For some The One or NanYuan (南園人文客棧) might be known as a luxurious hotel and spa, but it is far more than this. Hidden in the middle of nowhere between Hsinchu and Taoyuan, this is a marvelous place to enjoy a beautiful Jiangnan-style garden and Fujian-style architecture.
Panoramic view of The One (click image for a larger view)
The One is not a historical building complex, even if it looks like this. It was established in 1985 by Mr. Wang Tiwu (王惕吾), the founder of the newspaper United Daily News (聯合報), and served as an exclusive area for the use of high ranked officers of the UDN. The whole complex was designed by renowned Taiwanese architect Han Pao-teh (漢寶德), who also designed, e.g., the Cultural Center in Changhua County and the Tiansiang Youth Activity Center in Taroko Gorge. After Mr. Wang passed away in 1996, the use of this place changed and The One was opened to the public in the year 2008.
In my opinion this is an amazing place. First of all, I love Chinese gardens and historical buildings. Even if the buildings here are not genuine historical buildings, they are still impressive. They have such an incredible amount of detail, that it is impossible to stop looking at them. There is always something new to find. I have been there twice, and could still find new things.
Also the garden is beautiful and it is not only the garden in the main area, there is also a huge park around. And the best thing is, this place is not overcrowded like many tourist attractions in Taiwan. So you can enjoy a very relaxing time in a beautiful place.
During my visits I took tons of photos there. Here are some of them to give an impression of this place.
Visiting The One
It is possible to visit the place not only as hotel guest. But it can be only done in combination with a full or half day visiting package. These packages include lunch and a guided tour or afternoon tea. You can stay until the place closes and access all areas. The package can be booked online and you pay on arrival at the entrance gate. Unfortunately the booking page is only offered on the Chinese webpage here.
The lunch package costs per person 980 NT$ on weekdays and 1180 NT$ on weekends. It includes lunch, welcome tea and a guided tour. The afternoon package package costs per person 680 NT$ on weekdays and 780 NT$ on weekends. It includes only afternoon tea. A 10% service charge is added to all entrance fees.
During my both visits I only enjoyed afternoon tea which is really nice. They serve a variety of small cakes and some typical Taiwanese deserts.
How to get there
The One is really in a remote location and can not be reached by public transportation. For hotel guests a free shuttle bus from Hsinchu HSR station is offered. One-day visitors need to drive by themselves. Don’t use the address of the hotel as destination for the GPS. It will guide you into a wrong direction. Better drive to this place: 303, Taiwan, Hsinchu County, Hukou Township, Section 2, Bade Rd, 405號 新竹南園. It is almost opposite of Xiangxi Road entrance (see in Google Maps). From there you can follow the signs to The One.
Before visiting the place you need to register online. Please visit the webpage for further and updated information (English webpage). I also suggest to check the Chinese version, as this has usually more and updated information.