Thursday, December 31, 2015

Trip To Taiwan 台湾: Yilan 宜兰 - Jiaoxi Quan Jia Hot Spring Hotel 礁溪泉嘉温泉会馆

Photo By: Elin Chow
Official Website: Jiaoxi Quan Jia Hot Spring Hotel 礁溪泉嘉温泉会馆
Address: Lane 34, Xinyi Rd, Jiaoxi Township, Yilan Country 宜兰县礁溪乡信义路34巷

Leaving Luodong Night Market 羅东观光夜市, we headed to Jiaoxi Town 礁溪乡 and checked in Jiaoxi Quan Jia Hot Spring Hotel 礁溪泉嘉温泉会馆 for the night.

Jiaoxi Quan Jia Hot Spring Hotel 礁溪泉嘉温泉会馆

Located in the northern part of Yilan Country 宜兰县, Jiaoxi is a small and quaint town famed for its abundance of hot springs. The small town is lined with hot spring hotels, bathhouses and restaurants, making it a popular hot spring destination in northern Taiwan.

When visiting Jiaoxi Town, visitors can choose to bathe at one or more than a dozen small, public bath houses scattered around the town. Besides the public bath houses, most of the hotels in the town also have their own hot spring baths for hotel guests. Some of these hotels actually allow non-staying guests to use their hot springs for a fee, while others do not.

Due to its proximity to Taipei 台北, the town can be extremely crowded on the weekends. I would suggest anyone to visit on a weekday if you wish to avoid the crowds.

Room Types and Rates

To suit different needs, the hotel offers a variety of cozy guesthouses, each decorated in different themes and colors. Each of the room has two floors, with the upper floor containing the bedroom and the lower floor containing a small living room, dry kitchenette and the bathroom.

Since the hotel does not offer a 6-person room, Mr Tsai has booked a 2-person and a 4-person room for us. We paid TWD 3980 for our 2-person room and TWD 4980 for our 4-person room on a weekend. This is the most expensive hotel we had stayed in Taiwan.

The hotel does not publish their room rates on its website, so I am not sure whether the price we paid will apply to other rooms as well. You can call or email the hotel directly for reservation or enquiries on the room rates.

The hotel is located in a good location, within walking distance to a few local eateries and a convenience store 7-Eleven.

We arrived at a spacious reception area with a comfortable sitting area with plenty of seating for relaxing. The area is well-lit by crystal chandeliers, creating a warm and homey atmosphere.

After collecting our keys from the owner at the reception area, we proceeded straight to our room.

4-Person room

Our 2-person and 4-person room are located on the 12th floor of the building.

Upon stepping in, we were immediately greeted by a lovely pink double storey room featuring a small living room, a kitchenette and a bathroom on the lower floor and a bedroom on the upper floor.

The living room is well-equipped with a flat screen satellite TV, a 2-seater sofa set, a small coffee table and a lovely pink wardrobe. Located beside the kitchenette, you will find a queen sized bed adorned with drapes. This is a room that most girls will instantly fall in love with. 

The room was clean but small, with very little space for us to walk after putting our luggage. 

TV selection is good, with plenty of channel to browse through. In addition to that, free unlimited WiFi access is also available throughout the property to keep us connected at all times. We were pleased that the free Wifi is easy to connect to and worked extremely well for us.

The kitchenette is equipped with sink, a sufficient quantity of cups and a mini fridge.

Complimentary bottled mineral water and basic coffee and tea making facilities are also provided in the room. 

The bathroom is equipped with a large stone tiled tub which can accommodate two people and the tub and shower combination features rainfall shower head and spring water bath.

During your stay, you can turn on the tap and enjoy a good hot spring bath in the comfort and privacy of your own room. It feels great to soak in the hot water after a long and tiring day. It helps to improve blood circulation and relieve the fatigue of travelling. The waters are also said to be "water of beauty" that will leave your skin feeling smooth and silky.

Unlike many other hot springs which usually have a strong smell of sulphur, the hot spring water in Jiaoxi is crystal clear and odorless and it maintains a temperature of  about 58 Degree Celsius. The water is said to be extremely rich in sodium, magnesium, calcium, potassium and carbonic acid ions.

