We've been a regular at Villa 32 for many years now dating back to 2007 having visited the resort on multiple occasions. The resort itself if you are lucky enough to get the bigger public spa (they switch the men's and women's sections I think monthly) is excellent. The bigger public spa area is very spacious with outdoor seating that is both very relaxing and zen-like. However, if you are less fortunate to get the smaller public spa area, then it's really just average. So I would call first to see if the bigger public spa is being allocated to the men's or women's section first before visiting. If you can get the bigger public spa area, then it's worth it; but if not, then Kagaya down the street is better. The private spas at Villa 32 are overpriced for what you get. It's a better deal to just do a day trip and then stay in Taipei City as there is absolutely nothing to do in Beitou in the evenings and there's no way you'd want to be in the hot springs for more than a couple of hours anyways.
Now to the most important part of this review: The biggest complaint that we have about the Villa 32 resort is the service. The overall staff is very friendly and welcoming, but beware of the manager - Sabrina. Words can not describe how amazingly unpleasant it was to have to deal with her. Our first 4 or 5 trips there were fine, but our last trip there was the worst ever. When we first arrived, although we had been many times before, Sabrina looked down upon us right away. I am not too sure as to why she held such an immediate bias, but my guess is, most likely because of our age or perhaps the fact that we speaking in English. My wife and I joked that perhaps we should have worn a t-shirt that said "I have a black Amex" then perhaps we would have gotten better treatment. A bit of sarcasm, but most likely true. So after a very long wait in the lobby (where many others who arrived after us were lead down before us), we were finally lead downstairs. Also, no tea was offered to us, but other guests were offered tea. Once downstairs, while my wife and I were deciding what time to meet since we had to go to different spas (men/women), we were pressured and rushed and spoken to in a rude/holier-than-thou tone like we had no right nor the money to be in a nice resort. But it only gets better...After our spa and before dinner, we saw some friends standing right outside the lobby upstairs having a cigarette. As my wife and I were stepping outside to say hello them, Sabrina rushes over and grabs my shoulder and asks where I was going and if I had PAID YET. UNBELIVABLE! First of all, touching a customer is unheard of. Secondly, if one has ever been to Villa 32, one will know that from the front reception to the exit is about a 50 yard walk and there's guards at the main entrance after the walk so trying to bail on the bill is nearly impossible. Plus, it's Taiwan, I can't imagine anyone doing that, nor wanting to do that. Remember, we haven't had dinner yet (and our package was Spa + Dinner). So we told Sabrina that we were not running away, we have more than enough money to settle the bill, and that we were only stepping outside to say hello to our friends and we would be heading to dinner shortly. Having to even explain this to her was shocking. Anyways so we chatted with our friends outside and from the back I could see her eyeing us the whole time. Very very uncomfortable and unbelievably unprofessional.
Later on at diner, we spoke to the staff at "The Restaurant" about our earlier experiences with Sabrina and they were kind enough to comp us with free wine and hinted that we were not the only ones who have complained about her; and we got the idea that most of the staff there probably did not like her either which made us feel a bit better in the sense that it wasn't just us. We are not the type to really voice our opinion especially if it's negative, however, a couple of days ago we were out having dinner with some friends and the topic of hot springs in Taiwan came up and it turns out our friends had the same horrendous experience with Sabrina as well.This incident happened about half a year ago and we have not gone back to Villa 32 since having opted for Kagaya instead. My wife and I rarely comment and are pretty easy going folks, but for us to actually agree to take the time to spend 30 minutes to warn others, then it must have been quite an unpleasant experience. Future patrons of Villa 32, please take note, but more importantly management at Villa 32, please take note as well.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- One hundred and eight years after commencing the exploitation of the Taiwanese hot springs, Villa 32 has further enhanced for you the natural well-being life has to offer by drawing on the delights of nature that surrounds it. Located in Beitou, tucked away between impressive mountains in a geothermal valley, this spacious Villa has only five guest rooms – each with its own natural hot springs tub. It welcomes you into a private atmosphere in the midst of lush vegetation covered in mist from the hot springs. Mr. Ming-Hong Chiu has succeeded in crafting a delicate and relaxing atmosphere by artfully combining water, stone and trees. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Villa 32 Hotel Taipei
- 32 Hotel Taipei