Sun Moon Lake is a popular destination for both international and Taiwanese tourists. It a little hard to find a room that would suit us for under our normal budget of around $30 per night. There are plentiful accommodation options around Sun Moon Lake that are a little more expensive but we like things cheap and cheerful.
Ultimately, despite our best efforts, our quest for a cheap Sun Moon Lake hotel was unsuccessful but we did find a real gem. We found Mei Jen House on Agoda and booked a Double Room with Breakfast. At around $50 it was more expensive than we had hoped but it was only for one night and sometimes you have to be a little flexible on the budget.
Mei Jen House is a quirky little place that has heaps of personality. This is apparent as soon as you walk through the front door through the gift shop area. Apart from the normal things you can buy such as the local tea, handmade soaps and creams, you can also select from a large range of little knick knacks and teddy bears.
We headed up to the reception and the lovely lady out front, the owner and manager, checked us in with a smile. Her conversational English isn't the greatest but she makes up for it with body language, patience and laughter.
As we were too early to check in she offered to store our bags in a secure place while we had a cup of tea. That also gave us time to work out our day before heading out to be tourists. It really makes a difference when a hotel is accommodating.
In the end, we had two rooms to choose from. The first was on the second floor. It was a smaller room but faced Sun Moon Lake and had only a few stairs to climb to get to. As we both like to climb stairs, we chose the bigger room on the fourth floor. This room overlooked the main road but we opted for the bigger room as we would mostly be in the room at night anyway.
Our room was huge! When you first walked into the room there was a tall wardrobe with coat hangers and extra pillows and blankets to the side. There is heaps of floor space, a desk with mirror next to the window that runs the whole length of the room. There is also a hair dryer, a TV with plenty of English channels, and a little fridge to store some snacks.
We received free bottled water, and were able to have as many cups of tea and coffee as we wanted by using our in-room kettle. Downstairs, at reception, we were able to pick up some fancy teas and coffees to have in our room. All free.
There was a very comfortable double bed with clean bedding and cushions. Side tables were provided and a couple of little comfy stools to sit on.
We had air-conditioning to use during our stay however the weather is a lot cooler at Sun Moon Lake so we didn't really need to use it.
The room was decorated with hand painted Japanese style artwork. We had a lovely Geisha looking over us in bed, a Lucky Kitty waving at us from the desk, and a beautiful mural of cherry blossoms and Mt Fuji through a window on the main wall. The photo at the top of this post is just beautiful!
Surprisingly, the bathroom was also really unique. It was like it was pre-fabricated offsite and then brought in fully made and dropped into the room before the ceiling was put on. The floor, walls and ceiling of the bathroom were all plastic and cube like. The plastic was made to look like tiles. It all seemed extremely clean. I suspect that the plastic faux-tile grout would be easier to clean than normal tile grout.
We had a lovely shower to use with hot water, a clean toilet, and a bathroom sink with heaps of space for our toiletries. Mei Jen House even provided new toothbrushes, combs, shampoo, conditioner and soap for us if we required them.
Apart from the free coffee and tea that we could make ourselves all day and night, we were provided with a simple but extremely tasty buffet breakfast.
The breakfast was included in our room price and consisted of toast and heaps of different spreads including peanut butter from the biggest tin ever! There was also Taiwanese rice porridge with various optional ingredients, plus soy flavoured eggs and always tasty dumplings. Yum!
We certainly ate well!
Digital Nomad Friendly
Mei Jen House at Sun Moon Lake could be quite a lovely place to be a digital nomad. If you had the time to work that is. We were being tourists so we turned on our laptops for a whole of 30 minutes during our stay.
We had a comfy looking desk in our room that could be used to work at. Downstairs where the breakfast buffet is served there are plenty of tables that could be used as an office space if necessary. On either the second or third floor, there is a little couch area and an outdoor table and chair area that could be used as well. Wow, quite a few places to sit actually!
Wifi / Internet
Although we didn't work during our stay we can tell you that the wifi worked on our laptops and our iPhones throughout the hotel including in our room. We can't say if there are any Internet problems, for example blocked ports, as we didn't do any work. We had no problems browsing the web and sending emails so, as far as we know, all is well with the Internet connection.
Mei Jen House has quite a lot to offer to their guests. The many different seating areas gives you a chance to either meet some other people or have some solitude while looking at the Lake from a balcony.
The plentiful and constantly stocked fresh tea and coffee making facilities for you to use at any time of the day and night is wonderful. I know I've mentioned this several times but its amazing how many hotels don't provide this.
An important amenity is a large collection of umbrellas for their guests to use. Its something so simple but it shows that they are really thinking about how they can help their guests. How many travelers think to bring an umbrella?
As with all the hotels at Sun Moon Lake, Mei Jen House offered local tourism advice, maps, timetables and bike information. Depending on your language skills however you may want to go to the tourism office just done the road if you have questions you want to ask.
This fun filled Sun Moon Lake hotel is located right in the center of town so everything is right outside your front door including a 7-Eleven and various restaurants.
The bus station is about 100 meters away. In the other direction, Sun Moon Lake itself is also around 100 meters away. A really perfect location.
Mei Jen House only has ten rooms, so you have to be quick and maybe a bit lucky to get a room. On the weekends they are apparently regularly booked out. On weekdays you shouldn't have too much trouble but its probably still a good idea not to just show up without a booking as it is a popular place.
Mei Jen House
No.125, Zhongshan Rd, Sun Moon Lake, Nantou, Taiwan 555
Telephone: (049) 2856511