Hoshinoya Guguan — Taichung City, Taiwan
Hoshino Resorts is on a roll. With six properties in the pipeline to open next year alone, the Japanese hospitality brand has kicked things off with the launch of Hoshinoya Guguan, a luxury hot spring resort in Taiwan.
Embraced by the curve of the Dajia River, against a dramatic tableau of soaring emerald peaks and deep river-cut valleys just outside of Taichung City, the property is the work of Rie Azuma. Here, the Tokyo-based architect took her cues from the jumble of Taiwan’s urban architecture, gently inserting a series of handsome clean-cut timber and glass-fronted buildings into a sprawling landscaped garden, laced with flower-lined waterways and lush forest trees. ’One of the most appealing qualities of Taiwanese architecture is its liveliness, which is at play in the guest room building,’ says Azuma.
Each with their own private open-air onsens, the rooms are a little slice of Japan, with floor-to-ceiling windows that frame mountainous views and shed an abundance of natural light onto lofty spaces filled out in a clean and understated palette of low-slung furnishings, timbers and tatami-flooring in muted tones.
Diversions are, of course, dominated by the region’s natural hot spring waters, but it’s also worth a linger in the spa, which offers a range of healing treatments in a soothing space lined with shoji paper.
The cuisine is predictably Japanese oriented, but touched with Taiwanese flavours and based on produce from local suppliers. Served as a multi-course kaiseki meal, headliners include steamed Japanese eel and tofu or the wagyu kombu shabu-shabu- best enjoyed with a glass of warming sake.§