Social responsibility at its best – Horizon Inn

I wasn’t going to let AS leave my motherland without taking him to one of the best night markets in Taiwan. Our plan was to stuff our faces at TongHua Night Market, hike up Xiang Shan, and continue to eat at the night market until we drop (Stay away from ShiLin Night Market like a plague! It has become too commercialized in recent years. The quality has declined exponentially while prices increased… but more on this later).

Because my family doesn’t live in Taipei, we needed a place by an MRT station to stay for the night. To my surprise, clean, fairly priced, AND conveniently situated hotels are hard to find in Taipei… until we found Horizon Inn!

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Located in the heart of Taipei, Horizon Inn is within a 10-minute walk to not 1, but 2 MRT stations. Family Mart is just steps away, and Breeze Centre is pretty much right across the street. One of Taiwan’s oldest night markets, Ning Xia, is also within a few blocks’ radius. Because the hotel is right by a main street, we never had to wait more than 2 minutes for an empty cab.

Images courtesy of Horizon Inn

After a warm welcome and fresh fruits, we were given the keys to our Deluxe Room. This is the part where I’m supposed to talk about the rooms and amenities, the friendly staff, the cleanliness, the delicious buffet breakfast, etc., but I’ll save you the boredom. Don’t get me wrong, everything was perfect and breakfast was indeed amazing. We’ve actually never seen a non-five-star property offer so many top-quality options at a buffet. While Tripadvisor reviews are all true, what makes Horizon Inn special is its commitment to social responsibility.

Horizon Inn is by no means a luxury boutique hotel, but its mission and values are more than extraordinary.

We had the honour of meeting Iven, the General Manager- the man who started it all. Iven is a globetrotter.  After spending years abroad, he wanted to build a hotel in his motherland so travelers visiting Taiwan from around the world can also have a place to call home. A map hangs in the lobby for guests to pin their hometowns onto. Travelers can also document their memories in a massive 365-paged guestbook. His love for traveling, combined with his desire to do something for the greater good, resulted in the birth of Horizon Inn.

Horizon Inn provides a platform for the under-privileged and less fortunate. Commodities like food, bedding, and toiletries are often sourced and purchased from non-profit organizations and small businesses. To give back to the society, it collaborates with many groups and offers opportunities for communities in need in Taiwan.

Mentally disabled children

Baked goods served at breakfast are purchased from the Children Are Us Foundation. Its restaurants and bakeries employ kids with Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, and other mental illnesses. These children and teenagers are provided with job skills, opportunities and long-term care.

Poor seniors

You’ll see a fresh, handmade cake at breakfast every morning. Not only is it without any additives and low-fat, but it’s also for a good cause. Horizon Inn buys these cakes from a Nuns Bakery that raises money for the poor elderly people in Taitung.

Aboriginals and rural residents

The Welldoer Volunteer Association raises money for aboriginal tribes and poor rural farmers by promoting their produce and products, and redistributing in the city for better sales. Many of the fruits and vegetables at Horizon Inn’s breakfast buffet are purchased from this organization. Guests can also help out by buying fruits off a display cart in the lobby.

Images courtesy of Horizon Inn

Victims of domestic abuse

Horizon Inn works with the government and offers rooms to victims escaping from domestic abuse.

The Homeless and long-term unemployed people

You may have heard of The Big Issue. Published in four continents, this is a street newspaper that gives homeless people an opportunity to earn legitimate income so that they can be reintegrated into the society. On top of being a corporate sponsor for close to 2 years, Horizon Inn donates a portion of their revenue every year to support this cause. Iven’s face lit up as he showed us pictures of last year’s Christmas party, where people in need were invited to join in on the festivities. He’s planning to provide the same warmth and support this holiday season!

Images courtesy of Horizon Inn

Burn victims

The hotel regularly donates to and fund raises for the Sunshine Social Welfare Foundation, which provides rehab and counseling services for burn survivors and those with facial disfiguration. When the Forma Fun Coast explosion happened last summer, Horizon Inn provided free accommodation for victims’ families who needed to be in Taipei to care for their loved ones.

