I know some travelers don’t really care what their accommodations are since they feel like they’re going to be exploring the area, not staying in their hotel room, and I’m happy to do that when I’m on a budget, but when I can, it’s great to stay at a place which is a destination in and of itself. Since I was traveling with a group, we were able to split the cost of a beautiful Executive Suite in the already enchanting Alishan House hotel. The regular rooms look nice already with gorgeous views and really nice decor and furnishings, but our Japanese style suite was AMAZING.
The hotel is split into two parts, the Modern House and the Historical House. Apparently it is one of the oldest hotels in Alishan, if not the oldest, hence the Historical House, and our suite was in the Modern House side.
Before I get into the details of the totally sweet Japanese style suite, let’s start with the hotel itself. The above image is of the walkway to the rooms past the main restaurant in the hotel with the manmade waterfall view outside. Below is the lobby area.
The main restaurant serves a really tasty family style dinner, and we were glad to enjoy it after a long day of traveling to and up the mountain.
In the morning, the same restaurant serves a breakfast buffet, which was included with our hotel stay. I always love staying at the Marriott Suites because of their free breakfasts, but Alishan’s free buffet breakfast is on a whole other level. There was an awesome mix of Asian and Western foods, with coffee bar, dim sum, yam porridge and pickled fare, toast and bread section, and the list goes on.
For some reason, mountain top mantao always tastes extra delicious, so I was thrilled to see them available and stuffed my face with them.
When we arrived at the hotel, our tour actually included some short walks and hikes on some trails near the hotel, but we were so exhausted from not just the trip there, but also from all the walking we’d been doing all around Taiwan, that we just couldn’t stomach more walking that night without a good rest. I remember my feet in particular feeling pretty raw, even though I had on my best hiking boots. Taiwan Tour Bus is really flexible, so our guide was cool with us chilling out at the hotel instead of running out to catch a last walk before the sun went down. This was perfect because we had more time to enjoy our fabulous room and a the hotel grounds as well.
We decided to go up to the rooftop and check out the view from there. It was pretty awesome up there.
Anyone with young children would probably appreciate the kids room that was available. The workout room was kind of small and sad, but I’m sure most people are happy to have some cardio machines to hop on. I’m just always sad when there’s no punching bag. They did have free towels and bottles of water, though, which is a nice touch.
When night fell, the place didn’t stop being beautiful.
Exploring the Historical House side of the complex, it definitely looked haunted, but I’m a bit of a history nut, so I enjoyed the feel of the old dance hall and the old lobby from when the hotel was first built by the Japanese in the 1930s. At the same time, this was World War II Japan, so the shadow of that dark period was definitely on my mind–Taiwan was a major launching ground for the Imperial Army as they embarked on their conquest of Asia. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was where top Japanese military officers from that time period would go for some R&R.
Now for the Executive Suite which was the highlight of our time at the hotel (second probably being the free breakfast buffet). Even the key to the room was a work of art.
First of all, the bed in the suite was already quite nice, and in the cold winter mountain air, the generous coffee and tea station and little electric fireplace heater provided a real touch of comfort.
The bathroom and showers were perfect. Since a group of us were sharing this suite, the toilet stalls were much appreciated, and the shower and bath were in their own separate mini-rooms, too. The shower and bathtub were also surrounded by windows, and it felt like you were taking a hot shower or bath out in the forest itself.
The best part, though, was the living room which also doubled as a futon bedroom, which is how all of us fit into this suite. As you can see, there were more than enough stunning views for everyone to enjoy in the spacious, wood-floored room.
We decided to unwind with a little in-suite tea time, making use of the complimentary drinks, fruit basket, porcelain cups, and some of our own snacks from outside, such as the little train box full of cookies we picked up on our ride down the high speed rail (the train cookies are really good). We sat back, sipped some high quality delicious coffee and tea with our snacks, played some Chinese classical music off of the hotel entertainment system, and enjoyed the view of Endor outside our windows.
In the future, I would love to come here and just spend at least a week in this suite.
Next up, Alishan Zhou Cultural Center.