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Taiwan – Baroque Splendor at Cingjing’s Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊“This is a minsu 民宿? You gotta be kiddin’ me – it looks more like a castle!” I told my Taiwanese friend when we first arrived at Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊. The Italian-themed minsu is no doubt one of the best accommodation that Cingjing has to offer, coupled with a breathtaking view of the scenic mountains and lush grassland of Cingjing. It’s no wonder they are always fully booked by both local weekend trippers and overseas guests.

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

The humble entrance along the road belies the grandeur of the resort which is made up of two main buildings – main Italian Rural Castle 義大利鄉村城堡(一館) and Constantinople 君士坦丁堡(二館).

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

The main Italian Rural Castle 義大利鄉村城堡(一館) and stairs leading to the second building Constantinople where most of the larger rooms are. They offer spacious lofts which can comfortably accommodate the whole family.

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

Catch a view of Bihu/Emerald Lake 碧湖, part of Wanli Reservoir 萬大水庫 running through the mountains of Cingjing from the villa. Mesmerizing.

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

With such gorgeous scenery and weather, even I am tempted to go for a morning jog :)

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

Farms co-exist harmoniously with the numerous minsu in this area, providing delicious local mountain produce 山菜 for visitors

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

I got hungry by just looking at those crisp-looking leaves!

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

The view is so surreal, it’s just the perfect place to relax and forget about the cares of the world.

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

You can find floral blooms almost anywhere…along the roads, growing out of crevices, anywhere.

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

Cute figurines welcome you as you enter the lobby of Florence Resort Villa

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

Da Xiong (which looked more like a lion) the resident Golden Retriever is also at the lobby to welcome you. We woke him up from his nap haha.

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

Venetian carnival masks line the the stone wall in the lobby. I wonder if I can borrow one for the night :p

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

The decor of the villa is heavily Italian-inspired

Florence Resort Villa

The villa organises special programmes for guests as well depending on the season, such as this star gazing activity. It would be really cool to photograph the Milky Way adorned with Cingjing’s mountains.

Florence Resort Villa

There’s a library of DVDs and books which you can borrow, so no fear of boring nights :)

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

A little cafe area beside the lobby where you can relax and have tea.

Florence Resort Villa

Florence Resort Villa

Coffee, tea or me?

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

Nice little area for guests to relax just outside the main Italian Rural Castle building

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

Go round the corner down the slope, and you will discover a whimsical little hut, much like Hansel and Gretel’s. It’s actually Nina de Chocolate 妮娜巧克力工坊, a popular little chocolate atelier set up by the villa owners for their daughter Nina who loves to eat chocolate (lucky girl!). People specially come here to buy hand-made chocolates, while we went a step further – we took a short lesson to make some :)

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

I shall take my hand-made chocolates and eat them here, and pretend I am in a magical forest :)

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

Here is where we are staying – Constantinople.

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

It’s no wonder people call Cingjing Little Switzerland – for a moment I thought I was in Europe!

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

The guestrooms are named after the renowned cities of Italy, including Venice, Milan and Firenze. Here’s our friend’s spacious Baroque Double Room, an ideal choice for couples and honey mooners. You can almost play hide-and-seek here.

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

This is home for the trip, also a Baroque Double Room in another colour scheme.

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

Mirror Mirror on the Wall, can I stay here for good? :)

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

Super huge bathroom with a stone tub to soak in. The only gripe I have is that only a thick curtain separates the room and the toilet, so I will get a little conscious when I am taking a dump lol. Well, I guess if you are a couple, you gotta take each other’s good and crap – literally, haha.

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

Super plus point for me – heated toilet seat! Yeah, I like my bum warm and cosy, especially in a place where temperatures are 10-14 degree celsius in general :)

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

Most of the essential toiletries are provided

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

All the information you need is conveniently documented in a red book. You can also take the villa’s shuttle services to visit attractions in Cingjing, or charter one of their vehicles to bring you around.

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

They even provide ambient music to get you into the relaxed mood.

