SunSweetHouse (十方山水民宿)

An Attractive Family-run Homestay

TEXT / RICK CHARETTE
PHOTOS / RAY CHANG
____

Does the idea of overnighting in a tea factory strike your fancy? SunSweetHouse awaits. Well, maybe not quite. What is today an attractive family-run inn/homestay was until not very long ago the same family’s tea-processing facility. It has undergone a thorough do-over, reemerging as a hacienda-style abode with a shining white exterior and bright-red roofing. It’s run by a gracious and exceptionally hospitable sister team (along with the husband of one) that so much resemble each other that most every visitor initially believes they are twins.

Entrance and lobby of the homestay
The friendly owners of SunSweetHouse

The homestay is just off Highway 18, immediately before the 54km mark. It sits atop a small mountain spur, looking across a valley at the village of Xiding, which straddles the highway. The Yushan Mountain Range is in clear and glorious view off to the east – the SunSweetHouse sunrises are a spirit-soaring thrill. The family’s tea fields are down on one side of the spur.

From the homestay you have great views

Rooms are simply elegant, and spartan clean. Most have a small, comfy outdoor deck with views of Xiding and the Yushan range.

Elegant guestroom on the first floor
Outdoor deck

The sisters have added lovely artistic touches everywhere, public and private, that lend great personality.

The largest and most unusual of the guestrooms is the VIP room. This room is in the octagonal tower, which is at the front of the building and is the building’s most conspicuous architectural element.

VIP room inside the octagonal tower
Lovely touches can be found everywhere in the the homestay

In tea-factory days this housed a leaf-sorting area on the first level and a worker dorm room on the second, replaced by today’s guest-dining area on the first, off the lobby area, and the VIP room on the second, which has a delightful, sweeping mountain view spanning over 180 degrees.

Drinking fresh tea is a matter of course at SunSweetHouse

Room rates start at NT$3,180. A complimentary breakfast is served, either Western or Taiwanese. The former features items such as croissant sandwiches and yogurt with fresh fruit, while the latter includes a fried egg, tofu, and congee.

Taiwanese-style breakfast

SunSweetHouse (十方山水民宿)
Add: No. 66-10, Xiding, Fanlu Township, Chiayi County
(嘉義縣番路鄉隙頂66-10號)
Tel: 0911-562-295
Website: sunsweethouse.com (Chinese)

About the author

Rick Charette

A Canadian, Rick has been resident in Taiwan almost continually since 1988. His book, article, and other writings, on Asian and North American destinations and subjects—encompassing travel, culture, history, business/economics—have been published widely overseas and in Taiwan. He has worked with National Geographic, Michelin, APA Insight Guides, and other Western groups internationally, and with many local publishers and central/city/county government bodies in Taiwan. Rick also handles a wide range of editorial and translation (from Mandarin Chinese) projects.