The Gaya Hotel – 7 Hidden Gems You Can Discover While Staying Here
June 13, 2018
Whenever someone talks about Taiwan, the first city he/she mentions is, “Taipei” but do allow me to introduce another beautiful area of Taiwan today – Taitung. Surrounded by breathtaking mountains, gentle rivers, the spectacular Pacific Ocean and its stunning coastline, Taitung is the ideal vacation spot if you need a break from your daily stressful and fast-paced lifestyle.
Taitung is also rich in aboriginal culture, and guests who stay at The Gaya Hotel will be able to experience the laid-back lifestyle of the aboriginals. Aligning themselves to the local culture and heritage, The Gaya Hotel bases its brand on harmony with nature and the people of Taitung. The hotel exterior is painted olive green to symbolize the mountain, and bamboo decorations are used in the hotel lobby. The hotel’s warm and welcoming interior and furnishings provide a pleasant environment for guests.
There are plenty of activities you can participate in and abundance food to satisfy your hunger pangs at The Gaya Hotel. Here are 7 hidden gems I have discovered during my stay.
#1 – Spacious & Stylish Rooms and Suites with Balcony
The Gaya Hotel boasts tranquil accommodation ranging from deluxe rooms to quadruple rooms to suites. Every room is designed to be very functional and the fast wifi connection allows you to stay connected with your loved ones. What I like most is the balcony – imagine being greeted by the mountains and its surrounding lush greenery the moment you wake up … Perfect start to the day!
#2 – Rooftop Infinity Pool
I’m not kidding when I say the view from The Gaya Hotel’s rooftop infinity pool made me feel as though I’m being transported to Santorini Island. There are 1-hour swimming exercises organized daily for hotel guests as the hotel hopes to provide guests with a fun activity which will help keep them energized throughout the day. I really enjoyed the swimming pool exercises in the morning because firstly, I didn’t perspire in the water and it actually felt relaxing even though I was working out, and secondly, it totally woke my system up, making me feel so fresh in the morning.
#3 – Luxurious Spa and Gym with a View
Treat your tired mind and body to a luxurious massage or spa session at the DASHA Spa located in the hotel. Do note that the spa treatments are by appointment only, and they don’t accept walk-in customers. Situated on the same level as the spa, the gym is surrounded by full-length mirrors and you can admire the pretty garden while working out.
#4 – Ki-Pa Restaurant, U-Ra Cuisine, Xing Ying Café & Bao Sang Bar
The city of Taitung is neither big nor small, but I was quite impressed with the aesthetically pleasing dishes served at U-Ra Cuisine. While only set lunches and set dinners are available at U-Ra Cuisine, you can have breakfast at Ki-Pa Restaurant. The semi-buffet includes a main of your choice between omelet, tortilla, pancakes, fried rice and fried noodles. You can unwind and have afternoon tea at the Xing Ying café located at the lobby and enjoy happy hour at Bao Seng Bar at night.
#5 – 榕樹下米苔目 (The Must-Try Local Food)
Mee Tai Mak, or otherwise known as rice flour noodles shaped like a rat’s tail, is a local specialty in Taitung. In Singapore, you can only find the soupy version which most of us crave for whenever we’re feeling under the weather. At 榕樹下米苔目 (Rong Shu Xia Mee Tai Mak) store in Taitung, both soup and stir-fried versions are available. The latter is very well-seasoned and not too heavy. You can pair the noodles with sides displayed at the store. Good news is that it takes only 10 minutes to walk from The Gaya Hotel.
#6 – GAYA Woodworking Museum
Whenever I visit a new destination, I will try to allocate some time to learn about local handicrafts. Just like how I got a hands-on experience on batik painting in Malaysia and Indonesia, I was introduced to woodwork in Taitung, hosted by Caesar and Rena. The husband and wife team believe that woodwork helps to clear the mind and calm a person down. It’s a fun activity for kids and a relaxing one for adults.
#7 – Xiaoyeliu, Jialulan & Sanxiantai
It’s quite easy to navigate around Taitung. You can either self-drive, rent a scooter or hire a driver. Taitung’s major attractions such as Xiaoyeliu, Jialulan and Sanxiantai are located less than an hour away from The Gaya Hotel. Xiaoyeliu features a variety of fascinating rock formations and you’ll be able to spot the tofu rock, the honeycomb rock, the fungus rock, and more.
On the other hand, Jialulan is a park with many pieces of driftwood artworks set up along the coast. It felt so relaxing to admire the ocean view with Dulan Mountain as the backdrop and appreciate the sound of the waves. Sanxiantai is further away, but definitely worth the trip. You should cross the bridge and explore the little island. There are fishing competitions held there once in awhile.
Whether you’re travelling to Taitung alone, or with your significant other, or with your friends or family, you should consider staying at The Gaya Hotel. Utilizing the hotel amenities, especially the swimming pool, helped chase all my stress away and the sumptuous foods were so gratifying. Besides Kaohsiung and Kenting, I will certainly visit Taitung the next time I want to escape Taipei’s hustle and bustle.
The Gaya Hotel Taitung
Address: No. 169 Xinsheng Road, Taitung City, Taitung County, Taiwan 950
Contact: +886 8 961 1888
Note that this is an invited stay, but the opinions are the writer’s own.