station is one in itself, housing the spectacular Dome of Light – reportedly the world’s largest (660 square meters) installation made up of separate pieces of colored glass.
Exit 6 takes one straight to the hotel (take a right turn at the corner), a contemporary building whose sleek façade holds promise of salvation from the enduring heat. A stone’s throw away are two different night markets, Nanhua Night Market and Liuhe Tourist Night Market, both a treat to browse around. Slightly further afield, but still within a short walking distance, is the Xinjuejiang Shopping District, a buzzing area that comes alive with shoppers come sundown.
Style and Facilities
The minimalist lobby space reflects everything dùa stands for: understated décor, ample living space, attention to detail and functionality. Guest room floors boast remarkable noise cancellation and are outfitted with an exhibition space containing contemporary artwork.
Coffee and tea are available to hotel guests free of charge 24/7 at the lobby café, along with a selection of books and magazines (these can be borrowed at reception to bring back to one’s room). Two Mac computers are also at guests’ disposal in the lobby area. A fully equipped fitness center operates in floor 10 from 6am to 11pm. Parking and WiFi are provided to guests free of charge.
For even more shopping and entertainment, take advantage of Hotel dùa’s complimentary shuttle bus service (schedules available at reception; the shuttle makes stops along the way), which connects the hotel to MLD, a shopping and entertainment complex no less stylish than the hotel itself, contained inside a refurbished factory space now housing an award-winning book store, cinema, ample dining opportunities, and more.
The hotel’s 145 softly lit rooms come equipped with all the essentials, along with a few thoughtful touches that give away the careful planning put into their design. One of these is the master light switch placed conveniently by the bedside, making it possible to turn on the faintest glow just above the floor to guide you through the room at night (the drapes provide complete light elimination, allowing for sound, undisturbed sleep). A Toto washlet is another pleasant surprise hidden in the bathroom, and some rooms also come complete with a bathtub.
There are several types of rooms to select from, depending on guest needs and party size, ranging from 10- to 28-ping. All rooms come outfitted with a Simmons mattress, 42-inch TVs with multi-lingual satellite channels, a seating area, free bottled water and organic tea set, a complimentary round of soft drinks in the minibar, as well as high quality toiletries restocked daily. A fresh newspaper with the latest headlines is delivered to your room every morning, upon request.
There are two on-site restaurants at dùa: the top-floor panoramic étage 15 and Chinese Yue Pin on the third floor. étage 15 serves an abundant daily breakfast with a varied selection of international dishes (some highlights included two types of sushi, a natural honeycomb and an entire wheel of parmesan cheese).
The restaurant also offers a semi-buffet lunch (11.30am-2pm, last order 1.30pm) and dinner, transforming into a bar later in the night (11pm-1.30am).
The 3rd floor Yue Pin restaurant specializes in Chinese cuisine with an emphasis on dim sum, and is headed by an experienced chef from Hong Kong.
Why we love it:
Hotel dùa is a polished haven of calm and sophistication in the very center of Taiwan’s second city. It offers attentive yet understated service, modern amenities, excellent dining, and an unbeatable base for urban exploration. More than anything, though, the hotel struck us for its refined, luxurious and serene style and the sense of awe it inspired in us, from the towering main entrance to the subdued lighting in the hallways to the elevator doors opening to a delicate decorative tree that we mistook for a painting.