Cingjing Minsu: Sen Love B&B Review
If you are visiting Cingjing Farm (清境农场), I do recommend a night stay around the farm instead of making a day trip from Taichung. It’s more relaxing this way and you get to enjoy the good weather (at certain months of the year). We stayed at Sen Love B&B (清境森之戀民宿), one of the many minsus (homestay) in Cingjing.
The weather was cooling and nice when we were there in April, similar to that of Genting. I didn’t get my orientation of Cingjing Farm right until I got there – to finally realise that the farm was built on a mountain instead of a flat plain! Hence, the farm stretches along the slope and like most people, we started from its highest point and walked down the slope. Down at the farm’s lower end are Small Swiss Garden (小瑞士花園), 7-11 convenience store, Starbucks, MOS burger and other shops.
Accommodation near to Cingjing Farm are all on the mountain and there’s no public transport. You will need a private vehicle to drive you to the farm, unless you are staying near the 7-11 area which is just walking distance from the farm. But no worries! These nearby accommodation will most probably drive you to the farm for free. Even the place we had lunch (super yummy chicken) had free farm transfer.
Sen Love B&B: Overview
Date: 17 April 2017, Thursday
Pricing: NT$2,580 (S$120), including a pair of tickets to Small Swiss Garden
You can take a look at the interior and pricing of the various rooms at www.senlove.tw/room.php.
After a long journey (HSR train from Taipei, followed by a ride from Taichung), we were looking forward to unwind in our room. From the main road, the car turned into a rocky, narrow path as it made its way to Sen Love. One way road for two directional traffic.
“We’re here to check in.”
The lady at the reception looked at us blankly. “Let me call and check. Please take a seat.”
After what seemed to be five minutes, she came to us saying, “Sorry, the person doing the check-in is out running errands. Please wait for about half an hour.”
It’s so lame, why can’t another person do a simple check in?! Anyway, after 20 mins of waiting, we were told that the person got delayed and would come back even later. So in the end, they just let us in to our room and have us come down later to check in. They should have done this in the first place.
Later, we found out that the person in charge of check-in is basically the person holding the fort, the owner’s daughter. So, this is a family run business. Anyway, let’s call this person the lady. So the lady is also the one who drives guests to and fro Cingjing Farm. Did I say she has a poker face? No smiles from her, even though we smiled at her.
And boy, she was not chatty at all. There was an unfriendly silence in the car. So we tried to make things less awkward and struck conversations with her. That’s how we found out that she’s the owner’s daughter. After a while, she opened up and became friendlier. But still, she does not display the typical hospitality of people in suburb Taiwan, or hotel service line for that matter.
Oh, and it was a bad ending too. We waited a long time for our car to pick us up from Sen Love to Taichung. But the lady was not around again. So we had to ask their clueless staff to phone the lady. Turned out, it was some miscommunication between the driver and the lady. In the end, they got another car company to squeeze us in. >.<
Regardless, they have WhatsApp to answer your queries. Which is a good thing. And oh, the place has a nice scenery for photos. :) So shall not let them affect our babymoon!
We chose 雅緻雙人房A because it is one of the cheaper rooms and has a balcony with a nice view! Surprising that we could get a balcony with this price. We also didn’t want to get the cheapest because those rooms only came with a tiny window, kind of suffocating.
The room turned out to be big, and even had a mini living room. The bathroom was spacious as well. However, as I excitedly got to the balcony, I was shocked by what welcomed me. An unkempt vegetation flourishing (see photo below, bottom right). Where’s the good view!?
A step out into the balcony, a look to the right, and there it is. The view. It was really nice (photo below). The photos on their website are accurate. In a way. Just like how we take selfies, at a 45 degrees angle.
Anyway, choosing a room with balcony was a good choice. Hubby and I got our chips and his beer and sat outside in the cooling night. We ate, drank and chatted. Snuggling into his arms, we looked up and admired the multitude of twinkling stars spread across the pitch dark sky. Enjoying the moment as a couple before the baby.
Before I go into their breakfast, let’s talk about dinner. Just so you know, I read somewhere that they provide steamboat dinner. A nice option for a cold night. However, when we asked them about it, they discouraged us from ordering with them and gave us a list of other eating places. Perhaps it was too troublesome for them to buy the ingredients and prepare for just us in the non-peak season? We ended up eating Taiwan’s MOS Burger. But at least we had good lunch.
Back to their breakfast. The buffet spread was not fantastic, but good enough to fill our stomachs. The best part of breakfast is…
THE MILLION DOLLAR BREAKFAST VIEW.
It is like we are at some upscale resort with a beautiful scenery for breakfast. Except, ours look like a budget breakfast. =D
So would I recommend this place? Despite my gripes about the service, I will still recommend this place for 2D1N. Budget friendly with a good view. Just make sure you confirm your arrival and departure arrangements with them.
Other Cingjing Bed and Breaskfast (Minsus)
Since we booked our accommodation at the last minute, we didn’t bother checking the more popular minsus.
The hazy photo below was taken when I was on the bus back to Taichung. We didn’t have the car to go visit this place. This hotel is like the talk of the town. The expensive accommodation rates, averaging S$500 per night, the beautiful European decor and the story about how someone bought over the place and gave it a makeover. This hotel is called The Old England 老英格蘭. People do visit the place to take photographs with the architecture, and couples spending ~S$200 to enter and take photographs. Only hotel and dining guests are allowed to enter. If you have the money, why not pamper yourself and stay in this luxurious hotel.
Other minsus to check out are Misty Minsu (雲濛仙境民宿) and Starry Minsu (清境民宿觀星園景觀山莊). According to what I read online, Misty is better than Starry in terms of location and interior, while Starry is better than Misty in terms of scenery and price (30% cheaper?).
- Misty Villa minsu is popular for its convenience. It is centrally located near Mist Plaza, where Starbucks and 7/11 are located. www.misting.com.tw
- Starry Minsu, on the other hand, is located at one of the highest points of the mountain and hence famous for its beautiful aerial view of Cingjing and the mountains. starry.nantou.com.tw
The higher the accommodation is located, the longer the travel journey. And if you get car sick easily, I recommend Misty so that you wouldn’t need to travel too long. One other thing you might like to check with the accommodation is whether they have heating. Certain places like starry only have heating on the beds.
So where will you be staying? Leave a comment below. I love to hear from you!