Hotel 73 – Taipei, Taiwan
After getting turned around coming out of the Dongmen MRT metro (note: Taiwanese maps don’t always have north at the top, and maps in different parts of the metro station have different orientations!) we found the entrance to Hotel 73. The check-in desk was very friendly and had our room waiting for us. After two nights on planes (!) we finally had a real bed.
We knew our room was going to be a smaller boutique-sized room, but we couldn’t pass up the deal. However, it was even smaller than we expected – we only had our carry-on bags and a backpack each, and we struggled to get around them at times. Another potential con: our window faced the street, and it didn’t block much noise. Thankfully we had earplugs so it didn’t affect us much.
The bathroom was reasonably sized and quite clean, plus we liked the amenities.
Hotel 73 had a lot of nice perks, including reasonable wifi and free laundry, and some fun art too.
The included breakfast consisted of Eastern and Western choices such as salad, rice, boiled eggs, pastries, pasta, chinese porridge, etc. Not memorable, but solid, and choices did vary each morning.
Another plus: the hotel was only a few blocks from Din Tai Fung, where we enjoyed soup dumplings several times during our stay. Also, the hotel can arrange a car to take you back to the airport for 990 Taiwanese dollars (~$36 USD), good for early morning departures where you don’t want to take the MRT to the bus or train.
Overall, we liked Hotel 73 and would consider a return on a future trip, but I would spring for a larger room.
The closest of the Frankfurt airport-connected hotels, we booked a cash-and-points award for our night here. It is a large hotel, so be prepared for some extra walking even once you get in! Overall it was quiet, comfortable and spacious, all of which suited our needs for the night.
Tip: the shopping area under the hotels and train station has a grocery store with pretzels, beer, chocolate, etc. Good for grabbing some gifts and snacks.
Radisson Blu Antwerp, Belgium
Located directly across from the main train station, we really enjoyed our night at the Antwerp Radisson Blu. You can reach the center of old town Antwerp with a 15 minute walk (or metro ride), so the location isn’t too far out.
Our assigned room was on the highest floor with a great view of the train station and square:
Our room was very quiet at night and after the small room in Taipei this room felt quite spacious too. The bed was very comfortable, and the bathroom had everything we needed.
There is a small supermarket on the neighboring corner that had nice pastries and other breakfast items so we didn’t avail ourselves to the expensive hotel buffet breakfast.
Possibly the largest con to the property was the checkout wait, with a line of about 15 people at 11:30am. Since we had a train to catch we simply handed our cards to the desk and left; It worked out fine but I would probably make sure to setup the express checkout on a future stay.
On our fourth trip to Brussels it felt quite odd to not to stay in our usual Brussels lodging, Maison Noble. On the pro side, the price was right (free on points) and the location only three blocks from the Grand Place and center of Brussels. On the con side, the Brussels Radisson Blu felt stuffier and much more dated than the Antwerp version. It was difficult to find the concierge to help with dinner reservations and the 29 euros price for breakfast is just silly. Outside of a free night we would not stay here again.