While on the way back to Singapore from Osaka last year, my wife and I made a 2-night stop at Taipei to get re-acquainted with the delicious food and nice folks over at Taiwan.

With a 2-night booking already made for a chic hotel in Ximending, it wasn’t in our original plans to enjoy a nice soak at a hot-spring retreat. We’ve heard of the reputation of Villa 32 – an obscure and lush property that caters to the exclusive. As one of only three properties that made it to Relais & Chateaux (Taiwan) list of accommodations, expectations are high.

Unfortunately, we weren’t willingly to blow an obscene amount of money this time round. In case you’re curious, Villa 32 has only five rooms, and rates per night start from NT$16,800 (SGD$750) + 15% tax.

Luckily, the private hot-spring rooms for a 90-minutes session is much more affordable at NT$2,800.

It must be due to me, because rain has become my good friend whenever I’m in Taiwan. No choice but to hail a cab to bring us to Villa 32. Understandably, the cab driver had a little trouble locating the place because the entrance was rather .. nondescript. Great for rendezvous.

We were given umbrellas and ushered in the huge lobby and tall ceilings. The staff at the reception can speak rather good English!

With an appointment in place, it didn’t take long for us to be brought to our private hot-spring room which has everything a standard hotel room, except a king-size bed and a large-screen TV.

As with the entire property, the use of wood  as its theme takes center-stage. Plenty of hangers for clothes.

A full set of toiletries are provided – including a set of Salvatore Ferragamo’s “Tuscan Soul”.

Drinking water – check. Fruits – check. Hair dryer – check.

Ample of daylight to fill the room. The horizontal curtains at the top can be drawn to let in even more light.

The stone tub was rather huge and it took a while for the hot-spring water to fill it up.

Nothing glamorous for the W.C. though.

Nothing beats a soothing rain-shower for use after a nice soak in the mineral-filled water.

After we’re done with the hot-spring bath, the comfortable couch beckons.

A small side-table has been thoughtfully provided for us for put our bottles of water and pastry as we relaxed on the sofa. As the saying goes, the devil is in the details. The best properties does not miss out on the little things.

The [Not-So-Frugal Series] is a set of complementary posts I’m starting in addition to my Travel category posts. Although I blog mostly about finance-related stuff here, my wife and I do indulge in travel-related expenses from time to time. I’d rather have one awesome trip rather than two mediocre ones.

Life isn’t always black vs white. Or YOLO-ites vs what SMOL affectionately termed as “giam ka na”. Before you go all ballistic, my savings/investment rate is in excess of 50% and my net-worth chart is making good progress. Onward!

Enjoyed this post? More of [Not-So-Frugal Series] to come, especially for Taiwan. Meanwhile, the Travel category should keep you occupied for now 🙂

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