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AS and I are amazed at the way Iven runs this hotel; it made us really think about how we can make a difference. Social responsibility has never been a criterion when we’re planning our travels but it is now. We visited Taipei in search of yummy food, but we left with so much more than just a full belly.

Thank you, Iven, for opening our eyes to a completely different side of hotel operations. The amount of effort and care put in to supporting all these different groups and communities is truly inspirational!!

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tips

  • You can do your laundry for free!!
  • Rooms start at just below $100 CAD a night (breakfast and tax inclusive).
  • Like many hotels in Asia, not all the rooms have windows.
  • Some may find the tub a bit small, but it wasn’t a problem for us since we’re only 5’4″.
  • Take the time to chat with Iven if he’s available. The work that he’s doing is amazing.
  • For more information and current promos, check out their official website and Facebook page.

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Disclaimer: AS and I were invited guests at Horizon Inn. However, all opinions are our own and we wouldn’t recommend something if we didn’t love it ourselves! 

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Kollecting Koordinates - Horizon Inn

32 Comments

  1. June 15, 2016 / 6:37 pm

    Wow, I’ve never heard of a hotel that gave back so much to their community. And how cool is the manager? I love that he is a globetrotter himself! If I ever make a trip to Taipei, I’m definitely staying here 🙂

  2. June 15, 2016 / 7:36 pm

    This is really incredible! I love how many different organizations benefit from their business model. It’s truly part of the community in every possible way. It’s incredible location, lovely rooms and friendly staff are icing on this fantastic cake! I’m definitely writing this one down as a place to stay if I’m ever in Taipei!

  3. June 15, 2016 / 9:53 pm

    This hotel looks really clean and modern. I love the yellow colors – it can look so good in a room if used in the right way. The food looks very delicious and the presentation is outstanding. I especially love Iven’s pledge to make the hotel socially responsible by supporting these charities and communities. It is very commendable!

  4. June 15, 2016 / 10:26 pm

    You’re totally right- finding an affordable spot in Taipei is surprisingly difficult– and this place needs to be on the radar of potential visitors for sure! Sustainable travel is such a big topic right now, yet places like this that are interpreting sustainability in a different way may not get the recognition they well deserve.

    • June 22, 2016 / 4:02 pm

      I agree. It’s so hard to compete with brand name chains at a global scale, especially for small hotels like Horizon Inn. It’s really a shame that they’re not more well known for their efforts!

  5. June 16, 2016 / 8:03 am

    Whoa! This looks so beautiful. We’re heading to Taipei for a couple of nights in September and this looks like the clean and convenient kind of place I’d love to book. The social responsibility factor just makes a great-looking hotel seem exceptional. Plus…look at all that FOOD!

    • June 22, 2016 / 4:03 pm

      Enjoy all the food Taiwan has to offer! 🙂

  6. June 16, 2016 / 3:12 pm

    I would totally stay in hotel that is involved with such deep commitments and giving back to society! I think this is becoming a positive trend worldwide. Hope to see more business doing it like Horizon Inn.

  7. June 17, 2016 / 2:13 am

    This hotel sounds great. I’ve never heard of one that gives back to the community as much as it does. And the food looks incredible too! Thanks for sharing!

  8. June 17, 2016 / 3:18 am

    Wow, this is definitely going on my bookmark list since I’ll be headed to Taiwan in February of next year. I was looking for a place to stay as well so this is just a welcomed find. Its great to see businesses doing their part to support their needy and by your summation, I can see that they genuinely are committed to social welfare projects. This is fantastic!

    • June 22, 2016 / 4:04 pm

      Enjoy Taiwan, Izzy! The best part is that they’re always trying to find more ways to help the needy 🙂

  9. June 17, 2016 / 4:08 am

    I love that you can pin your hometown on the map — that’s a really cool idea and something subtle that makes the hotel stand out.

  10. Captain N
    June 22, 2016 / 3:45 pm

    My wife and I will be in Taiwan this summer. Looks like I’ve found the place to stay in Taipei! Great post!

  11. October 24, 2016 / 5:49 pm

    Hi! your pics really highlight the place it looks so gorgeous and the food delicious! I love that this place is so into helping non-profits and great causes! I would definitely be keener on giving my money to them rather than another hotel! Thanks for the insight!

