spunktitud3

Musings on Travel, Fashion & Fun


Leave a comment

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
Explore Taiwan with Spunktitud3!

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Photography – Once Upon a Sunny Tale

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

This scene taken at Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊 in Cingjing 清境 reminds me of a fairytale, complete with castles, cottages and a cheery sun. Now I just need my fairy godmother to send a Prince Charming, and the picture is complete :)


58 Comments

Taiwan – Experiencing Minsu 民宿 in Cingjing 清境

Cingjing 清境

Immerse in the fresh air and the scenic greenery of Cingjing 清境 at 2000 metres sea level – it’s heavenly!

One of the must-have experiences in Taiwan is staying in a minsu (民宿), also commonly known as homestay or bed-and-breakfast. These minsu often come in different themes and décor, and there’s one for you whether on a shoestring budget or nothing-but-the-best. Minsu owners are usually very friendly, make you feel at home and are very knowledgeable about the area. The owners often drive their guests to nearby attractions for free, or help to arrange trips around the vicinity for a nominal fee. Best of all, you get a sumptuous home-cooked meal at a home-away-from-home. Minsu is highly popular in Hualian and Yilan where it is close to nature – imagine gazing at the stars through your lodge and waking up to a picturesque scene of the hills! We chose to stay at a minsu at Cingjing (Nantou南投 district) which is about 3 hours away from Taipei.

Cingjing 清境

Cingjing is one of the most scenic areas in Taiwan and the views up there is simply amazing – I felt like a fairy walking on heaven!

Cingjing 清境

Ta da! We are at Qingjing Xiaozhu 清境小築, home up in the hills for 2 days. Cinjing is very popular for weekend trips from Taipei, just to get away from the hustle and bustle of urban living.

Cingjing 清境

Cingjing’s view is wonderful! No matter the season, you can expect a nice 15 ⁰C. Do book a minsu which is higher up the hills for a good scenic view. Ours came with a beautiful terrace. I can imagine sipping tea and chatting leisurely about life here.

Cingjing 清境

Even the flowers look especially alluring up in the mountains.

Cingjing 清境

Meals are served in this cosy dining hall.

Cingjing 清境

Simple home-cooked breakfast to start the day with

Cingjing 清境

Checking out the view from our balcony – excited!

Cingjing 清境

There are only 5 rooms at the minsu which can accommodate 2 to 4 guests. We took the bigger room and added a bed for 5 of us.

Cingjing 清境

Here’s the friendly owner of the minsu

Cingjing 清境

We saw many patches of vegetable plots around the vicinity (山菜), all looking so fresh and abundant! Someone quick pass me the salad bowl…

Cingjing 清境

I was told this particular plant is called por4 por4 ji4 (树子), and it tasted SO GOOD when fried with mountain vegetables!

Cingjing 清境

We saw cherry blossoms at the minsu too

Cingjing 清境

Morning dew

CingJing 清境

A wefie to remember our trip together ☺ We enjoyed our stay at Cingjing, we will be back!

Cingjing 清境

I’ll leave you with this amazing photo of Hehuan Mountains…tempting, tempting…you just have to see it for yourselves *wink*

Getting to Cingjing from Taipei
Take the HSR Train from Taipei Main Station to Taichung HSR station in about 50 minutes. Once at Taichung, take a taxi to Cingjing or go to the Tourist Information desk beside Exit 5 to purchase round-trip bus tickets to Cingjing via stopover in Puli. The bus journey takes about 2.5 hours. Stop at Cingjing Guest House bus stop (清境農場國民賓館).

Cingjing’s Tourism Website: http://www.cingjing.com.tw/

Qingjing Xiaozhu 清境小築
Address: No. 14, Shouting Ln., Ren’ai Township, Nantou 00546, Taiwan
南投縣仁愛鄉大同村壽亭巷14號
Tel: 0912-707186; 049-2803221
Email: 2803221@gmail.com
Website: http://www.shiautzu.tw

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)
– 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)

Read more posts on Cingjing
Explore Taiwan with Spunktitud3!