Friday, August 30, 2019

The Life Hostel and Bar Lounge, Fukuoka review

Picking a place to stay in Fukuoka was surprisingly harder than I thought. I was initially torn between staying in Hakata, Nakasu or Tenjin area as all three were busy areas with easy access to the subway stations. There were also many nice hostels in Fukuoka and even a hostel with cats! But ultimately, I had to remind myself of the whole point of the accommodation and after much debate with my mother, settled for the Life Hostel and Bar Lounge, in the heart of Hakata.

After a day of driving through Saga and Itoshima, I was exhausted and eager to get to the hostel. I also needed to return my car by the stipulated time so I decided to park the car nearby, dump my grandmother and father at the hostel first with our luggage, get our rooms and drive to the car rental place which was just up the road and a ten minutes walk away.

I will admit, it was the cafe and lobby area that first drew my attention to this hostel, located 10 minutes away from the main Hakata station by foot. The entire space on the first floor just screamed aesthetics and instagrammable. I also loved the cafe/bar space with its wide-windows for people watching and its interesting menu unique to Fukuoka. Mentaiko toast anyone?

It was located along a busy road that had the construction of a new station in front of it (making it more accessible in the future), Kawabata shopping arcade and Kushida Shrine across the road, Hakata Canal City just right behind and Nakasu a 15 minutes walk away. Phew, that's a lot of places. In other words, it was pretty centralised with a bit of walking involved.

Oh, there was also a 24 hours MaxValue (aka Aeon supermarket) across the road for last minute shopping and grocery shopping. Not to mention, a Family Mart right next door to the hostel so close that I went there two nights in a row in my pyjamas for food.

Location aside, The Life Hostel and Bar Lounge consist of two floors and offered dormitories and private rooms. We opted for the private queen rooms which were on the second floor. The second floor also had its own lounge and pantry area that was made for a great chill out place to wait for the washing machine and dryer to finish the laundry. The pantry has a hot water dispenser, a fridge and some cooking utensils for some basic cooking.

I found the private room to be on the smaller side but it being Japan, it was to be expected. The room had a powerful aircon and a mounted television. Power outlets were strategically placed in the bedhead. We also didn't need to worry about towels as the room offered hotel-like amenities from towels to shampoo to oral kits. Also should we required earplugs or detergent, we could easily get them from the reception.

Our booking also included complimentary breakfast of toast, jam, butter and cereals as well as coffee and tea from 830am to 11am at the cafe. Any time outside of that, they have a Breakfast Club style menu of western and asian dishes and a wide myriad of drinks. I opted for mentaiko toast and coffee on one of the afternoons there and enjoyed it every much seeing as mentaiko was a local specialty.

The great thing about Hakata is its proximity to the airport - a quick 15 minutes drive by taxi. On the morning of our flight, we checked out at 5am just by dropping our keys at the reception area and flagging a cab down just right outside. Quick and seamless.

My private room with a double bed was a hefty JPY11,862 (RM439) per night with breakfast but given its prime location, the cost was bearable when shared. My bookings were made via

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