Silks Place Taroko is the only luxury accommodation you can find nestled in the middle of Taroko Gorge. Inspired by Japanese zen, the minimalist nature of the hotel fills you with a sense of peace and calm. The 3 days that we spent there were truly a much-needed reprieve from the madness of work and the hustle and bustle of city life.
Service standards were impeccable right from the pick up at the Hualien train station where we were each given a bottle of water for the hour-long journey. Upon arrival at the hotel, we were promptly served with a welcome drink.
We opted for a room with a view of the gorge, which we would highly recommend because the garden view isn’t very spectacular. The rooms were spacious, clean and fitted with two queen beds and even a little couch in front of the telly! The bathroom was also ginormous and came with a long bath, rain shower and even bath salts for your soaking pleasure!
The buffet dinner at the Wellesley restaurant offers a good selection of international cuisine, with a healthy range of appetisers and a spectacular selection of desserts. After a few days of very sinful eating in Hualien, I really appreciated the salad bar that had a healthy selection of romaines, beets and alfafa sprouts. The mains, which ranged from staples like fried rice and noodle soups to roasted meats and baked fish, were also above average. There were also options aplenty for delectable desserts!
The daily breakfast is also served at the Wellesley and consists of an extensive spread of fruits, juices, baked potatoes, bread and noodles. It was so filling we didn’t even need lunch!
A regret we had was not trying out the Chinese restaurant, Mei Yuan, which my friend raved about. It offers an amazing 7 course dinner for the same price of the buffet.
Do also note that there aren’t many food options available in the area apart from the hotel food. There are some eateries outside the hotel but meals there cost as much as the hotel’s and don’t look half as good.
What sets Silks Place Taroko apart from other hotels in the region is definitely its extensive facilities. My favourite part of the hotel was its rooftop, where you can find the outdoor pool, and heated jacuzzi pools and hot tubs with varying temperatures for you to choose from. OH MY GOD. Surrounded by the lush, verdant greenery of the gorge, with swallows flitting across the landscape and the occasional cool breeze, it was truly heaven on earth. There are also daybeds and chaise lounge chairs to while the afternoon away with a book, which the both of us enjoyed very much.
In addition, there is also a large indoor swimming pool with play pools for the kiddos!
If you enjoy having more privacy, you could also opt for a room with a private sauna and hot-tubs, where you can spend hours lounging around with family members and loved ones!Silks Place Taroko Gorge is also extremely family-friendly because it boasts of a huge playroom with Xbox Kinect consoles, soft playgrounds, and even a table tennis section! Interactive and DIY craft activities such as windmill painting are organised for the little ones daily, but some might require a fee.
To celebrate our anniversary, the husband treated me to a spa session at the Wellspring Spa. We were ushered into a huge room that had its own shower, toilet, hot tub and day bed. Even though the entire treatment time was 105 minutes, the first 40 minutes were for us to take a shower and spend time soaking in the hot tub with arresting views of the gorge stretched out before us. That was then followed by an exfoliating foot scrub, before we enjoyed a solid hour of having our tense muscles and sore spots kneaded away with a deep tissue massage. Ultimate bliss, we say. At 3800 TWD (USD 120) for the 105-minute session, it isn’t exactly a cheap deal, but definitely well worth the money.
It is pretty impossible to run out of things to do at Silks Place Taroko Gorge because the hotel organises a whole host of activities to occupy you throughout the day! To work up a sweat in the morning, you can either choose between a hike around Tianxiang (the area surrounding the hotel) or to shake it off at aboriginal aerobic dance class. If you want to spend the afternoon lazing by the pool but don’t know what to do with the kids, you can be rest assured that they will be entertained with a dessert-making class, or try their hand at rainbow looms or balloon modelling.
In the evening, the hotel arranges for an Aboriginal Music Concert at the Fire Place, an open space by the pool side where you can sit back, relax and enjoy the plaintive songs of the aboriginal tribes. At the mini concert we attended, the songs were of harsh winds and rains that conjured up images of lost first loves, of Italian inspirations, and of little streams winding through mountains that represented parental love and nostalgic childhoods. It was really quite beautiful.
And my FAVOURITE PART – the outdoor movie screening that happens every single night at 10pm! Select your comfort of choice – beanbag, chaise lounge, or daybed – and enjoy the latest movies screened under the starry skies. Movie watching really doesn’t get better than this.
While the rates at Silks Place Taroko are definitely steeper than what you might get around Hualien, its location, service and facilities definitely set it apart from other accommodation options. We left the hotel very happy and are confident that you will too!
Rates start from TWD 10,338 (USD 330) for a Gorge View Room with breakfast and dinner included for 2.