by Michael J. Shapiro | July 02, 2019
Japan-based Hoshino Resorts debuted its first luxury property in Taiwan this weekend. The Hoshinoya Guguan, Taiwan, a 50-room hot-springs sanctuary, opened for business on June 30 in Gugan, near Taichung, Taiwan. The property is situated amid the region's popular hot springs, as well as a variety of nature trails in both the mountains and forest.

A 4,200-foot-long promenade and observation deck are located just behind the hotel, offering sweeping views of the valley, with the possibility of cherry-blossom sightings in the spring and colorful foliage in fall.

The property's architecture and landscaping have been designed to blend in with the lush natural surroundings of the resort. Natural spring water flows through an elaborate water garden at the resort, offering a tranquil setting for walks or meditation. Spring water also flows throughout the property, as flower-lined waterways have been built throughout, from the restaurant and hot-spring bath to the spa, pool and library. Every guest room has a private outdoor hot-spring bath and terrace with a view of the natural surroundings. A separate public bath area on a ridge provides stunning views of the valley and mountain range. The spring water is low in alkaline, carbonated and gentle to the skin, which is why it is called "water for beautiful skin."

Guest room categories range in capacity from two people to as many as seven, the largest offering three bedrooms and a terrace. The on-site restaurant features a menu based on local Taiwanese ingredients and traditional Japanese cooking techniques.

Hoshino also has announced two additional properties currently being developed in Japan. This fall, the luxury hotelier plans to open Risonare Nasu in the Nasu highlands of the Tochigi prefecture, north of Tokyo. This property, the fourth Risonare hotel in the company's portfolio, will offer what Hoshino calls "agriturismo" experiences -- opportunities to connect with nature and participate in agricultural activities related to harvesting local crops like highland vegetables, herbs and rice. The 43 guest rooms will be set among lush vegetation and surround an "agri-garden," where vegetables and herbs will be grown for the hotel's use. The garden's bounty will become ingredients on the menu at an on-site Italian-themed restaurant. Other amenities will include Books&Café, a casual café and library where guests can customize pizzas to be cooked in a stone oven; Poko Poko, a venue that will offer family-friendly nature activities; and Net Zone, a 21-foot-long net stretched between two walls, offering trampoline-style fun for guests.

In the spring of 2020, Hoshino intends to open Hoshinoya Okinawa, a resort in Yomitan Village in the Okinawa prefecture. The property will debut alongside a reef pool -- a slice of shallow, calm ocean surrounded by coral reefs. Walls will surround the property, inspired by the gusuku, which are historic castle sites native to the local islands in which wooden buildings are surrounded by limestone rock. Each of the 100 guest rooms and suites will provide ocean views and access to private pools.