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

The villa provides every room with their own coffee machine, a tap to dispense hot/cold water (right) as well as hand-made chocolates from their chocolate atelier.

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

Even Dottie the bunny can’t wait to get to bed :)

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

Gorgeous view from the room balcony. I don’t want to go out.

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

Hang out at Starry Bar with your loved ones and watch the stars dance above you during the night.

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

Dining area

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

The villa provides steamboat meals as well as Western/Italian dishes with buffet.

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

Oooo…many choices of beverages for breakfast! I love soya bean milk :)

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

Part of the breakfast buffet

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

Bon appetite :)

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

We had a very pleasant and luxurious stay at Florence Resort Villa. There was much to do, we never felt bored. The warm hospitality of the service staff made us feel welcome as well, and we were blessed with good weather to take in a superb view of the scenery from the villa. I would recommend this place for couples and families looking for a special, fuss-free holiday or celebrating something special. While it’s not the cheapest option out there, we didn’t feel short-changed from the entire experience. Afterall, it’s not everyday you get to feel like an Italian princess :)

Florence Resort Villa 清境佛羅倫斯渡假山莊清境民宿
Address: No.8-3, Rongguang Ln., Ren’ai Township, Nantou County 546, Taiwan
南投縣仁愛鄉榮光巷8-3號
Email: florance568@yahoo.com.tw
Tel: +886 4 9280 3820/3832
Website: http://www.florance.com.tw
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/floranceresort

Searching for a minsu in Cingjing? Here’s some you can consider:
The Old England Hotel 老英格蘭莊園 (Creme de la creme of the lot; 6 months advance booking)
– Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊 (Gorgeous Italian-themed villa; very popular too)
– Starry Minsu 清境民宿觀星園景觀山莊 (Highest-located minsu in Cingjing; good aerial view)
Misting Minsu 雲濛仙境民宿 (Convenient location)
Qingjing Xiaozhu 清境小築 (Homely place with nice scenery)

Read more posts on Cingjing
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Taiwan – Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站: A Home Away from Home in Xitou

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站
A European-style house nestled amongst the woods in Xitou, Nantou County, Yazhu is a great place to stay if you are looking for a relaxing stay with nature, or a convenient location to explore the many attractions nearby – Monster Village 妖怪村, Neihu Primary School 內湖國小, Xitou Nature Education Area 溪頭森林遊樂區, 忘憂森林, 杉林溪, 八卦茶園, 鳳凰谷鳥園, Assam Tea Farm 日月老茶場, etc. – oh so many! It is also just beside Shui Keng Bus Stop 水坑站 which is served by most of the public buses in the area.

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

On our way to Yazhu!
You can easily spot its signage along the road

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

We are finally here! :)
Yazhu was originally built by a Chinese doctor as his retirement home. He decided to turn it into a minsu so that more people can come and take a respite away from their busy urban lives.

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

What a cute dwarf!

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

A spacious dining area where you can hang out in between meal times greeted us. Coffee and tea is provided 24/7. Did I mention the most important of it all – there’s wifi! :)

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

The 3-storey building houses 10 rooms of various sizes which can accommodate up to 6 pax in a room.

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

A simple breakfast, but I have to say this was one of the BEST food I have tasted in a minsu. The ingredients were freshly prepared and so tasty! I can still remember the taste of the crunchy bun and juicy filling… One of us had a vegetarian meal, and she was all praises for it as well.

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

What a cute cup holder! You can feel the effort put in by the minsu owners to make their guests feel comfortable from the little touches prevalent throughout the house.

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

Say hello to Cai da-jie 蔡大姐 the minsu owner :)
She is so friendly and down-to-earth we felt like living in a real home. Her husband, who is in the real estate business, is also the one who built most of the minsu in Cingjing area, so we can be sure no effort was spared to built Yazhu.

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

We loved the hand-made rabbits ‘playing’ nearby :)
These rabbits were made by Cai Da-jie’s friend; I thought they added a fairytale touch to the place, like Alice in Wonderland.

