It has been about 4 years since the last time we travel as a big family together with our parents. I love bringing our parents to travel and want to do this as much as I can while they are still healthy to travel with us. 3 weeks back, we went to Taiwan, in particular, Taichung with the kiddos and grandparents. I chose to stay in a Home Stay and this was our first Home Stay experience in Taiwan with the entire family of 9. The idea of staying in a complete stranger family’s house made me nervous especially when I felt responsible if the experience was to turn out unpleasant. But my fears were unfounded.
My own first Home Stay experience was in Japan with a group of University Japanese Language classmates where we were each assigned to a Japanese home stay family. I remembered that each of us waited with much trepidation for our host family to pick us up one by one. However each of our hosts was warm and friendly and the experience turned out to be an unforgettable and a very memorable one. But that was me alone then to face whatever that might not turn out well. Now we have 9 people comprising 4 parents, Kel and I with 2 kids and a toddler. So, I was much relieved when we were warmly received by Mr Xie, the owner of Bramasole on our first night at his premises. I must say this Home Stay was the perfect choice accomodation for us with elders and kids on foreign land.
Bramasole Home Stay was recommended by our private tour guide cum driver, Jerry from Jerry Travel. We had the whole van to ourselves and Jerry really served us very well with his good knowledge of Taiwan and customized tour.
On our first night when we reached the premise of Bramasole, it was too late to make out much of what’s along the road to the nice and cosy bungalow. All we heard was frog croaking and lots of different sounds from the crickets and insects along the way. We were greeted by Mr Xie, the owner of Bramasole. He was very keen on making us comfortable and briefed us on all the amenities in our rooms. We had a 6 person room that was divided into 2 rooms of 4 person and 2 person room by an adjoining door. This was on the level 3.
Here’s our 6 person room 🙂
My own parents stayed on the 2nd level and here’s how their room looks like.
Every detail in this home stay is very well thought of. To make guests feel at ease, each room has a small common area complete with cosy long bench, coffee table and teddy bears that match the room’s theme. Each wall is painted according to a theme and decorated with matching colour. The classy furniture and beautiful table lamps complete the cosy and warm ambience of the room’s settings. Even the bathroom tiles have scenery pictures of Italy. Each room is named after a town / countryside in Italy. You have to read the introduction in Bramasole website to appreciate the Italian flavour in each well decorated tile and feel their sincerity in making their guests feel totally relax the moment they step into the Home Stay grounds. (If you cannot read Chinese, you can click on a google translation button to read in English, but please read with a mental filter for wrong literal translation)
Knowing we have a toddler with us, Mr Xie prepared a nice bath tub with kids bath foam and bathing pail for us. He also brought us a charger adapter on our first night.
The next morning, we woke up to a beautiful scenery of lush greenery and mountains with misty peaks. There were lovely flowers in the gardens where butterflies danced around. I took in the fresh dewy mountain air and closed my eyes. I could hear the sound of spring water flowing down the river and the morning symphony from the insects greeting us a beautiful morning. This was a perfect dream holiday one could imagine waking up to everyday and certainly a perfect location for a home stay.
Endless activities for the kids and the young at heart
As it is now summer time, we actually bumped into the longest day hours in Taiwan. The sun was up even before 430am! So our kids who are used to waking up late were woken up by the brightness outside. The kids opened the door and felt the cool mountain air caressed their little faces. They walked down to the garden and were intrigued by many black butterflies dancing around the flowers. They used a big catching net and tried to catch butterflies. Mr Xie taught us how to differentiate a male butterfly from a female one. Mr Xie has a pretty white parrot and the kids were fond of feeding it. On and off there were beetles and bugs that landed on everywhere.
The freshest breakfast!
Each morning, for breakfast, we got to eat the freshest vegetables and fruits prepared by Mr Xie. The spread was simple and tasted totally home-cooked and healthy. He even prepared fresh pumpkin soya milk for us. It had a thick milky consistency of soya mixed with subtle sweet pumpkin after taste. Super fresh! The vegetables were crunchy and full of juices. And the papaya could not have been any sweeter! Most of these were freshly picked from his gardens and cooked with sincerity. You certainly cannot find such lovely breakfast in commercial hotels.
Vegetables and Fruits in the gardens
Look what Kel has found on his morning walk 🙂
Before our trip, I was told there was no housekeeping but the toiletries and coffee satchets would be replenished. However, each night, we returned to tidily made rooms and our hastily thrown around clothes folded neatly and stacked away in our drawers.
On two of the nights, we had wine and beer with our parents and Mr Xie brought us wine glasses and some Taiwanese snacks to go with the beer. Drinking with our parents and chatting over beer with fresh Taiwan lychees brought back similar lovely memories from our Phuket trip 4 years back where we drank with our parents in our nice Marriott Resort. This time round we had XX and YH still awake to join in the fun.
Such great hospitality can only be found in a home stay by 2 very sincere and thoughtful owners. Each of these small gestures to make our stay as close to home as possible warm our hearts totally. We felt like one big family staying together. I have certainly never expected the home stay to be so enjoyable to the extent, we were truly touched.
On our last day, XX and YH “Koala beared” on Mr Xie. They told me that the home stay experience was the best in the entire Taiwan trip. Not even the amusement park, the sheep farm and other places of visit matched this place we called home for the past 3 days. Our parents actually did feel a tinge of sadness to bid farewell as they shook hands with the amiable owner. It was the same for Kel, me and the kids. As with each holiday, I always feel sad leaving a great place.
I hope we will be back here again in future. It had left a deep impression and plenty of wonderful memories for all of us. I give it a 2-thumbs up and 10/10 for Bramasole!
More information on Bramasole:
Website: click here
Facebook: click here
Notes: remember to bring along insect repellent to prevent bites. If you have forgotten, Mr Xie has a good ointment to apply for insect bites and the scent wards them off too.
Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post. Thank you Jerry from Jerry Travel for recommending Bramasole to us! And thank you Mr Xie and Mrs Xie for the marvelous hospitality shown to us! The home stay experience is extraordinary, without which our Taiwan trip would not be complete 🙂