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“Exceeded Expectations - A luxurious experience”
Review of Silks Place Taroko

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Silks Place Taroko
Ranked #5 of 130 Hotels in Hualien County
Certificate of Excellence
Singapore, Singapore
Level 6 Contributor
369 reviews
142 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 286 helpful votes
“Exceeded Expectations – A luxurious experience”
Reviewed April 28, 2012

This was a fantastic hotel and I would love to come again. Before I get into the review, two quick summary points:

1) It is excellent, you must stay here.
2) If so, book the hotel as a package from the hotel website – much better value. Read below.

I had read all the great reviews on TripAdvisor and was convinced about staying here. We were previously disappointed by Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan and trusted that this would be a more exclusive, tasteful and truly awe inspiring experience to appreciate nature in Taiwan. It did not disappoint. In fact, I wished we could have stayed an extra day.

The hotel is basically located within the park and in the middle of nowhere. With this in mind, everything you need to do is on the hotel property and if you don’t buy it as a package, you need to buy everything separately which would be very expensive. I was originally going to book via Bookings.com and the price for two nights would have been about the same as the hotel’s 2 Night and 3 Day package. The package includes, however: return shuttle transfer from airport or Hualien train station; 2 dinners; 2 breakfast; 2 lunch; 1 half day tour; 1000 TWD certificate for the spa. The food inclusion alone is worth it as the only other food options are some dodgy Chinese places at the end of the parking lot. Or, paying for the hotel food out of pocket – worth it, but expensive. Best way to book is to check out the hotel website and they are very responsive via email and didn’t take a deposit.

Another tip re planning and timing – go during the weekdays. 1) it is much quieter; 2) the prices are cheaper and the touristy spots/look out areas are not crowded. I hear it becomes a zoo over the weekend.

We were picked up from Hualien Train station, about 2 hours from Taipei or about 5 hours from Kaohsiung. You need to book the shuttle. The van was very comfortable and the driver (DiDi) was very professional and gave us a lot of confidence as we went to the hotel around curving, mountainous roads. The trip takes almost an hour and it takes a lot of time to go through the roads. I’d have to say that the infrastructure and quality of the roads is excellent but there is quite a bit of tourist traffic going up there.

On the way up, I had a great feeling we made a good choice from the views we were getting just from the van. We arrived at the property around dinner and were super impressed by the modern reception area and overall décor. It felt like arriving at a spa retreat. They did a great job renovating this building. Dark woods, plants, low level lighting, the smell of citronella, it was great.

The room was very good and overlooked the interior courtyard. Bed was very, very firm but we got a great night sleep. Washroom was oversized and while clearly the ‘original’ bathroom, it was very good. Décor was simple, lots of room, very good tv with English language choices, etc.

As part of the package, you can have dinner either in the Chinese restaurant (set tasting menu) or their western buffet. We had the western buffet twice and the Chinese set menu for lunch. The set menu was fantastic and just an endless amount of food – all terrific dishes. The western buffet was a real treat after weeks of Taiwanese street food. The food quality was excellent and ordering mains (beef short rib or fish) off the menu to accompany the buffet was a treat. Criticism about the buffet was that they were the same items each night and they were still really ‘asian’ despite being the ‘western’ buffet. All were fine and I really can’t fault it. Big array of salad greens and desserts as well. Breakfast buffet was really good as well.

Staff were professional and really terrific, special thanks to Zoe.

Day trips were organized like clockwork and a great way to see the highlights of the gorge. Day trips and full day trips really consisted of a lot of regimented, structured dropping on and off of the van to see the highlights of the gorge and then leaving. If we were staying longer, I would have liked to simply been dropped off and picked up hours later after doing an independent hike. However, not sure if the gorge is really doable like this – would inquire more next time. Half day trips are around 150 TWD if not part of the package.

Fantastic pool and three hot tubs. Great yoga studio and a decent gym with just some free weights, some aging resistance equipment and a couple of treadmills.

Do see the pagoda, temple, monastery site immediately beside the hotel by crossing the bridge. There was a lot there that I wasn’t expecting and easily doable independently as it’s right beside the hotel.

Overall, fantastic facilities and quality of experience. The staff were excellent and really made us feel at home. Spa facility was also great and we had two treatments.

Suggestion to management is to provide helmets for day tours around the gorge. Falling rock signs are throughout the gorge and I understand this to be a real risk. All other tour groups we encountered (bus loads of them) all had helmets and these are also provided for free by the park itself. I really enjoyed the gorge but often felt ill at ease with the threat of rock falls, especially as you could often see them scattered on the road itself.

