For the boyfriend’s birthday this past weekend, we went to Beitou. Well, Xinbeitou to be exact.
We stayed one night at the Inn Spring, a boutique hot spring hotel which opened just this January. Our room was really lovely, with a private hot spring tub, Japanese-style bathrobes and a view of the mountains.
Getting there was easy. We packed an overnight bag and took the MRT to Beitou Station. After a quick stop in 7-11 for supplies (i.e. beer and sake) we took a taxi directly to Inn Spring.
We spent most of the afternoon inside the room, lounging in our robes and soaking in the hot spring tub. Like other resorts and spas in the area, you simply turn the “hot spring” faucet to release the sulphur-y water.
Here’s a fun fact: Due to the smell of sulphur and the constant rising of steam, the Beitou valley had the appearance of a witch’s cauldron. So the Aboriginal inhabitants of the area named it paktaaw, meaning “witch”. Beitou is the Mandarin Chinese pronunciation of this.
For dinner, we walked 10 minutes downhill to the Xinbeitou Station area. There isn’t a lot to eat outside of the big hotels, so we waited a few minutes for a table at the famous Man Lai Hot Spring Ramen [滿來溫泉拉麵]. Two bowls of noodles, two beers and a fried tofu appetizer came to just 380NT. See the fried pork chop? So delicious.
The birthday getaway was planned using HotelQuickly, a last-minute hotel reservation app that lets you book discounted rooms just a week in advance. Genius, right?
Last year, I was not so genius. I booked one of the fancy hotels in the Xinyi area more than a month before his birthday. I paid retail price and stressed for weeks about the cancellation policy in case something came up and ruined the surprise. Never again.
The good news is HotelQuickly works throughout Taiwan. They have hotel listings ranging from 3 to 5 stars in Taipei, Kaohsiung, Taichung, Tainan, Yilan, Taitung, Kenting and Hualien. You can use HotelQuickly all over Asia too.
A good tip is to sort hotels by “Top 10 Deals” to see the biggest discounts, especially for Taipei’s 5-star hotels. (On weekdays, I’ve seen deals that are 40% or even 50% off.)
Thanks to HotelQuickly for organizing our stay at Inn Spring. This post was written independently by me and all opinions are my own.