Monday, November 27, 2023

A Few Things About Kaoshiung

The town of Kaoshiung caught me by surprise first by how nice our hotel was. Silks Club Kaoshiung was everything one want in a boutique designer hotel. With less than 150 suites right in the city center, an exclusive lounge on the top floor with food and drinks served all day, and top restaurant and bar and the infinity pool completed with full spa facilities, this is just what we wanted when we look for a quick weekend getaway. 

The car took us from Tainan to Kaoshiung in slightly less than an hour. The hotel is right in the city center, owned by the local real estate developer Yuimon Group and managed by Silks Hotel. Upon entry, catching our eyes first was the "Dancing Particles" art installation in the middle of the lobby, with 168 metallic orbs spread and hung above a square water pond which will move in particular pattern and rhythm periodically. It's so therapeutic just sit on the side and observe. 

They put me in a corner suite, with the 800 square feet space with windows on both sides and separate sleeping and living areas divided by the TV wall which can be rotated either sides. The bathroom with black and white marble, free-standing bathtub and the city skyline view was the most impressive of all - one as good as those often seen in design or fashion magazines for photoshoots. And every amenities in the suite were top-notch - the rain shower, toilet and toiletries, the loaded mini bar, speakers and TV etc - they really spared no expense to provide everyone a state-of-the-art stay experience.

The infinity pool was a perfect place to chill, either for the gorgeous sunset view or a quick morning dip. They even have a bar on the side that opened in the evenings with live DJ. I was super impressed with the sauna facility too, with sauna and steam rooms and hot and cold onsen pools in true Japanese ryokan style. And their no-child hotel guest policy meant the pool was never too crowded or overwhelmed. 

While the suite was chic and trendy, the executive lounge (called In Jade Lounge) on the top floor has more a homey vibe - this is also the place where breakfast was served semi-buffet style for the hotel guests. The "Chairman's Congee" set was the selection that caught my attention, said to be the owner's favorite with rice wine steamed clams, fish porridge, pork rib soup and a few sides for a healthy, light yet sumptuous choice. That's in addition to the hot and cold dishes available at the buffet table, including the variety of bread toasted a la minute in the specialty stone oven. 

Art and design are pretty much at the core of the hotel philosophy, with commission art pieces found at every floor, every corner, and that continued with our travel itinerary.  After lunch we made a quick hop to the ALIEN Art Center not far away, a private art museum converted from the old military hostel and focuses on modern art pieces. The clean line, near symmetrical facade and functional design reminded me of the Bauhaus-type architecture common in buildings in Hong Kong during the same era. The indoor area was turned into exhibition space with some permanent art collection and some on rotating basis. 

At night we ate at the AW Restaurant located in one of their sister properties nearby. Part of the complex with the SS Cafe next door (S, S, A, W stand for Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter), the restaurant was doubled as bar and lounge, plus restaurants focusing on contemporary creative western cuisine. We ate at the private room, which was spacious and well-equipped, even with a private bar counter and karaoke setup. Dishes were decent, with my favorite being the scallop carpaccio with ikura and passionfruit puree, and the Belgian waffle served with sour cream and caviar. 

With a few hours' free time in the morning on the second day, I grabbed a bike using one of those bike sharing app (called YouBike) and did a quick city tour on wheel. Just love the breath of fresh air by the coast. 

More photos:

Silks Club Kaoshiung:
AW Restaurant:
ALIEN Art Centre:

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