Recently we had the pleasure of staying in the Splendor Hotel Taiwan in Kaohsuing and it was a great
experience: decent food, great view, and a nice room!
But why? The Splendor Hotel Taiwan Expensive!
There is an idiom in Chinese that runs similar to: “One penny buys one penny’s worth.” When I was watching the
TV commercials in Taiwan, I learned this one on an advertisement for a Japanese Air Conditioner brand. Let’s give
this story some flesh:
About three weeks ago, Christine and I were looking for a hotel in Kaohsiung after we went on a two day trip to
visit the city and see the sights. In fact, we also took the opportunity to try out the new High Speed Train, which
was fantastic, and the officious, punctilious train staff who were not.
We arrived in Kaohsiung in less than three hours, door-to-door, but we hadn’t any hotel reservations. And it was
hot, so we walked around the downtown area looking for a hotel. We passed some on the main streets, we also called
some on the telephone to check prices, availability and location.
The prices for a room on one of the hotels on the Main Streets was surprisingly expensive for a room, about
NT$1900 and that was a weekday in summer.
Splendor Hotel Taiwan: Here We Come!
But we already knew what it would be like: perhaps a dirty room, an unsatisfactory breakfast, and a TV that was
built in the early part of the 20th century.
When we compared it with the choice that we were considering … The Splendor Hotel Taiwan in Kaohsiung … we decided to stay there. We paid NT$4617 for
that privilege. Extravagant? Well, perhaps. Perhaps not.
I don’t usually rationalize purchases in such detail as this: but did the extra $2717 really seem that much more
extravagant? Or it did it represent really good value?
If we had stayed at our first choice, we would have not have had a view like this one over the harbor and port
area. Let’s say: that was worth NT$100.
That’s when I began to add up the ‘value’ to me of all those other little differences to see if that NT$1900
hotel room was such a bargain or not.
At the Splendor Hotel Taiwan, we had nearly a dozen additional benefits that we felt were of value to us:
- If we had stayed in the cheaper hotel, there is no doubt in our mind: we would not have enjoyed the
breakfast at all. It is quite likely we would have had to eat a supplemental meal, perhaps at Starbucks, or a
restaurant to make up for that difference: NT$300. The breakfast at the Splendor Hotel Taiwan was varied, fresh
and substantial. And because we ate late, we didn’t really feel hungry at lunchtime.
- In the room, there was a cable for Internet so that guests could simply plug in their PC or notebook and
surf as much as they needed to: To access that service at the cheaper hotel, I would have had to go out and
find a local Internet Coffee Shop. I’d have also had to pay NT$30~50 per hour. Let’s say I used the system for
1 hour: NT$50 plus hassle.
- The mini-bar was very spartanly filled with water and soda. But the prices were VERY competitive with the
local store so we paid very little surcharge. In the cheaper hotel, we would have had to go out and buy the
same things. Added convenience: NT$100.
- There was an abundant supply of toiletries and towels in the room, such that we didn’t really have to use
our own products. In the cheaper hotel, there would have been the basics only: toilet paper, a blunt razor,
some towels, and little else. This was certainly a better value: NT$100.
- The room was certainly larger and more comfortable than the other hotel. It would certainly have been
cleaner, too. Added value: NT$100. I don’t think either of us would have tolerated a dirty room for more than
- We didn’t have a great range of cable TV channels, certainly not as many as other quality hotels, but all
the basics were available, including in-room movies, multi-lingual channels, and some radio. Also, the TV was
much more ‘recent’. Added value: NT$100.
- We were able to leave our luggage with the Concierge for about four or five hours while we toured the city
in the day. Some smaller (read: cheaper) hotels really don’t offer this service or are reluctant to do so.
Added value: NT$100 (at least).
- We were able to check out at 12:00pm and could have requested a later checkout time at no additional cost
if we’d needed that. Many smaller hotels require guests to check out as early as 10:30am or 11:00am. Added
Suddenly that cheap price isn’t looking so good now: We’ve already accumulated additional benefits of NT$1050. I
haven’t even included the additional facilities at the hotel: the fitness room, the SPA, the business center (with
PCs, magazines, meeting rooms, fresh coffee), the eight restaurants (with all you can eat breakfast..), polite
staff, good airconditioning, and great location.
It’s true: the cost seemed a lot more when you swiped your credit card, but (and the last value point) we did
not regret staying there at all. It was convenient, comfortable and pleasant. While staying in the cheaper hotel
would have been easier on our bill, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be writing this post now about all the advantages
that paying a little more money brings you.
Of course, if we’d been really smart, we’d have looked for a promotion that included HST tickets and other
benefits for a similar price (but we didn’t plan the trip so carefully, and we arrived just after the previous
promotion had ended). That would have compounded the benefits even more. In this case, we were happy to pay more,
but does this ALWAYS apply when you go shopping?
In some cases, we found that buying more expensive Air Conditioners really did save more money in the long run.
TVs and refrigerators were also similar. What’s your experience? Are the frills really just frills or do they add
to the product’s customer satisfaction?
In short, if you are visiting Kaohsiung for a couple of days from Taipei, the Splendor Hotel Taiwan in Kaohsiung
is central, reasonably priced, and quite comfortable!