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My everyday beauty regimen is one that can be described as — at best — minimal (both in time and in effort). But when I heard that I’d have the opportunity to soak in the healing waters of northern Taiwan’s “Beauty Spring” — a naturally occurring hot spring located about 45 minutes from Taipei in the country’s Jiaoxi township — I was intrigued. A good soak in health- and beauty-inducing waters? Now that’s something I can get behind.
Luckily for me, our accommodation in Jiaoxi was Wellspring by Silks, the first boutique hot spring resort operated by Regent Hotel Group.
Although there are multiple areas in Taiwan that are famous for hot springs, Jiaoxi’s Beauty Spring is quite rare due to its location on flatland, according to Nicole Tsai, marketing and communications manager for Wellspring.
“The hot spring is capable of making the skin smooth and tender while also bringing full relaxation to the muscles and releasing pressure within the body,” she said.
The property, which offers 108 guestrooms in six room categories, has incorporated this wellness ritual — and the region’s beautiful natural scenery — into nearly every component of the guest experience.
The lobby, for instance, features an earthy color scheme that changes with the season. During my spring visit, it had green hues with bamboo accents; in the summer, it followed a red-and-pink theme. In terms of dining, the on-site restaurant offers a range of healthful Chinese and Western-style dishes, and coffee and tea are available in the lobby.
Once upstairs, I realized that Wellspring’s guestrooms are more reminiscent of a day spa than simply a place to lay one’s head; each room is equipped with a private hot spring tub, which is located on the balcony behind a foliage-covered grillage that provides a relaxing enclave high above the bustling city. Inside my room, locally made, pastel-colored orchid pottery pieces adorned the wall above the bed, providing a sharp contrast to the deep indigo walls. In-room amenities include spa robes and slippers; an electric teapot and accompanying selection of teas; and Pocari Sweat, a popular Japanese sports drink.
Although the property also features a beautiful rooftop communal hot spring — where movie nights are held when the weather permits — I was completely content with my own tub. I initially expected the alkaline carbonic acid waters to be slightly discolored or sulfuric-smelling, but I was pleasantly surprised to find them warm, clear and odorless.
For a more authentic hot spring experience, guests can go into town, located just a five-minute walk away. Here, Beauty Spring flows through the center and is surrounded by several convenience stores, restaurants, boutiques and all-day “fish spas.” Nearly everywhere I looked, I spotted locals feet-first in the steaming waters.
Although the hot spring was wonderfully relaxing, it’s hard to say whether I truly reaped the beauty benefits I had hoped for. Despite this, I was inspired to continue on my quest.
Next stop? The fish spa.