    • October 24, 2016 / 7:29 pm

      Thanks, Helene! We’ve never given responsible hospitality much thought before but Horizon Inn definitely changed our mind.

  12. October 24, 2016 / 6:52 pm

    I’m really quite impressed, thank you for sharing and would love to stay here. Not only does the rooms look very nice the the buffet looks delightful. I’m so impressed with what this hotel is doing to support local communities for disabled, poor etc. I also really like the pinning of hometown pics to share on a board. What a really neat hotel!

    • October 24, 2016 / 7:31 pm

      I added the owner on Facebook and it’s amazing seeing his constant updates on helping the less fortunate! Truly admirable work he’s done with this place

  13. October 24, 2016 / 9:08 pm

    It looks like a really clean and fresh hotel to stay at for the night. Excellent find!

  14. October 25, 2016 / 2:51 am

    Horizon Inn sounds like a wonderful place to stay in Taipei. It’s great that they even donate to the ones in need. The food looks soooo yummy! I love Taipei – there’s so much to do in the city. I had no idea to ShiLin is not the place to go anymore! I agree that it is commercial the last time I went. I’ll check out TongHua next time.

    • October 31, 2016 / 5:52 pm

      Yay! So glad you enjoyed Taiwan. ShiLin totally sucks haha, check out TongHua or RaoHe next time- you won’t regret it!

  15. October 25, 2016 / 4:18 am

    This sounds like a fantastic place to stay. And wow they are doing so much good for the community. It’s not easy to find businesses who are doing this much good. I have never been to Taiwan, but heard that it is worth visiting. I would definitely be checking out Horizon Inn – the room set up looks great, it’s clean, its modern, the food looks great – it’s perfect for travelers.

    • October 31, 2016 / 5:53 pm

      Iven is quite an inspiration- we have so much respect for him for managing Horizon Inn the way he does! So much good for the society.

  16. October 25, 2016 / 9:24 am

    Wow, I have never heard of a hotel doing so much good for the community. This is amazing. If I ever visit Taipei I will definitely keep this hotel in mind. So impressive!

  17. October 25, 2016 / 9:33 am

    I never knew that hotels could be socially responsible as well. Iven sounds like such a great guy and I would love to meet him one day. Glad to know that there are such people around the world.

    • October 31, 2016 / 5:54 pm

      Yes! He talks the talk and walks to the walk too. You can see a sparkle in his eyes when he explains all the projects he’s doing. Very admirable man!

  18. October 25, 2016 / 1:50 pm

    So many good things can be said about this place! It’s one thing to be an awesome hotel with a great buffet and clean bathrooms, but it’s a whole nother level to care so much for the community and give back like the owner does. Thanks for sharing this place! We’ll keep it in mind when we visit Taiwan.

    • October 31, 2016 / 5:55 pm

      Oh please do! This place deserves more awareness than most hotels 🙂

  19. October 25, 2016 / 9:08 pm

    Wow! Horizon Inn truly goes above and beyond any expectations I had for a hotel review! I was intrigued at first by the title of the post, and was a little confused as to why you linked social responsibility with a hotel, but I can see that Iven truly made an effort to give back to the people of Taipei. I had never considered traveling to Taipei, but I might just have to see this hotel for myself! Thank you for sharing!!

    • October 31, 2016 / 5:56 pm

      The hotel not much at first glance (it’s only on 2 floors in a building) but once you learn the story behind it you’ll really appreciate the work they’re doing 🙂

  20. November 27, 2016 / 4:17 pm

    This sounds like such an amazing place! I love that Iven and his team are paying it forward to so many amazing and worthwhile programs. Thank you for sharing this find, Ivy!

  21. July 27, 2017 / 11:44 am

    Thank u to the staff of horizon inn for there hospitality. It was a nice visit to Taipei. I hope I can visit this place again. Will surely come back to your hotel.
    Best of luck.

    • August 1, 2017 / 4:22 pm

      I’m so glad you liked it! Iven would be thrilled to hear this.

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