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

Off to view our ‘nests’ for the night!
Super spacious I must say…this room is particularly popular with honeymooners

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

Oooo…there’s a balcony :)

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

What a wonderful view! Having a leisurely tea here must be such a luxury.

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

What a big dressing area!

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

Looks like I will have a great snooze in this place ;)

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

A Japanese-inspired room

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

It’s not often a toilet can surprise me, but this one did – there’s a Japanese bathtub!

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

Water comes from the nearby hot spring, and the minsu provides onsen salts for an awesome soak. This must be the next best thing from going to Japan! Wondering what’s the kawaii yellow ducky? It’s a thermometer for you to measure the water temperature :)

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

Snacks and drinks when you get hungry at night

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

The minsu provides transport (from Sun Moon Lake and even Taipei)  and sight-seeing services if you need. The van can take up to 6 pax plus luggage. Enquire with the minsu when you book.

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

Exploring the surroundings…ribbit

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

The minsu is surrounded by much greenery and life just slows down to a relaxed pace.

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

I noticed a lot of butterflies frolicking around, happy!

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

The Xitou Nature Education Area 溪頭森林遊樂區 is located in a valley surrounded by mountains on three sides. It has abundant natural resources and ecosystems, including a bamboo forest, divine trees, ginkgo forest, mountain trails, tea farms, and fireflies.
Come during the month of April when it is the Lugu firefly season 鹿谷鄉螢火蟲季 and witness this magical scene. In fact, you can see the fireflies at a grass area just in front of the minsu, no need to look for them!

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

Idyllic stroll amongst nature

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

What a glorious morning stroll :)

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

There are some interesting professions around the area, just like this traditional floral signboard maker. I was pretty intrigued.

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

When it was time for us to leave, Cai Da-jie gave us a part of the minsu to remember by – a pair of rabbits! :) Dottie and Peaches are now happily living in my home, and I look forward to bringing them back to visit Yazhu during firefly season :)

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

Yazhu – a home away from home :)

雅筑小站 Shito YaZhu Villa
Address: 南投縣鹿谷鄉興產路45號 (近溪頭風景區)
Tel: 049 275 1600
Reservation Hours: 8:00AM – 10:00PM
E-mail: yazhu2751600@gmail.com
Facebook
Website: www.yazhu.tw

Getting There

By Bus
You can take a bus from Taichung Gancheng Station 台中干城車站, Taichung train station台中火車站, Taichung HSR台中高鐵站, Zhu Shan Bus Station 竹山車站and Sun Moon Lake Shuishe Tourist Centre 日月潭水社遊客中心 towards Nantou, Xitou line 溪頭線.

.台灣好行 http://www.taiwantrip.com.tw/Besttour/Info/?id=9  Alight at 「內湖國小」站或「溪頭妖怪村」站
.南投客運 http://www.ntbus.com.tw  Alight at「內湖國小」或「溪頭妖怪村」站
.高  鐵 http://www.thsrc.com.tw  Alight at 「內湖國小」或「溪頭妖怪村」站
.台  鐵 http://www.railway.gov.tw Alight at 「內湖國小」或「溪頭妖怪村」站
.統聯客運 http://www.ubus.com.tw  Alight at 「內湖國小」或「溪頭妖怪村」站
.員林客運 http://www.ylbus.com.tw Alight at 「有水坑」站

By Car
1. 高速公路國道三號(中二高)→下竹山交流道(244K)→右轉接台3線往竹山方向→於台3線230.5K處左轉接投151甲線→接151線往鹿谷→過內湖國小後約1.7公里即抵達雅筑小站(151縣道14.9公里處)。
2. 台21線往水里方向→於水里接台16線,往集集、名間方向→於名間接台3線,往竹山方向→於台3線230.5K處左轉接投151甲線→接151線往鹿谷→過內湖國小後約1.7公里即抵達雅筑小站(151縣道14.9公里處)。
Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

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