THE LALU SUN MOON LAKE, TAIWAN
reviewed by @theasia.collective
“You will feel relaxed and refreshed the minute you arrive at The Lalu, soaking in its magical and enchanting views over lake. Its soothing, classic yet modern design and over-the-moon friendly staff will make this stay an unforgettable one.”
Taiwan has been on my bucket list for precisely 3 years since sharing an apartment with lovely Taiwanese girls in Australia. Being only a mere 4 hours flight away from Asian hub Singapore with reasonable ticket prices, I finally managed to visit this beautiful country and am already planning my return.
After spending our first night in Taiwan’s buzzing capital Taipei, we escaped city life for two nights and ventured down south to stay at THE LALU Sun Moon Lake. It’s only a 1 hour high speed train ride and 1h30min bus ride from Taipei city centre yet you feel far more secluded from the rest of the world.
THE LALU SUN MOON LAKE
The contemporary design hotel is nestled in the hills offering breathtaking views of the glistening waters of Sun Moon Lake. In ancient times, the area surrounding Sun Moon Lake was known as “Shuishalian”, translated to “where water and sand meet”.
Dive into Taiwan’s culture at The Lalu’s traditional tea house floating in a pond full of koi fish or soak in the lake views while swimming your laps in the largest swimming pool in Taiwan.
Getting up early rewards you with a magical mist covering the lake and mountain skyline from your private terrace – this moment is best enjoyed with a cup of Taiwanese-grown black tea from your minibar.
The Lalu was designed by famed Kerry Hill. The outstanding projects of the well-known Australian architect such as The Amannusa in Bali can be visited throughout South East Asia, Australia, Japan and USA.
Kerry describes The Lalu’s design as “Ongoing Style” – which is clearly visible with the property being 30 years old yet one gets the impression of staying at a recently opened resort. The traditional Zen design elements – simplicity, naturalness and ‘yugen’, a shadowy darkness – provide mystery and thoughtful silence.
Special attention has also been paid to the hotel’s lighting effects. Nathan Thompson, who teaches lighting arts classes at Melbourne University in Australia, has focused on contrasting light and shadow effects. If you look closely you can observe seven lighting changes at different time periods and in different settings – such as switching the water lilies to candle light in the water areas of the lobby.
Ponds and plants are built into the design inviting to explore the hotel grounds and its natural surroundings.
Six levels of one to two-bedroom options range from courtyard suites up to lake view suites. The spacious, light-flooded rooms offer a separate living area with a private gas-powered fireplace (calls for splurging on room service!) and a terrace overlooking the enchanted lake.
Treat yourself to a bubble bath while enjoying the cool lake breeze and get lost in your latest novel. Book yourself into one of the hotel’s two separate villas at street level with steam room, kitchen and gas fireplace if you are after more privacy and space.
DINING OPTIONS AT THE LALU
THE ORIENTIAL BRASSERIES
Offering contemporary Western and Asian cuisine, this is where the breakfast and afternoon tea magic happens. Indulge in breakfast classics such as fluffy pancakes and granola with fresh fruits, sample your own Asian noodle soup and treat yourself to a cream cheese bagel with salmon. Round out the perfect morning with a steaming cup of coffee and a fresh orange juice while soaking in the lake views.
Afternoon tea at The Lalu offers a large selection of traditional Asian dishes such as sushi, fresh seafood and dumplings – safe to say you might want to skip lunch that day!
THE LAKE VIEW CHINESE RESTAURANT
When travelling to Taiwan, you cannot miss indulging in traditional Chinese dishes. Offering undisturbed lake views in a romantic setting, you can choose from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Shanghai cuisine combined with private recipes from president Chiang Kai-Shek at The Lalu’s Lake View Chinese Restaurant.
THE JAPANESE RESTAURANT
Continue your Asian culinary journey and travel on to Japan at The Japanese Restaurant at The Lalu. With Zen interior design and delicate preparation of each recipe, your dining experience will be taken to the next level. An additional plus: the restaurant is exclusive to room guests and The Lalu members.
THE TEA HOUSE
Surrounded by a natural pond with koi fish, you will feel set back in time to traditional tea ceremonies of Chinese emperors. You can also order their fresh smoothies to your sun bed by the infinity pool if you are unable to let go of the breathtaking view while lounging pool-side.
THE LALU SPA
The Lalu Spa offers a stunning view of the lake and surrounding mountain ranges, giving you the feeling of being up the in the clouds and taking your spa experience to the next level. Treat yourself to their signature massage which features a unique long push strokes combined with an aromatic oils soothing body, mind and soul. Make use of their fully equipped gym if you are feeling more active.
THE LALU AT SUN MOON LAKE
When travelling to Taiwan, it is mandatory to leave the hectic city life in Taipei behind and explore the incredible beauty of Taiwan’s countryside.
Sun Moon Lake which is a 3-hour journey down south from Taipei offers various activities to explore the nature and culture of Taiwan. The former preferred recreational spot for Taiwan’s president invites you to go hiking or explore the lake via a scenic boat ride.
You will feel relaxed and refreshed the minute you arrive at The Lalu, soaking in its magical and enchanting views over lake. Its soothing, classic yet modern design and over-the-moon friendly staff will make this stay an unforgettable one.
Indulge in traditional Chinese food, spoil yourself at The Lalu Spa and relax on your couch by your very own fireplace with your book and a glass of red wine.
A countryside escape has never been more tempting!
If you cannot get enough of the Chinese culture, venture on to The Lalu Qingdao. Offering ocean views and a private beach, this luxury 5-star hotel ticks all the boxes for a relaxing, sea-side holiday!
Click here to find out more.
Distance from Taichung HSR station: 60 minutes
This review has been written by @dom.overseas of @theasia.collective.