You may be well familiar with the buzzing food and nightlife scene of Taipei, home to some of the best street markets and food stalls in the world. The capital of Taiwan saw some 12 million tourists this year, all looking for a bit of that Taipei buzz. Beyond the hubbub of the city centre and its many attractions, however, is Beitou, just a a 30-minute train ride away. Beitou, Taipei’s hot spring district, is where most locals come to escape the hordes of tourists and rejuvenate themselves from the stress of daily life.
The first hot spring business in Beitou was founded by a German in the late 1800s, but the Japanese developed in the area in 1911 during its rule. Now, it is flourishing with geothermal heat-fuelled thermal baths made to soothe the senses of those who visit. Here, some of the best hot spring resorts in Beitou to visit and kick-start 2020 to a soothing start.
How to get to Beitou
To get to central Beitou, just take the Tamsui-Xinyi Line to Beitou Station and transfer to the Xinbeitou Line, which will take you to Xinbeitou Station in Beitou’s hot-spring resort area.
Villa 32 is perfect for those looking for an exclusive retreat. The luxury hot spring hotel is home to only five private residences, two Japanese tatami suites and three deluxe European styled rooms, each fitted with its own hot spring bath. For a more communal affair, there are also gender-segregated, communal bathhouses with hot spring water. Guests are entitled to butler service and complimentary breakfast served with elegant tableware from Hermès as well. Do note that guests here have to be 16 years or above.
Housing 66 rooms across five floors, the chic Grand View Resort Beitou Hotel is set on a forested hillside just 12 km away from Taipei Expo Park. Each of its elegant rooms is equipped with facilities for the modern traveller, and upgraded residences house private spring water pools as well. Floor-to-ceiling windows lead to a balcony, which overlooks the natural verdant landscape of the area. Guests can enjoy two public hot springs within the hotel, which includes an indoor and outdoor option.
Housed in a contemporary facade, Asia Pacific Hotel Beitou is a short 14-minute stroll away from Beitou Hot Spring Museum, and a mere six kilometres from Beitou railway station. The property houses 140 chic rooms, fitted with Japanese-inspired furnishings. Rooms come with either tatami floors and futons for the full Japanese experience, or modern beds for sybarites who prefer Western decor. Upgraded rooms include private hot spring baths as well. Guests seeking a bit of scenery can visit one of the three outdoor hot spring rooms on Floor G, complete with beautiful views of Dan-Feng Mountain.
For a laidback stay, spend the night at the Gaia Hotel, a 48-room boutique hotel in Beitou. The hot spring facility here is gender-segregated, complete with personal lockers, dressing rooms, a sauna, as well as indoor and outdoor hot springs. After your restorative aquatic experience, head back to your stylish room, fitted with cosy furnishings to round up your experience. Similar to hotels on this list, upgraded suites include hot tubs. Travellers here usually end up at one of three restaurants in the establishment, serving up a range of Chinese, Japanese and fusion fare. For a bit of wine tasting and a tipple or two, head to the in-house wine cellar complete with 3800 top-class wines.
Hotel Royal Beitou, a relaxed boutique hotel set on a tree-lined street, is located within a five-minute walk from Beitou Hot Spring Museum. Each of its 50 guest rooms boasts spring water baths, coupled with balconies or patios. Upon arrival, be welcomed by platters of fruits and homebaked desserts in your modern residence, furnished with elements of wood and nature. An in-house spa is available to guests as well, featuring hot spring pools and a gym.