The water may feel a little too hot for those not used to it. But do not worry as the temperature of the water is adjustable depending how much cold water you allowed to mix with the hot water.

Basic toiletries such as body wash and shampoo are provided in the bathroom.

Apart from that, the hotel also provides disposable toothbrush and toothpaste for each guest. Each of these are packed in individual sachets for single use.

The entire room is decorated in Hello Kitty theme, with walls painted in pink and covered in Hello Kitty stickers. I believe these sweet wall stickers are sure to please any Hello Kitty fans of any age!

On the upper floor, you will find a queen sized bed. The beds were very cozy and comfortable with no unpleasant smell. We enjoyed a great night sleep and woke up feeling refreshed the next morning.

2-Person Room

Modern and tastefully decorated, our 2-person room features a kitchenette, a living room and a bathroom on the lower floor and a bedroom on the upper floor. 

Fitted with wooden parquet and furnishing, our 2-person room was spacious with plenty of space for is to place our luggage without tripping over them. The living room is equipped with a 2-seater sofa, a flat screen satellite TV and a coffee table.  

Unlike the 4-person room, the kitchenette also comes with a small dining table and four comfortable chairs. 

Beside the sofa, there is a large glass window dividing the bathroom and living room that left the shower in full view.

The transparent bathroom is another exciting feature of the hotel, which allows one to watch their partner in shower. However, if you are staying with friends or prefer more privacy while in your shower, a roller blind can be lowered by manually operating the roller shaft.

The upper floor was small, with just enough space for a queen-sized bed and built in wardrobe.

The large built wardrobe provides ample of storage space for our clothes and bags. 

Other than the en-suite hot spring bath, the hotel also features communal baths that can provide you with a relaxing Japanese bath experience. The communal baths are gender-separated, with different baths for men and women.

However, when using the baths, there are certain bathing etiquette that has to be followed. One must remember to strip and wash themselves clean with soap and water first before getting into the tub. Please note that no soap is to be used in the bath to ensure that the hot spring water will stay as clean as possible and entering the water with traces of soap on your body is unacceptable.

No swimwear or towels are allowed in the bath. You are expected to sit completely naked. However, you can bring a small towel with you into the bathing area which can be used to wash your body and cover your private parts when you are outside the water. But do not soak your towel in the water. This is to keep the water clean from dirt.

Please note that the bath is not a place for swimming. Do not splash or jump into the water. The bath is a place to relax and revitalize your body and mind.

However, the nudity policy does not apply to mixed gender communal baths. If you are not comfortable of going naked in front of strangers, I would suggest you to enjoy the hot spring water in the privacy of your own room since the hotel does not have a mixed gender bath.

In addition to that, there was also a small gym with a few basic equipments such as treadmill, elliptical trainer and weight machines.

On the top floor of the building, you will find a rooftop observation deck with plenty of bench seating. The open air observation deck offering a panoramic view over the old town. This would be a nice place to sit, relax and enjoy the expansive view while sipping on a cup of coffee.

However, the view was nothing impressive. 

A complimentary buffet breakfast is served at the hotel restaurant located on the ground floor every morning. While the selection was not large, the food served were tasty. We had a very filling breakfast to start the day.

Overall, I must say that our experience at Jiaoxi Quan Jia Hot Spring Hotel was pleasant, but not awesome. The rooms were very clean and comfortable. However at TWD 3980 per night, we felt that the hotel was slightly overpriced.

We actually arrived too late to enjoy any of the hot spring facilitates at the hotel. For those who are planning to stay at this hotel, please try to arrive as early as possible so that you can enjoy the hot spring baths.

If you are interested to know more about our trip, you may want to check out our 11D10N round island tour itinerary for the list of attractions that we had visited during our 11 days in Taiwan. Be sure to follow me on Facebook or Twitter  for the latest updates on my 11 days adventures in Taiwan! You might also want to check My Wanderlust page for some of my other travel adventures.

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