To lose one’s way is to begin a journey.
To empty one’s mind is for containing more blessing.
It is a renaissance project of a small old Taiwanese hotel.
It is a hotel in the hot spring area without hot spring, but embedded in the history and traditional lifestyle of an old Taiwanese neighborhood.
There won’t be any televisions to disturb your time when pausing to enjoy the quietness and inspiration away from the bustling life. Pick up a book if you want and find your favorite corner for reading. The speed of reading is what we believe to be the best speed for experiencing the traditional Taiwanese lifestyle.
Solo Singer Inn is in a small hidden alley too narrow for cars to enter and is off Beitou Wenquan Road (Hot Springs Road) where a group of passionate travellers and artists started the renaissance project of a three-story inn over half a century old. The inn was nestled away in a maze of crowded paths and surrounded by old houses. When the weather is clear, the neighbors here hang clothes out to dry from their windows. The spot is unbelievably quiet, yet only less than 600 meters on foot from the nearest metro station. Wenquan Road was once the major road leading to the hot springs in Xinbeitou (New Beitou) from the old Beitou.
Bin-cheng hotel opened for business fifty years ago on Wenquan Road and has since stood witness to the contemporary history of Beitou’s development. In a project to breathe new life to this old hotel, the Solo Singer team decided to preserve the original space while renovating creatively through the integration of art, design and innovation from daily life.
The Solo Singer team constitutes professionals from hotel and arts management, curators, writers, designers and cultural historians. After travelling through the cities of the world, they came to realize the extent of decay of Taiwan’s old inns and were determined to do something for their country’s fading local culture. Unwilling to stand by while the heritage of Taiwan’s historic hotels fell into disrepair, this group of young enthusiasts from different backgrounds struck up a partnership with the former owner and took over the Bin-cheng hotel. They independently gathered funds and threw themselves into the task of breathing new life into the old hotel. After half a year of reconstruction, the transformation gradually started to take shape.
Through combining arts promotion and traditional management, the old inn was newly invented as a cultural hotel, bringing the lifestyle characteristics of the local alleys together with figures on the local arts scene. This new beginning introduces the spirit of Taiwan’s local alley culture to international travellers. Solo Singer Inn has preserved the characteristics of Taiwan’s traditional inns. Next to the front counter sits an old telephone operating board inherited from the previous owner. On the wooden casing you’ll find an array of red and green buttons. The black cranking bar is the spiritual symbol for this old inn’s front desk, which has served a stream of travellers over the past half century. All of the guest rooms are different in layout. The team has tried as far as possible to preserve their original characteristics; the sloping walls, the narrow staircases and corridors. The main lobby welcomes travellers with a large panelled mirror, historic tiles and unique window frames. Every inch is a precious memory of Taiwan’s old inns, standing witness to the rise and fall of Taiwan’s indigenous culture.