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Thursday, 4 February 2016

Travelling with kids to Taiwan 2016 (PART 2) - Spiderman & Pirates theme rooms at Sato Castle

Continue from (Part 1)...

I fancy everything with themes...eg themed parties, themed desserts, themed cafes, themed hotels, themed costumes etc...

It just bring out that childhood fantasy in you, and certainly brings every photo to life.

Sato castle is a theme hotel located at Jiannan road MRT station, 15 minutes drive from Shilin Market and 5 minutes walk from a couple of shopping malls. The hotel offers 51 different theme rooms which are categorised into King, Queen and Castle. All rooms come with a spa bathroom and a jaccuzi. The differences between the categories are probably the size of the room and the different unique themes.

Hubs had been eyeing the Spiderman theme room (Queen category) from Sato castle for quite a while, and he finally arranged for us to spend the last two nights of our Taiwan trip there. Since each theme only comes in one room, the hotel cannot guarantee that you may get the room you requested. Therefore your best bet is....booking your stay on a weekday during the non-peak season, or to inform them during your booking.

After booking the hotel directly from their website, Hubs emailed them to request for the Spiderman room, and on the following night, he requested to switch to another theme, Pirates and Carribean. That means we get to explore two different theme rooms over our two nights stay there. On the week of our arrival, he made another phone call to remind and make sure that our requested rooms were confirmed.

As described by the name, Sato is really similar to a real castle with flaming towers, knights amours and draw-bridge that made the kids go "wah wah ..."

We kept the Spiderman room a surprise from our boys and only let them know that we were going to spend a night at a castle. This already got Rboy shaking in excitement!
It didn't take long for them to recognize the familiar red spider logo that greeted us once we opened the door.

Spiderman Theme room
 
 As usual, the boys aimed for the super comfy bed. The first place that I check out when entering a hotel room is always the bathroom. And the bathroom of Sato Castle blew me away! A sauna, a steam room, a rainforest shower bed, a television, good sound system and a jaccuzi huge enough to fit a family of 4....all these in our own private bathroom! Too awesome or what? It just give you good excuses to stay long in the "toilet" !
How nice to enjoy a hot tub under the watchful eyes of Spiderman.

This tub fits a family of 4 perfectly!

The toilet, sauna and steamroom lined in a row

They offer a very good range of toiletries, from lotions to comb, shaver and even sanitary pads!

Pirates Theme room
 
Since we booked two nights at Sato castle, we requested to change to another theme on the second night. Pirates and adventure theme is certainly every kid's childhood fantasy! Is there a boy who doesn't love to have a bed on a pirate ship?!
 
The giant octopus tentacles leave lots to their imagination. Honestly the boys were a little intimidated by the tentacles, the hanging skull head and skeleton..oops!
Rboy immediately asked if we can return to the Spiderman room haha! It really took them a while to "warm up" to their new living space for the night. And it helps after hubs pretended to be the octopus's ally by swimming up the bed to grab the boys' legs, while I took the role as the boys' captain and instructed them to steer the ship away or hide under the comforter. The boys had a real blast with our crazy pretend play and got settled well in their room in no time.
 
Satisfied with their cosy pirate ship bed
 
The little pant-less pirate wannabe

The pirates' stash hidden here
 
 The inviting jacuzzi

To compare, I would personally prefer the Spiderman theme room for the kids to this Pirates theme room.

Reasons being: 1)Spider man room is way more spacious for the kids to run around. Due to the unique design of the pirates ship, the room was rather cramp. 2)The pirates theme interior design is a little scary for younger kids. They may not be comfortable having the skeleton skull on the wall watching them when they sleep. 3)Hazardous steps , corners and gaps that may cause younger kids to trip and fall over or get stuck (pic below).I've to constantly watch over the boys and stop them from climbing all over the boat. And we discovered an uncovered pipe which would turn burning hot if the steam room is being used. Had to make sure that the child doesn't go near it in since it was not even well-protected at all.
Holes and gaps between the boat and the wall and the exposed hot pipe at the corner bottom of the toilet, which may not be very safe for younger children.
 
To sum it all, if you are bringing younger kids along, I would strongly recommend the Spiderman room than the Pirates room. Of course there are still so many other different themes to explore and you may find one that's even more fun than ours!
 
Useful Tips for Family with Kids checking into Sato Castle:
1) Check in timing is quite late at 6pm and they are pretty strict on that. Still you can leave your luggage with them and walk to the nearby malls (5-7 minutes walk) to dine or shop first while waiting for your room to be ready. Or bring the kids for a ride on the giant Ferris wheel at Miramar mall (also walking distance). We took quite a few nice family photo together in our ferris cabin.
 
2) Sato castle is also considered as a love motel in Taipei , therefore free adult (PORN) movies channels are available in their normal television programme. So it's advisable to keep the remote control away from the kids.
 
3) Not all themes are suitable for children. Do your research first and have an idea on the theme you want, then try your luck by requesting. Inform them that you have young children with you , so even if the theme you requested is unavailable, they will at least assigned you to another kids appropriate  room.
 
3) National Taiwan Science Education centre is just a 10 minutes taxi ride away from the hotel. It is similar to our Singapore Science centre and on certain period they do showcase a few very interesting exhibitions , 3D theatre shows or kids-related events. These are constantly updated from their website. However do avoid visiting during Taipei's school holiday, the crowd is ridiculous! We visited the "Upside Down House" exhibition there but the crowd was too much for us, so we left in less than half an hour.
There is an outdoor children theme park next to this science centre but because of the drizzle that day, we chose to explore their National Science Centre instead.
 
Almost suffocated inside. Warning: Do not visit during their school holiday period!
 
During the last two days, we explored Shilin night market by taking the train situated right next to Sato castle. We have to switch trains twice and the whole journey took around 45 minutes for us to reach Shilin. I would suggest taking a cab instead which is more convenient, travelling time is only around 15 minutes to reach and the fares are reasonable. Walking down the market with a toddler and a baby leave me with no hands to take much photos there. It was drizzling a little and we have to battle with the crowd inside Shilin market as well. However my adventurous boys had fun stalls-hopping with us under the drizzle, tasting all the food that they've never tried before...such as the deep fried milk and the stinky beancurb!
 
We spent our following day at Ximenting...more food and shopping again! Everytime we come to Taipei, we never fail to join the queue for the famous Ah Zhong mian Xian. Take note that there are no seats or eating space in the shop. We are supposed to have our mian Xian standing along the street.
 
(The mianxian from the Shilin outlets in Singapore is a total crap)
 
Ta-dah~ Found the stall!
 
Slurping this during the cold weather is simply heavenly~
 
There are many family-friendly KTV outlets in Ximenting...cheap and good...enough said. We thought it would be a good idea to get a room for ourselves to sing , at the same time let the boys rest , have some drinks and snacks or they can nap on the couch if they want to.
 
 It didn't take long for them to wake up and took control over the mic.Our idol...BabyK!

This is finally the end of our 5 days 4 nights easy peasy Taipei trip with our sunshine boys . I hope the information given has been helpful in planning one with your kiddos too.

Here is PART 1 , the first 2 days of our Taiwan trip where we had our farm stay at Flying Cow Ranch. Click HERE if you've missed it.

Looking forward to more memories with our sunshine boys in the year 2016! Ta-ta!

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