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Reviewed April 15, 2018 via mobile

We had a group of 30 had reserved a lunch in Song Syue Lodge restaurant. It was a buffet lunch. The good thing is not on the variety of food (serving about 10 types of hot dishes), it is the quality of the dishes that surely beat you, especially the yummy ginseng chicken soup and the bean curds dishes. Besides, it serves one of the best minced pork rice in Hualien. Last but not least, it has a lot of chilled and hot drinks, such as green tea and ginger brown sugar tea. They have a few tables with views. In such a high altitude, the meal is surely refreshing and energising to hikers and bikers. If you like to have a try, make sure you make your reservation in advance.

Date of stay: April 2018
Trip type: Traveled with family
Thank Ferrousso
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2018

If you plan to stay up in the mountain until late, or plan to be up early to hike one of the peaks at sunrise, this hotel is a good choice. There's a cheaper alternative nearby called the ski lodge but Song Syue (松雪楼- Sōng Xuě Lóu) is heated so would make it a better choice in the colder months. I was there in December and it did get below zero degC overnight.
If you are into astrophotography or nightscape photography, Song Syue provides a convenient base. Many people just setup their camera on tripods at the balcony of their room. It's also possible to setup your gears at the carpark then retreat into the warm building while your camera(s) does its 300 multi-exposures on intervelometer.
The sunrise from the balcony was beautiful on a clear day. You can also see a huge crowd on a platform next to the HeHuanShan visitor center 500m away, who have arrived by busses and vans to see the same sunrise, while you enjoy the peace and quite zen moment at your own balcony. That kind of luxury is priceless.

Date of stay: December 2017
3  Thank kkongls
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2017

When we started planning out very first trip to Taiwan (which we now know will be the first of many) we had no plans to visit Hehuanshan, let alone Song Syue Lodge - in fact we weren’t even really aware of either. The plan was to fly in to Taipei, visit Hualien, then head to Sun Moon Lake and beyond. Of course this meant backtracking from Hualien through Taipei and on to Sun Moon Lake. So we started looking in to options for crossing the island, which is when we discovered the beauty of Hehuanshan. We formulated a plan - drive from Hualien to Sun Moon Lake with a brief stop on the way for the views at Hehuanshan. Further research led us to contacting Driver-Guide Neil Zeng who suggested that if we were to overnight at Song Syue Lodge we could make the most of our time at Hehuanshan, including taking in sunrise and sunset, along with some other scenic stops and walks - brilliant!

Song Syue Lodge, Taiwan’s highest accommodation, holds somewhat of a monopoly at Mount Hehuan’s peak. The Government owned lodge, at 3150 metres above sea level, offers rooms with attached bathrooms in the main building, and rooms with shared bathroom just down the hill a little. We chose to stay in the main building - we will readily admit that unless we absolutely have to, we would prefer not to have to share our bathroom with anyone other than each other / our own immediate travel companions.

We had a choice of double rooms with / without view or a quadruple room, with the room price including dinner and breakfast. As accommodation at Song Syue lodge is quite expensive (keeping in mind we generally travel on somewhat of a budget), and the quadruple rooms are twice the price of the double rooms (fair enough if there are four of you staying, we were only two), and it was only one night, we decided we could put up with sharing a bed for one night (noting that we are a Mum & adult Daughter travelling together so generally prefer not to share a bed).

On arrival we checked in, with Neil’s assistance - he was staying just down the hill in Song Syue Lodge’s second building. Check in was relatively quick, we were handed our key, and given relevant information about the schedule for breakfast and dinner. We found the staff on the front counter to be quite pleasant, it probably helped that we had someone with us who spoke fluent Mandarin so we experienced no language difficulties.

Our room was neat and cosy, with just enough space for the double bed, an armchair, a couple of bedside tables, a long table/bench along one wall of the room (on which the flat screen TV was located, and under which we could pop our suitcases), with a dining chair tucked in under the bench. The bathroom was a reasonable size, with a large shower cubicle and western style toilet. The shower was wonderful - plentiful hot water and great pressure! Both our room and our bathroom were very clean.

We had a large balcony, the full width of the room, overlooking spectacular vistas of Hehuanshan - lovely views but unfortunately no furniture on which you could sit to enjoy the view. To get out to the balcony you had to climb through the large window, it was quite a step up to get from the room on to the balcony (which would be difficult for those with mobility issues), a couple of steps wouldn’t go astray and with the room layout there is space for this.

The rooms have what is supposed to be individually controlled heating / cooling, however we found this wasn’t working in our room. When we first entered the room we appreciated the warmth - being at high altitude of course brings cooler weather - however we very quickly found ourselves to be too warm. We checked the thermostat and found it indicating the room temperature to be 37 degrees (Celsius) which is far far too warm for a hotel room. We changed the setting from warm to cool, and set the temperature to 22 degrees - with no luck. At one point the thermostat showed the room had reached 41 degrees - stifling.

