top of page

Hoshinoya Guguan: A Perfect retreat

A perfect gateaway from everything, filled with the sounds of nature: water flowing, insects singing, birds chirping, and wind rustling through the leaves.

Hoshinoya Guguan is about an hour and a half drive from Taichung city center. To get there, a taxi or Uber is your only option. For me, the journey was part of the experience – the scenic drive quickly takes you away from the hustle and bustle of the city and immerses you in nature. The route winds up a long mountain road, passing several quaint, old-fashioned hot spring resorts along the way.

Arriving at the entrance of Hoshinoya Guguan felt like stepping into Japan. Even though it's in Taiwan, the resort exudes a traditional Japanese ryokan atmosphere. Many of my friends, seeing the photos I shared on social media, assumed I was in Japan. The blend of Japanese aesthetics with the beautiful Taiwanese hot spring region of Guguan, along with the staff greeting me in Japanese, made me feel like I was traveling to Japan within my trip to Taiwan.

Upon arrival, I was welcomed with a refreshing pink dragonfruit juice, whose natural sweetness was invigorating. The check-in process was seamless – my luggage was already on its way to my room as I was given a brief introduction to the property, allowing me to explore freely.

Hoshinoya Guguan is the first Taiwanese property of the renowned Japanese Hoshinoya chain, which also has locations in Japan, Bali, and Oahu. Initially, Hoshino Resorts' CEO was hesitant about bringing their onsen resorts to Taiwan. However, after visiting Guguan and discovering the impressive onsen waters, he decided to proceed.

My room 'YUE' and the private Spa inside my room

My Stay at Hoshinoya Guguan

Among the 49 rooms at this resort, I stayed in the 'YUE' room. This two-story suite features a large private hot-spring jacuzzi with natural hot water flowing 24/7. The bedroom is upstairs, along with a spacious living room that faces the majestic mountain view. Sitting in front of the full-wall window was incredibly calming.

The interior follows traditional Japanese aesthetics, with minimalistic décor and low beds. Everything is thoughtfully designed, and I never felt any inconvenience. There are multi-national outlets placed conveniently throughout the room, making it easy to charge devices or use electronics. It's truly a perfect getaway from busy urban life.

Dining at Hoshinoya Guguan

The resort has only one restaurant, offering a blend of Taiwanese and Japanese cuisine with a strong Japanese influence in design and ambiance. For breakfast, you can choose between Japanese (grilled fish and tempura), Taiwanese (congee and local condiments), and American (eggs, bacon, yogurt). The fresh tofu at breakfast was particularly soul-nourishing and delicious.

Japanese Breakfast at HOSHINOYA

Lunch features a fancy bento box with tempura and fish, while dinner can be ordered à la carte or as an eight-course prix fixe. I tried the Japanese breakfast and enjoyed a Kaiseki dinner with sake pairing. The chef thoughtfully incorporated local ingredients, including the famous local caviar, highlighting the authenticity of Japanese cuisine.

Dinner Kaiseki at HOSHINOYA

The Public Onsen

The hotel offers a beautiful open-air onsen for guests. The onsen water was incredible. After washing off my makeup and rinsing with water, my skin felt unusually smooth and soft, almost as if I had already applied lotion. I kept washing my face, thinking there was still cleanser residue, only to realize the water itself was exceptionally gentle and left my skin clean and glowing. It was an unforgettable experience. The water, at around 39 degrees Celsius, was a bit too hot for me to stay in for more than 10 minutes at a time, so I dipped in and out several times. Afterward, I felt rejuvenated and my skin was incredibly soft. They also provide three kinds of light popsicles for free; my favorite was the green apple popsicle, which was light, refreshing, and not too sweet – perfect after the spa.

The Sounds of Nature

One of the most captivating aspects of my stay was the soundscape. Unlike the constant car noise in the city, here I heard nothing but the sounds of nature: water flowing, insects singing, birds chirping, and wind rustling through the leaves. Closing my eyes and immersing myself in these sounds was a luxurious experience that added to the resort’s tranquility.

A Worthwhile Detour

If you are traveling in Taiwan, Hoshinoya Guguan is absolutely worth a detour. I recommend visiting the renowned three-star restaurant JL Studio in Taichung City and planning a stay at Hoshinoya Guguan. It's a fantastic combination that I highly suggest.


bottom of page