Friday, November 3, 2017

A Luxury Resort Hotel within Taroko Gorge National Park, Taiwan

Silks Place, Tianxiang, Taroko Gorge National Park, Taiwan

Taroko Gorge is an amazing natural wonder and why would you not want to stay there, at least for a night? At the junction of two rivers in Tianxiang, 18 km from the Taroko Gorge National Park entrance is the Silks Place resort hotel, a historically significant hotel built supposedly at the insistence of Chiang Kai-sheks son, Chiang Ching-kuo.

There are many options to get there, car, taxi, the hotel’s shuttle from Hualien, Taiwan Tourist shuttle bus, or what I did, the local bus from Xincheng, the closest train station to Taroko Gorge National Park. After an exciting and not too long of a ride on the narrow Taroko Gorge road, we arrived at Tianxiang right in front of the Silks Place hotel.

I arrived too early to check-in, so reception took my bag and said they would email me when the room was ready (amazingly, I had a strong 4G in Tianxiang).  It would have been nice to wait in a lounge and have a drink, but I did not find one, so I got my Taiwan beer at the stall across the parking lot. With time to kill, I decided to climb to the Tianfeng pagoda and when finished there I found a park and some other trails (uphill) behind Tianxiang. When I was totally exhausted from climbing and hiking, I got an email saying my room was ready.

What would a resort hotel be without a great pool? Silks Place has one. It’s a large outdoor rooftop infinity pool or check out the indoor pool which is more kid-friendly. Near the outdoor pool are several hot tubs for soaking. A rooftop tennis court is also available.

Daily activities

Locations of the different facilities

Need some pampering, then leave the kids at the Kid’s Club and head to the spa. Afterwards, in the evening watch an aboriginal performance and a movie.

I reserved the Garden View King room. It was a good size with a nice view of the river. Like most Taiwan hotels there are different room sizes. When you book just specify what you want.

There were some snack biscuits and the mini-fridge had a couple of free items in it including a facial mask. Nice little details. The room is somewhat dated but still shows nice.  I had wished the bathroom would have contained some marble from the area but instead had a pinkish color tile.

Facial mask

Since there is not an abundance of good restaurants in Tianxiang, I highly recommend you book the hotel’s available dinner plans. I purchased the “Western” dinner package which was a very abundant buffet consisting of many stations which I thought was reasonable for NT$880 including service fee. There is a Chinese dinner available which looks to be off a menu.  

Chinese restaurant

"Western" dinner buffet

Dinner fruit station

Beautiful desserts

Breakfast was also a buffet with many stations. If the weather is nice and you are one of the first ones to arrive, you will be asked if you want to sit on the terrace. DO IT! What a treat.

Breakfast outside on the terrace

Breakfast bread station

More bread and pastries

The abundance and freshness are even more remarkable given the location where the hotel is and how food needs to be transported to it.

Not sure the purpose of scales, maybe just decoration

Overall, I really enjoyed my stay at this hotel within Taiwan’s natural wonder.

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