HOSHINOYA Guguan Resort Has Relaxing Hot Springs That Will Rejuvenate Your Spirit

So dedicated is Hoshino Resorts to the concept of encouraging its guests to look up from their screens and savour the present, that you’ll be hard-pressed to find a single television set on the grounds of HOSHINOYA Guguan. Tucked away in a picturesque valley just an hour-and-a-half’s drive away from the city of Taichung in Taiwan, the resort – which opened six months ago – is not the sort of place where you plug away at work.

Instead, you unplug and switch off that laptop. You cast your eyes over the curves and edges of Guguan valley, carved out by the Dajia River, and up to the dramatic mountains that frame the plateau. The minute you enter the bamboo forest that flanks HOSHINOYA Guguan’s entrance, the air is fresh and pure, the breezes light and crisp, and you hear little else but birdsong and the sound of flowing water. This is a retreat to treasure, and to feel treasured in.

Hoshino Resorts’ pitch-perfect level of Japanese hospitality whittles coddling down to a beautifully measured and impressively refined form: so attentive are the staff at HOSHINOYA Guguan, for instance, that they take note of whether you’re right- or left-handed. There’s only one restaurant on site, but breakfasts and kaiseki courses are superbly cooked and meticulously prepared from the best Japanese and Taiwanese ingredients – so much so that you’ll look forward to returning for your next meal, every single time.

Even the resort’s activities are thoughtfully constructed, be they a tea-tasting session with an onsen master who’ll take you through the nuances of bathing Japanese-style, or savouring a pile of shaved ice sprinkled with powdered pine needles. For outdoorsy types seeking adventure beyond sitting in a gazebo beside the water garden’s flower-lined canals or admiring Rie Azuma’s clean, contemporary architecture that runs through the resort, they can trek the 1,500-metre Shaolai Trail behind the hotel.

But straying outside HOSHINOYA Guguan would overlook its greatest attraction: its low-alkaline, naturally carbonated waters and its marvellous onsens. “There is no hot spring establishment in Japan of comparable capacity that has access to such a large volume of hot spring water,” notes Yoshiharu Hoshino, CEO of Hoshino Resorts – which explains why the baths here seem almost decadent. Not only are there communal Japanese-style bath halls lined with cypress wood and sculpted outdoor baths that surround you with both water and nature, but all 50 guest rooms have a semi-open air onsen of their own.

The majority of rooms (prices start from NTD18,000 or about RM2,464 per night) are arranged in a maisonette style, with the living room and bedroom occupying one level and the bathing area on another. Regardless of whether you’re in the Yue maisonette suite with a premier outdoor bath or the Sen VIP maisonette with its own private terrace, you’re never far from nature. The floor-to-ceiling windows ensure you catch the best of the morning mists gliding over the mountains and the arrival of evening as the resort’s lamps begin to twinkle against the falling darkness, all from the comfort of your futon.


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