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COMPASS MAGAZINE, February 2007

Hot springs dining

---By Niang Chen, Douglas Habecker and Uvia Chang
Translated by Sho Huang and Ann Lee

KUKUAN HOT SPRING AND RESORT

115, DongGuan Road, Sec. 1, BoAi Village, HoPing Siang (township), Taichung County
(04) 2595-0099
Hours: restaurant 7 am-10 pm (hot springs open 24 hours/day; outdoor pool 10 am-10 pm)
10% service charge. Credit cards accepted for accomodations with 10% fee, but not for restaurant. Parking available.

The Kukuan Hot Spring and Resort boasts its own unique style by creating a "hot springs kingdom" where the serene architecture and color theme provide an Oriental zen-like atmosphere. Ten different luxurious themed rooms (going from NT$5,200) are specifically designed to exude a warm, grandiose vibe. Breakfast is included. Cabins with lovely landscaping (starting from NT$1,200) are also available. About five outdoor public (NT$300) and semi-outdoor pools offer different temperatures to one's personal liking, providing a lovely hot springs experience complete with the natural sounds of chirping insects and birds in the background. The resort restaurant cooks up Cantonese snacks such as Assorted Dim Sum (NT$90), Crispy Squid Dumplings (NT$70) and Traditional Taiwanese Black Sugar Cake. If there are many guests, steaming hot pots such as Chinese Herbs and Ginseng Hot Pot (NT$780 large, NT$350 small) are also prepared to quench your hunger after working up the appetite in the hot springs.

LI CHIH SHAN SHUEI HOT SPRING AND RESORT

(04) 2595-1212
31, FenXiao Lane, DongGuan Road, Sec. 1, BoAi Village, HePing Siang (township), Taichung County
Hours: restaurant 11:30 am-
2 pm, 5:30-8 pm?
hot springs 24 hours/day?public pool 8 am-11 pm
Credit cards accepted. Parking available.
10% service fee charged on holidays and Chinese New Year.

Li Chih Shan Shuei Hot Spring and Resort, featuring European-style architecture, is located in the Gu Guan hot springs area. Being located at an altitude of 800 meters allows guests to enjoy fresh air and great views. Standing under a hundred-year-old tree, looking down at the DaJia River, one gets to appreciate the glittering lights in the dark with a sense of serenity. The place takes up 1,800 pings and is equipped with 41 high-end rooms, starting from NT$4,800, which includes a tasty breakfast. Each room offers excellent views with a jacuzzi to provide total relaxation in your privacy. Ten cabins facing the mountains and creek (from NT$1,200) also make admiring the sky and stars possible while sitting in a hot springs pool. The public pool (NT$250/person) is equipped with various water-massage facilities and wooden floor. The restaurant also thoughtfully prepares all sorts of set meals (starting from NT$300), such as the famous local trout or beef stew. Mushrooms with Thousand Island Dressing, Vanilla Cream Vegetable Soup, and WuYe Pine Leaf Juice (WuYe pine leaves are said to be very nutritious and contain abundant minerals) come with all dishes. Enjoying the delicious cuisine here is certain to stimulate both the body and mind after soaking in the hot springs.

FRESHFIELDS RESORT & CONFERENCE

298, ChengGong W. Road,
WuEr Siang (township),
Taichung County
(04) 2382-9888
Hours: 11:30 am-2 pm lunch/??, 5:30-9:30 pm
(Seasons opens 6 pm)
Credit cards accepted.
10% service charge.
Free parking.

It's hard to beat Freshfields Resort when it comes to experiencing a high-end dining and hot springs combination. This five-star retreat, located atop Dadu Mountain, overlooks the Greater Taichung area, providing panoramic views that stretch from Changhua to Fengyuan on a clear day. For lunch and dinner from Monday through through Thursday, plus Friday lunch, the resort's Seasons and Asian Fusion restaurants are offering great all-in-one deals for only NT$688. This price includes not only a set lunch or dinner, but full use of the sauna, spa and outdoor hot springs pool. Whether you eat or soak first is up to you. At Seasons, the Western set meal includes Pastry with Marinated Shrimp and Mushroom appetizer, Cream of Vegetable Soup, Pan Fried Red Mullet with Grapefruit Butter main course, fresh fruit and coffee or tea. Asian Fusion provides a Japanese set with dishes like sashimi, miso and salmon and other items. A similar NT$888 offer with other dishes like Swordfish Ragout and a New Zealand Rib Eye steak, and a Western buffet at Seasons is available on weekends. These specials continue to the end of April, so don't delay too long.

 

Shia Fei Japanese-Style Hot Spring Restaurant & Hotel

47-66, HengKeng Lane, DongShan Road, Sec. 2, Taichung City; (04) 2439-2438
Hours:
Hours for outdoor clothed & nude pools: 7:30am-12 am,
24-hour private pools & accommodations
10% service charge for hotel & restaurant. Credit cards accepted. Parking available.

Located within the Dakeng Scenic Area, the Shia Fei Japanese-Style Hot Spring Restaurant & Hotel is about a 20-minutes drive from the city. This hot springs location operates with a "he-feng" style where you are greeted by staff wearing kimonos as you enter. There are four styles of accommodations available here: He-feng-style cabins, European-style theme rooms, standard rooms, and hot springs suites. Prices start from NT$4,800 and include breakfast and dinner, as well as unlimited use of the outdoor public pool and private nude pool. If you are not planning on staying overnight, Shia Fei also offers an outdoor cold/hot pool for the public. The Shia Fei Japanese-Style Destiny Sukiyaki Restaurant is due to open on Feb. 14, providing sukiyaki (Japanese-style BBQ beef dish), shabu-shabu (Japanese-style hot pot) and spicy miso soup pot. This all-you-can-order style restaurant (available certain hours only) will cost NT$480 per person and NT$390 for kids--a very reasonable meal deal.

 

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