On a recent trip to southern Yilan County in Taiwan’s northeast we stayed a night at the Lakeshore Hotel Su-ao. This new modern hotel is in all likelihood the best hotel in the harbor town of Su’ao. It is located east of the town’s center, in walking distance from the railway station and the well-known cold spring park.
The young, striking-facade hotel stands tall and very much stands out amidst the older neighborhood architecture just a few streets back from large and busy Su’ao port, navy ships directly in front, loading freighters on the right. Directly behind is the low mountain conquered via the Qixingling Trail.
The Su’ao mineral springs are inland just around the mountain corner, and both hot and cold mineral waters are piped into guestrooms and general-use facilities. There is a mirror-like 132 sq.m. outdoor pool on one of the uppermost floors, with comfy patio lounge chairs. The unobstructed ocean and mountain panorama makes this a guest-popular area day and night, including at sunrise, when the glowing orb rises directly out beyond the harbor, seemingly so close you can reach out and touch it. The hotel provides a complimentary glass of wine to each guest, soothing the ambience even more.
Other facilities include a sunny reading room on the same floor as the pool, with a grand view of mountain and harbor through floor-to-ceiling windows, and a well-appointed basement-level gym. The hotel décor is stylishly modern, with liberal use of stone slabs and wood paneling.
Each guestroom has an outdoor balcony and washroom/soaking room with two tubs, for hot and cold spring waters. Ask for a room on the fifth floor or above, to ensure unfettered outlooks. Rooms start at NT$10,800. A buffet breakfast is included, served in the hotel’s sun-drenched ground-floor restaurant, with scores of Chinese/Western choices.
Also specially recommended is the delicious set-meal lunch served here, specially designed by the head chef, which proudly promotes healthy Yilan produce. Each course symbolizes an iconic element of Yilan life: fishermen headed to sea before sunrise, the brilliant sunrise over the eastern sea, and so on.