Monday, 22 September 2014

Taiwan Sep 2014: Urai Volando Hot Spring Resort

Having visited numerous hot springs in Japan and one in Beitou Taiwan, I wasn't at all impressed with Taiwanese hot springs so wasn't keen on going to a hot spring again. But Chris managed to entice me with this Relais Chateau establishment. 

Chris had arranged for a complimentary shuttle to pick us up from Xindian station (about 40 min from Taipei Main Station). The shuttle took about another half an hour to reach the resort.

Although a little jaded on the outside, the interior is well-maintained and it won our hearts with the impeccable service. Upon arrival, there was a welcome dance performance at the lobby. The resort has a series of zen-like performances referred to as rituals.

We were given a corner room with excellent view of the emerald green river beside the resort. I love the bathtub which dispenses hot spring water and the romantic bed!

We had the complimentary tea before going to the public bath. Although the bath was not really spectacular like some of the Japanese ones we have visited, the foot massage we did after dinner was very good! I do foot massage every month in Singapore and I must say the masseuse at this resort is very skilful! I was completely relaxed and slept very well that night.

For dinner (included in room rate), we selected the French meal at Abu Restaurant and enjoyed every single dish tremendously! Relais Chateau chain hotels really impress when it comes to service and cuisine. The piece de resistance came in the form of a trolley decorated with roses and a freshly-baked soufflé because the very next day is my birthday!

Abalone salad

Truffle egg

Lobster and crab bisque

Grilled fish


Grilled prawns

Oolong tea to finish off the french meal =)
When we returned to the room, we were greeted with more pleasant surprises. They have not only turned down our bed but have added a special touch, for my birthday!

The next morning, the emerald green river turned into a dirty brown river because it rained in another region and the churning of the soil caused the water to stir. This reminded me that we need to enjoy nature while it lasts because in just a matter of one day, a lovely emerald green river can look so different.
The day we arrived

The day after
It should be nice in Autumn
I selected the Taiwanese while Chris had the western breakfast the next day. I was very impressed that my breakfast came with Din Tai Fung Xiao Long Bao! Not just any xiao long bao, but DIN TAI FUNG! That's what it says on the menu.

Steamed cod

Taiwanese sweet potato porridge

Din Tai Fung Xiao Long Bao

Fried Carrot Cake 
We enjoyed our stay at this resort because of the personalised service and liked that the room rate included tea, dinner, supper (we were too full for the complimentary congee supper) and breakfast. There is a walking trail in the region so there is something to do. We also saw a huge group of cyclists on our way to Xindian Station.

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