Address: No.42-1, Ln 402, Xingyi Road, Beitou District, Taipei City
Tel: (+8862) 2862-3688; Contact Form for Inquires here
Hours: Hot Spring Baths 24 hours. Restaurant hours: 12noon-3:00am.
Visited: October 2016
Tucked away in the northern side of Taipei City is Beitou's natural hot spring or "onsen" Emperor Spa (Huang Chi Resort). An astonishing short 15-min ride away from the bustling Taipei City is this quiet resort popular to local hikers and families all year around. My family and I decided to spend an afternoon here to soak in all the healing minerals drawn from the nearby geothermal springs and indulge in a delicious dinner prepared by the Emperor Spa chefs.
Emperor Spa is a local resort for a little over 30 years but the geothermal hot springs have been drawn on for more than a century with water temperatures reaching 98°C or 208°F. The hot spring pools are maintained at around 36°C to 40°C for patrons to enjoy (97°F to 104°F). Emperor Spa features an extraordinary natural green-sulphur spring (青磺泉) and is the only one of two in the world (the other is the famous Tamagawa hot springs in Japan). The natural green-sulfur spring is translucent yellow-white at pH levels of 1.2 with sulfuric aroma. Emperor Spa boasts healing effects and youthful skin from bathing in their hot springs so be sure to soak it all in.
Emperor Spa is surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery, trees and trickling waterfalls. The resort has three bath areas (opened 24 hours) and two restaurants; however, there are no hotel rooms or beds for overnight stays. Area 1 and 3 are nude pools (men-only and women-only pools are separated). There are also private baths in Area 1 and 3. Area 2 pool is family/ children-friendly and allows swimming attire.
Both the public pools and private rooms are opened 24 hours. Public pool costs NT$250 per person*. Children below 110cm are half-priced (kids can stand against a wall to see if they are below or over the 110cm line). All pools and all men-only and women-only pools are washed and cleaned daily! Hygiene is a must. There are saunas and showers for all to use and enjoy.
*Emperor Spa is cash only. Make sure you leave the plastics and bring some bills.
We were too shy that day for the nude so we opted for the private baths in Area 1. Important note: due to safety reasons, there must be 2 people in each private bath (I had some quality mother-daughter time...). Private room for 2 people is NT$500 total. You can enjoy 40 mins on weekdays and 30 mins on weekends for the same price. (There are no time restrictions in the public pools). Private baths are first come, first serve.
The private rooms are cozy, decorated with stone and bamboo and semi-outdoors. This set up allows me to enjoy the privacy as well as the surrounding nature while I sit in the stone bath. Each room is equipped with a freshwater shower, shampoo, soap and a lounge chair. You can draw your own bath with natural spring water and ration how much hot water versus cold to your perfect "ooh-ahh" temperature.
- Highly recommend rinsing off with soap and fresh water after the bath so you don't smell like natural sulfuric minerals (aka. eggs)
- Bring your own bath towel to dry off and a small towel for the bath. You can also buy towels from the resort at NT$100 for a small towel or NT$200 for bath towel
- If you bring your own towels, remember to bring a plastic bag to keep wet, sulfuric-smelling towels contained in your bag
- I also recommend bringing your own water to rehydrate. You can also buy bottled water at the front desk for NT$20.
- Bring your own body lotion. My current favorite is non-greasy Lubriderm
This local hot spring resort is not a luxury hotel spa but you can enjoy a very local and one-of-a-kind natural hot spring experience at an inexpensive price. Although facilities are not fancy, Emperor Spa is clean, staff is friendly and you have all the basic necessities you'd need: complimentary hairdryer at the communal vanity stations, hairbrushes and q-tips.
Emperor Spa has 2 full-kitchen restaurants and snack stations throughout the property opened from 12 noon to 3:00am. The restaurant boasts an extensive and very impressive menu of local and international-flare dishes. See their picture menu here. If you don't know what to order, ask the staff to bring out their best dishes (always worked out well for me!)
For every NT$400 spent at the restaurants, Emperor Spa gives free one ticket to the public pools. I highly recommend enjoying a great meal at the restaurants and go for a complimentary dip in the natural hot spring pools after.
We had a delicious dinner and a variety of local and international dishes:
Seafood porridge is a must and the restaurant's specialty dish. Don't miss out on this one!
HOW TO GET THERE?
1. Take the MRT Tamsui (red) Line to Shipai station.
2. From Shipai station, either grab a quick 10-min taxi ride or bus # 508, 535, 536 or 612 (3-4 stops to Xinyi Road stop and a 5 min walk).
3. If you are driving, Emperor Spa provides free parking in their private parking lot minutes away from the property.
Emperor Spa also provides free shuttle buses every 5-10 mins from the parking lot to the spa entrance if you need a short ride.
Thank you, 謝謝 to Emperor Spa for having us as guests. Our experience was sponsored by Emperor Spa but as always, all opinions are my own.
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