Unfortunately this kind of heat does not make for a good night’s sleep - I ended up setting up a makeshift bed on the floor with one of the quilts, just inside the doorway, thinking this would be cooler than being in the room proper. Both of us slept without quilts or sheets, and in summer pyjamas because it was far far too hot in anything warmer. Really, we probably should’ve got up and opened the window on to the balcony, however at 1 or 2 o’clock in the morning you don’t want to have to manipulate the lock on a window to get it open for fear of waking your roommate - and you don’t ask your roommate if they’re awake for fear of waking them. If we had been staying for more than one night we would have asked for someone to check the thermostat, or asked for another room - we’re unsure if this is an issue with the whole of the hotel, or if we were just unlucky for our one night.

Breakfast and dinner were both served buffet style - you could choose to have a hotpot at dinner though we believe this was at an additional cost. There are limited tables in the restaurant area, certainly not enough to house all of the guests within the two buildings that make up Song Syue Lodge, so it is worthwhile trying to get there earlier rather than later. While it was not the most amazing food we had during our time in Taiwan (Taiwan has some awesome food), the food was tasty enough and served its purpose. If you got there early enough, there was plenty of food, though we did note that the bain-marie dishes were not topped up particularly quickly (or at all?) as some dishes remained empty for some time after the last bites were taken. Braised pork and rice was served at dinner and breakfast, as was sautéed cabbage, with a total of perhaps 7-8 different dishes (including the pork and cabbage, not including steamed rice) at each of breakfast and dinner. Tea, coffee, ginger tea, water and juice were available too.

Song Syue Lodge cost us around A$127 for the night, this was the second most expensive accommodation through our Taiwan holiday (we did treat ourselves to one night in Alishan House at Alishan, which cost us an additional A$100 however we had twin beds, in a fancier hotel, with a much more expansive breakfast and dinner included).

Would we stay at Song Syue lodge again - absolutely as Hehuanshan was one of the highlights of our trip to Taiwan. The scenery is breathtakingly beautiful (and that’s not just because of the high altitude) and we would love to return. Given this is the only option for accommodation at this altitude, and the ease of access staying at Song Syue Lodge gives you to the peaks of Hehuanshan, it’s the perfect choice - staying elsewhere would involve much more travelling for your sunrise and sunset viewing, and would mean you watch the sunrise from one of the carparks instead of atop one of the mountain peaks! Would we stay at Song Syue lodge if it was located elsewhere in Taiwan (ie. if Song Syue Lodge was located in Taipei at the same price with the same layout) or if there was more competitive accommodation atop the mountain (especially with twin beds), probably not.

Room tip: Rooms with a view are worth the few extra dollars!
Date of stay: October 2016
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank Leesree_and_Subbi
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2017

Pleasant and comfortable room with sufficient warmth for a snowing night. Went up Mount Hehuan during a very cold winter weekend - although was not able to wander out on foot, the lodge was well-equipped with food and a medical room. And the television programmes made up of funny variety shows (not all hotels had these) to entertain guests. Reception was unusually manned by a group of youthful people though. In any case, comfortable stay there.

Date of stay: February 2017
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank toemeetshoes
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 29, 2016

Its takes ages to speak to any representative of the Forestry Dept and the feedback on arrival to this lodge is that only ONE(01) person is manning the landline and they have only 8 hours on hand . On sorting out the booking , keys was exchanged after settlement of the room charges #215 & # 217 . Room Rates incl Dinner & Breakfast.
Weather is ever changing and Sunrise is indicated on the front desk as 05:50am .

Dining Facilities is a Simple Kitchen. Business hours from 5pm.
We were shown to our tables and Typical mass simple dishes is laid out for the guests,more can be done. Some young service staff is seen dwindling their fingers and looking into their Handphones whilst hotel help themselves to the spread which is Grossly Lacking .
Middle of the night ,there was howling of the wind into the rooms and next morning on checking , found out that the sliding windows is Jammed and nothing was done to the properties.

There are two buildings at this location , namely the Song Syue Lodge Rooms with attached bath - toilets and the lower building is Hostel style.
Bathrooms bears the foul smell indicating poor hygiene. More can be done. Future guest Beware .
Its sad to see such a nice location being badly manage, The Cook here can do with a return to his Cooking school to upgrade his skills. Only when food is great then you will find return clients .

Room tip: Take the corner room # 217 for the morning sunrise
Date of stay: October 2016
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank calvinchan
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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