Room Tip: Close to the central stairway as otherwise the rooms can be very far to walk!
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
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6 Thank BusyFlyingAround
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
68 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed April 27, 2012 via mobile

Boutique oasis nestled in the axing gorge. Great food and be sureto book a mountain room. Never seen a rooftop pool like it and 5 hot tubs to boot!

  • Stayed April 2012
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Helpful?
2 Thank Gav C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
86 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed April 27, 2012

Twice I have stayed in this lovely hotel (April 2009, October 2011) in the heart of the Taroko National Park and both occasions were sublime but sadly only one night apiece. The service was the highest quality, and room, bed, bathroom all well appointed and the breakfast bar superb with the pleasant outside patio the choice for warmer mornings. There is also fine dining and more reasonable bistro-style available for evenings. For me the chance to experience aspects of the indigenous culture, meeting and viewing local dancers and music were highlights of the visits. Last time there was also a beautiful local Taiwanese art display in the foyer area. Awe-inspiring views of the Taroko river gorge are nearby and across the nearby bridge up to the beautiful garden and Buddhist temple with Guanyin.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled on business
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Helpful?
3 Thank Suetheshark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chia-Chi C, Manager at Silks Place Taroko, responded to this review, April 29, 2012
Dear Silks Place Taroko Guest,

Ma-Lu-Su. Greeting from the sunshine gorge. Everyday we provide aboriginal performance to our guests having local experiences. No language gap, music brings us closer together. Thanks for sharing your feeling here and see you in the near future.

PR
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Singapore, Singapore
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed April 26, 2012

I spent 3 wonderfully relaxing days in this hotel and really didn't want to leave. There are many 'niggles' I had with the room, which I set out below, but even all of these together could not detract from the experience that this lovely place provides.

Nestled in the foot of the mountains in the midst of the Taroko Gorge, this hotel really delivers if you're looking for some R&R. I had a room on the Retreat Floor, which I thoroughly recommend. The rooms have been recently decorated and have a minimalist, yet still homely, feel to them, with floor to ceiling windows overlooking either the river or the sides of the mountains. The bed was extremely large and comfortable and the room was a good size.

Niggles:

- pillows were unbelievably soft and no pillow menu is provided
- bizarrely, there are no drawers and no shelves in the room! This meant I had to keep my underwear in my suitcase, which doesn't really make you feel 'at home' or settled
- sharp edges on the bath and vertical sides; sitting bolt upright in a bath was certainly a first and not at all relaxing!
- no bedside lights for reading; only option is all the lights or no lights (but they did bring me a lamp when I asked for one)

The staff are all very friendly and professional (except the shuttle bus driver who drove straight past me THREE times, leaving me to walk 18km back to the hotel in the pouring rain (no money, no food, no phone!), especially some of the waiting staff, with whom I enjoyed a good chat each night during dinner (I was on this trip alone).

I very much enjoyed dinner in both of the restaurants, and disagree with some other reviewers' comments that the Wellesley Restaurant is expensive. You get what you pay for and the quality of the food is extremely high, with a more than reasonable wine selection for every budget.

The ambience of the hotel is what makes this place really special and is hard to describe. Low lighting in the corridors, small areas with sculptures, high ceilings in the lobby area... I particularly enjoyed relaxing in one of the three heated rooftop jacuzzis after a day's walking through Taroko. Watching the mist roll down the sides of the mountains while immersed in hot bubbles, with a slight chill in the air and on my nose, really was a memory to treasure.

I thoroughly recommend Silks Place - but urge the owners to please put a drawer or two in the room somewhere, and introduce a pillow menu...!

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the Retreat Floor, overlooking the river. Seminal.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank KarenLN75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 6 Contributor
98 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 143 helpful votes
Reviewed April 21, 2012

Outstanding hotel! The hotel is exquisitely decorated, elegant and contemporary. The outdoor pool on the roof is spectacular with the most amazing views of the park. We ate breakfast in the western restaurant and had a table in the garden which was beautiful on a crisp morning. The food was fresh and delicious with lots of choice. We also had dinner in the Chinese restaurant and were blown away by the quality of the food. Fantastic! Highly recommend eating here and it felt very private even though there were lots of guests. The room was good, basic but with good shower/bath and very comfortable. The hotel shop is very basic with limited stock and not many places nearby but great for a short visit if you want to stay in the park. The only disappointment is we only had 1 night here as we were on a private tour, would definitely have stayed longer to make better use of the facilities.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank BGWGIE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chia-Chi C, Manager at Silks Place Taroko, responded to this review, April 24, 2012
Dear Silks Place Taroko Guest,

Thanks for sharing your experience here. As you said, the outdoor pool on the roof is really spectacular with beautiful gorge views. During summer time, we can see our guest enjoy the sunshine and comfortable atmosphere, even nigh time. Next time please plan your trip coming back and stay longer with us.

