Hoshinoya Guguan hot springs resort by Azuma Architect opens in Taiwan

by Jane Kitchen | 22 Jul 2019

Hoshinoya Resorts has opened its seventh property, a luxury 50-room hot spring resort in Guguan, Taiwan.

The abundant natural water that rushes down the Xueshan Mountain range, at 9,800ft, and into the Dajia River is heated by the earth’s core, turning into natural hot springs.

Hoshinoya Guguan features architecture and landscapes crafted to blend with the natural surroundings. The natural spring waters of the valley flow through the property’s outdoor water garden, which has a wooded glen for meditative walks, as well as outdoor baths and a bamboo grove.

Colourful flower-lined waterways weave between the trees, from the restaurant and hot spring bath to the spa, pool, and library, so guests are embraced by the peaceful sounds of trickling water throughout the property.

Every guestroom has a hot spring floor with a private outdoor hot spring bath and guests can enjoy the views of sunsets on their own private outdoor terrace. They can also opt to receive healing treatments at the spa.

Rie Azima, president of Azuma Architect & Associates, which designed the resort, says: “In designing a hot spring resort that resonated with the Hoshinoya style, I first considered the differences between the hot spring cultures of Japan and Taiwan. For example, most Taiwanese hot spring baths are enjoyed while wearing swimwear. However, the baths here at the resort do not allow the use of swimwear, which in Japan is considered restrictive, preventing the bather from getting the most out of their experience.

“Another important element of Japanese hot spring culture is the ability to admire the surrounding scenery while enjoying the natural breeze that cools you off as you soak.

“As a result, each bath hall features an indoor and outdoor bath. The Japanese-style indoor bath is surrounded by aromatic wood and is positioned next to a picture window framing the natural beauty of Guguan. The outdoor bath is more aesthetically Taiwanese, with its avant-garde design, while still harmonising with the contours and colours of the landscape.

"One of the most appealing qualities of Taiwanese architecture is its liveliness,” says Azima, “This is at play in the guest room buildings, where the facade dips in and juts out dynamically, mimicking a cluster of buildings – a common sight in Taiwan's cities. The reception, meanwhile, resembles a contemporary art museum, with open space to transport guests into a new, different world.”

In the evening, a hot spring expert teaches guests about hot springs, showcasing stretches that can be performed while entering the water. After bathing, guests are encouraged to try a Taiwanese tea-tasting.

Guests can also enjoy hiking local nature trails, including the Xueshan Mountain range.

The hotel offers custom-tailored dining experiences featuring dishes made from local Taiwanese ingredients and Japanese cooking techniques.

Elements of Japanese tradition are incorporated in both the cooking techniques and the glassware and tableware in which the food is served.

ABOUT HOSHINOYA

The Hoshinoya brand representing Hoshino Resort’s flagship properties delivers authentic Japanese hospitality, and modern comforts throughout five resorts around the globe.

Founded in 1904 as a forestry business in Karuizawa, it opened its first hot spring resort in 1914.

It rebranded as Hoshino Resorts in 199 and has since expanded across Japan and Asia with 37 properties in and outside Japan.

Properties include Hoshinoya Karuizawa (Nagano), a mountainside resort which opened in 2005; HOSHINOYA Kyoto, which opened in 2009, offers preserved architecture and cultural heritage; Hoshinoya Taketomi Island (Okinawa) which is located in Japan’s tropical island region, and Hoshinoya Bali, an all-villa property located in Ubud Bali.

Hoshino Resorts also opened Hoshinoya Fuji (Yamanashi) as its first luxury glamping resort in 2015, and in 2016 opened Hoshinoya Tokyo in the centre of Japan’s economic hub.

Hoshino Resorts is 104-year old Japan-based international operator of ryokan (Japanese inns), luxury hotels and resorts and boutique properties. It manages four separate hospitality brands that cater to travellers, with a focus on sharing omotenashi Japanese hospitality, local culture and tradition with guests.

Hoshinoya  Taiwan  hot springs  onsen  
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Hoshinoya Resorts has opened its seventh property, a luxury 50-room hot spring resort in Guguan, Taiwan. The abundant natural water that rushes down the Xueshan Mountain range, at 9,800ft, and into the Dajia River is heated by the earth’s core, turning into natural hot springs. Hoshinoya Guguan features architecture and landscapes crafted to blend with the natural surroundings. The natural spring waters of the valley flow through the property’s outdoor
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The natural spring waters of the valley flow through the property’s outdoor water garden / Hoshinoya
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