Zhuo Ye Cottage is the perfect weekend getaway spot for some R&R, Taiwan-style. This small, bamboo, and wood village is inspired by old-fashioned farmhouses. The property is set away in the mountain region of Miaoli, Taiwan, about a three hour drive south west from Taipei, and less than an hour north of Taichung. Meandering, red lantern decorated paths lead you to enjoy nature, fab hotel rooms, funky Taiwanese food, Indigo dying classes, and even some eco-friendly shopping.
Rest in earthy accommodations with modern interiors
There are many types of accommodation here, all set against lush, green backdrops. The most popular are the barn-inspired, round, bamboo roof rooms that were once old granaries. The inside remains modern, air conditioned, and the bed is super cozy. There are even flat-screen TVs. Rooms range from 2200 NT (67 USD) to 7800 NT (239 USD) per night depending on the room size and day of the week.
Dogs are not allowed to stay overnight in the hotel rooms according to the front desk. However, there were several dogs running free around the village when I came, and no one minded.
Dine on fresh, funky food
The vegetarian restaurant at the homestay serves a decent hot pot for lunch and dinner. You can fill a plate with veggies, mushrooms and tofu from a buffet style, all-you-can-eat bar for around 500 NT (15 USD). If you come for lunch between 11am and 1pm, you can sit in any of the cool outdoor seating areas. Though, if you come between 1pm and 2pm for lunch, you have to sit in the indoor sitting areas, as pond-side sitting becomes available for tea-time only, offering teas and snacks.
You can tell Zhuo Ye has tried to be creative with many of their dishes - and some of them certainly are. Although I couldn’t finish the chewy, salty mystery block, or the green, mystery filled sandwich they offered. However, some of the dishes, like the glass noodles, were delicious. Another plus, is that the kitchen serves seasonal foods that are mostly from their own farm, or from nearby farms, which is better for the earth, and better for you!
Create funky articles with local indigo dye
The indigo and assam plants grow well in the climate here, and the farm makes its own dye from scratch. Don gloves to create your own blue Hakka (Han descended Chinese who migrated to Taiwan around the end of the Ming Dynasty) inspired fashion in indigo dyeing classes and workshops in an open air room, just across from the duck pond. The dye is local, sustainable, and eco-friendly, making it good for the ducks, and for us too! Extra charges apply.
Nurture yourself in nature and comfort
By taking just a short trip from Taipei, it’s easy to take a break at Zhuo Ye Cottage to rejuvenate yourself. With the creative outlet of indigo dyeing, delicious, healthy food, nearby nature that is easily accessible and comfortable, and modern accommodation, you’ll leave this homestay feeling refreshed. Go ahead, treat yourself!