In southwestern Taiwan’s Chiayi City, there is a hotel named Teascape – one of Hotel Day+’s six hotels on the island. Chiayi City is also called Peach City (桃城): Not because of peach harvests, but because of its territory expanding to resemble a peach during the Qing dynasty. (The must-visit Alishan National Scenic Area (阿里山) is about 35 miles away.) Teascape’s official YouTube video demonstrates tea being poured into a tub to create a tea bath, and highlights the lobby’s main design element: A fusion of wood and all tea décor imaginable and tangible, which aspires to simulate brewed tea’s temperature and aroma. The 9th-floor infinity pool and the doodle art inside the guest rooms are utterly unrelated to tea though; moreover, the hotel’s English webpage is plagued with typos and unrefined Google-translated content. (Perhaps I will e-mail Teascape’s marketing team.)
In 2018, the over-a-century-old Hotel RyuMeiKan Tokyo reinvigorated its operations with the grand opening of Hotel 1899 Tokyo (ホテル1899東京) in the Minato-ku District. Some of the front desk receptionists may be certified tea sommeliers and serve guests traditional green tea upon their check-in. The deli/bar on the first floor specializes in tea cuisine, including tea-flavored sausage, and sake and black tea cake (Is this sake-infused tea cake? Or a flask of sake and a piece of cake?). Three types of bottled water are available inside each guest room: Sparkling water, mineral water, and pure water. To steep tea, pure water should be used.
Should I have waited until after my stay at Teascape and Hotel 1899 Tokyo to write a proper review? But I have no travel plans to re-visit Asia in the foreseeable future. If I were to lodge at a tea-themed or tea-related hotel, ChooArt Villa (樹也) in Taiwan is my first and only choice. Years have passed since the villa was constructed; it will be interesting to examine if and how meticulously designed manmade structure and Nature amalgamate and affront each other.
Images provided and copyright held by author