Okay, so my father and I decided to do a swing of Hualien County to check out all of the natural springs places, and after getting off at the RuiSui rail station, we rode around in a taxi to take in the villages of Hongye and the next village to check out the places to stay at with the natural spring baths. We actually stopped at this hotel first and then went past to the next village (even smaller than Hongye) to look at another, but after comparing the baths and the prices, we settled in on Jui Sui Hot Sping Hotel.
We were not disappointed. This place has large pools from the natural springs that come in from the mountain. The natural spring water has a very high iron content, which makes the water a brownish color (will temporarily stain whites!), but the water was very nice.
We picked a basic Japanese-style room, which means a small room with straw mats for bedding. It included a small closet, and was pretty basic, but we really didn't need very much, as we were only staying for one night.
So the not so positive items first: you will need to bring your own towels, and you should plan to buy your lunches and dinners in advanced or go elsewhere. While they do sell snacks and instant noodles, if you want something a bit more, you will have to plan ahead or head out to the town.
Another warning. The village is pretty sparse, especially during the week (it's more of a weekend getaway), and there are only a few restaurants open (we were only able to find one at night in the village, but there are more if you head back to the east side of route 9 closer to the rail station) Facilities could be a bit better, but again, we didn't expect a four-star western-style resort (there are better hotels in town if you are looking for that), but our primary demands was the bath facilities, which were quite nice. The staff speaks Mandarin & Taiwanese, with very limited English, so be prepared. The Japanese style rooms also don't offer very much noise protection, so when the staff was up in the morning and eating breakfast (and getting the kids ready for school), it was a bit noisy, but since it was a weekday, there weren't a lot of other guests that were there shuffling about.
Some positive notes: There were other nicer rooms that offered more western-style rooms and private bathrooms (more money), and wifi was included, which was awesome (Wifi is not as accessible in the rural areas of Taiwan). My father did learn that breakfast was included when we checked in, but his expectation was low (he expected only congee) So it was a pleasant surprise in the morning when I went to check out the breakfast offerings, I was excited to report to my father about the spread. It was a full Tiawanese-style spread, with fried eggs (owner was the one frying the eggs to order), with congee, rice, meats, tofu, veggies, coffee, tea and all sorts of food. We were not disappointed and even had seconds. Coffee, (according to my dad after speaking with the owner-picture included in my photos, but he is a bit older now), was not of the local variety, due to cost.
All of the other amenities are included, which includes the drying machine (basically just a spinner for wet bathing suits, etc.), hair dryer, etc. Only thing you would need to pay for would be from the snack/food/drink areas. The other hotels that I saw required you to feed coins for you to use these items.
Overall, it was a great experience at the establishment, and if you are not looking for high-end lodging, but would like to not spend a lot of money (my father and I paid the equivalent of under $50 for both of us for the night), Jui Sui Hot Spring Hotel should be on your list.
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