We stayed at the Young Soarlan Boutique Hotel, which was perfectly adequate for one night. There was a refrigerator (handy for refrigerating the snacks we had brought down in a cooler), four bottles of water, an electric tea kettle, plenty of space for our carry-on luggage, flat-screen television, and desk. The bedding and towels, and the bathroom, seemed to be bleach-white clean. The air conditioning was much appreciated, as the wedding had been held outdoors bando-style in unusually warm weather.
At breakfast the next day, there was a small buffet of mostly Taiwanese-style breakfast offerings: rice porridge with sweet potato and typical porridge toppings, steamed rice, stir-fried noodles, various tofu and vegetable dishes, chicken nuggets, and steamed egg. There was also toast and steamed buns available. The only beverages on offer were coffee and tea.
My only two quibbles about the hotel were minor: the bed was firmer than I'd like (though this is generally true of Taiwan, and even the Shangri-la in Taipei is not immune to this problem), and that when we arrived to breakfast, there was a shortage of plates. I constantly had to ask the server for dishware, which he promptly refilled. To be fair, we had arrived towards the end of breakfast service.
As a side note, I must mention how much I like Hotels.com, for several reasons:
- Finding rooms in relation to a specific part of town, such a certain district or landmark, is easy;
- The booking process is quick and streamlined, and customer service has been great when we've had to use them;
- Their Rewards program is awesome, with basically a 10% return, as they have a 1 night free for every 10 completed nights booked through them;
- You can stack their Rewards program savings by going through a shopping portal, such TopCashback, which is currently running a 5% return on completed stays. I've used TopCashback for a few years now, and have been pleased with how well it works;
- You can stack further savings on top of that by using a credit card that rewards travel spending;
- Since it's an hotel room aggregator, you're not tied to a specific chain. While room upgrades and lounge access at a preferred hotel chain are nice, it's also nice getting a return on travel spending when that isn't an option.
Later, we caught up with friends at the 新化體育公園, which was a lovely park with lots of trees shading the playground area. Our friends told us that the park is rarely crowded. There's a public pool at the park, and while we did not swim, we took a peek. The pool is much more appealing than pictured, as in person it seems very spacious with a lot of natural light.
Lunch was nearby at Pa Pa Yummy, a delightful pizzeria with a comfortable, light-filled setting. The salad was ok, more Taiwanese-style, but we enjoyed the pizzas which seemed to utilize fresh, not canned, ingredients, such as the thinly-sliced pineapple on the Hawai'ian pizza.
|The kids enjoyed the presentation of the freshly baked pita bread.|
When we left, we bought a whole-wheat boule loaf with longan, which was a good reminder of the trip. Just across the street from Pa Pa Yummy and a few storefronts down is 筱庭杏仁豆腐冰, which is a wonderful shaved ice and almond tofu place. I highly recommend the almond tofu, which has the silkiest texture I've ever had for almond tofu, which can be served atop shaved ice. Delightful.
Overall, we had a great trip, even though the traffic on our drive back to Taipei was awful.
Young Soarlan Boutique Hotel, 揚悅精緻大飯店- 台南館
No.487 Section 2, Jiankang Road, South District, Tainan, Taiwan
Pa Pa Yummy 柴燒美食基地