PR
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taipei
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed April 10, 2012

I came with my boyfriend to explore Taroko Gorge over the weekend and we were both blown away by the quality of this hotel. Beautifully decorated interior gives an immediate sense of relaxation and well-being while the infinity pool and jacuzzi on the roof was definitely our favorite part. The staff were all incredibly friendly and warm and also spoke good English.
There are bikes for rent, and shuttle buses that are offered to get you around the park.
My only suggestion would be to bring snacks and things with you if you are so inclined because the dining options are limited. There is a Western buffet and a Chinese a la carte restaurant, but they both close at 10, and the hotel shop doesn't stock any crackers or chocolate for your late night enjoyment if you decide (as we did) to make tea and sit on the balcony to listen to the river.
In all, I will definitely be back. Thanks Silks Place for an unforgettable weekend!

Room Tip: River view room so you have a view of the river and cliff-face from your balcony. The resort-view ro...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank yijang_l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Honolulu, Hawaii
Level 6 Contributor
98 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed April 5, 2012

The Silks Place Taroko Gorge Hotel is an absolute gem and definitely worth a splurge to book the suite on the retreat floor. I am sitting on the lanai/patio/veranda of our suite overlooking the river and it's about 6:30 in the morning and over the sound of the rapids I can hear bird calls. This is a beautiful resort well worth a stay more than the 20 hours we booked in our hurried desire to take in Taroko Gorge before our departure from Taiwan after a six day stay. Had we not been flying out tomorrow and had we not left our bags at the Taipei Hyatt, we would definitely extended our stay here. This, I think, ranks with some of the great scenic spots in the world -- the Serena Lodge at Ngorogoro, the Old Cataract Hotel at Aswan, the Lake Palace at Udaipur, the Lodge on Barinof Island.

We booked a retreat package at NT$12,498 plus ten percent service (about US$475) and it includes a 500+ square foot room overlooking the gorge with balcony, a large walk in shower with rain forest shower head, a large soaking tub (which alas I've no time to try), simple-zen type furnishings with cunning bo xes to hide the tv remote), breakfast (which we've not had yet), dinner, airport or train transfers, a half day tour and free non-alcoholic beverages all day in the lounge as well as free wine between 5 and 6 in the evening. The only drawback is the limited selection of cocktails (no gin, for example) which are sold only in the lounge and for which a cover is charged unless you book on the retreat floor which only contains suites, I think. But that is a small drawback if you come forewarned. The kitchen is surprisingly good, although we' e
only tried the Chinese one, on par with and better than some in Taipei, including the one on the 86th floor of Taipei 101 which I guess is about the view.

The retreat package was less than US$200 more expensive than the gorge view room which was part of a year long Citibank promotion that I had originally booked, changing later to upgrade since I suspect this is the one and only time we will venture this way and therefore the experience should be maximized for comfort and memories. My husband, who was reluctant to come all this way to see a canyon is definitely impressed at the property and we can unqualifiedly recommend this resort for at least a two night stay since it is a two hour train ride or a 30 minute plane ride from Taipei and an hour each way from the station or airport

Room Tip: Retreat floor
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Pancho_cisco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chia-Chi C, Manager at Silks Place Taroko, responded to this review, April 8, 2012
Dear Silks Place Taroko Guest,

Mu-Lu-Su.. Warm regarding from Taroko Gorge. Thanks for sharing your experience with us on Tripadvisor. We are pleased that you have had great time with us.

As you mentioned, we have found out that many people chose to stay in the hotel more than 2 nights to get more energy and more time to enjoy the canyon. Please do recommend your friends who wanna visit Taiwan, do not miss Taroko Gorge and Silks Place Taroko. Hope to see you again!!

Best Regards,

PR
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Silks Place Taroko

Property: Silks Place Taroko
Address: No.18 Tian Hsyang Road, Shioulin Town, Taroko National Park, Hualien County 972, Taiwan
Location: Taiwan > Hualien County
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Hualien County
#2 Luxury Hotel in Hualien County
#2 Spa Hotel in Hualien County
#2 Family Hotel in Hualien County
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Silks Place Taroko 4.5*
Number of rooms: 160
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Silks Place Taroko is part of the FIH Regent Group, under the Silks Hotel brand. Away from the city center, this mountainside hotel, located in Hualien County, is the only 5-star hotel within the Taroko National Park. Silks Place Taroko is designed with Modern Chinese style, combining Taroko's cultural and environmental characteristics, creating "elegant and sophisticated resort life style" with exclusive services. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Silks Place Taroko Hotel Hualien
Grand Formosa Taroko Hualien
Grand Formosa Taroko Hotel

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