The Chateau in the Air (天空之城), as its name suggests, is a castle-like concrete structure on the top of a hill. However, this stunning building in the sparsely populated wilderness is not a real chateau, but instead, it’s a highly recommended restaurant that has a classic façade with an art nouveau feel. Hidden on a small hill in northern Taiwan’s Miaoli County, this restaurant was founded by an entrepreneur with an amazing story.
Please watch the following video of the Chateau in the Air:
It is said that one day about two decades ago when the businessman was on a small trail leading to a hill adjacent to three townships of Miaoli County, he happened to see a small shrine dedicated to the local Guardian Deity (土地公) on the roadside. Unexpectedly, he dreamed that the Deity instructed him to purchase a piece of land on the hill after returning home. At first, he doubted if it would be advisable to purchase a piece of land in such a remote location, but the Deity reaffirmed that he should proceed.
The entrepreneur thus spent roughly NT$200 million (US$6.6 million) to purchase about 7.4 acres (3 hectares) of land in accordance with the Deity’s oracle. He and his partners next established the chateau, and much to their surprise, they all recovered their initial investments a few years after the chateau opened.
The Chateau in the Air is composed of three parts: The Heavenly Chateau (天堂古堡創意料理), the Bird vs. Man (鳥vs.人森林餐飲), and the Sky Shop (天空小舖). The 3-story Heavenly Chateau not only serves an extensive range of set meals but also has a panoramic view of the surrounding scenery. The Bird vs. Man, which is down the hill from the chateau, provides light meals. As to the small shop, it sells skin care products and mementos.
Situated on the picturesque hilltop, the external walls of the chateau are covered with vines and decorated with stones. In the summertime when the vines are flourishing, the entire building looks like a green castle surrounded by a beautiful garden. As soon as visitors enter the gate, they find themselves in a rustic and relaxing atmosphere with a dainty combination of designs.
The inside of the restaurant is decorated with various flora, lanterns, and iron sculptures, creating the elements of a castle. On the balcony, the wooden tables and chairs are under a row of a sunshade.
There are more than 300 colorful lanterns with about 100 different designs inside and outside of the chateau.
It is a great location for visitors to savor the delicious cuisine while appreciating the beautiful scenery and the panoramic view of the Liyutan Reservoir (鯉魚潭水庫) in the distance.
In fact, one of the most intriguing features of the restaurant is its amazing decorations.
There are over 100 different iron sculptures created by three famous artists are used to decorate its fencing and railings.
With its unique structure, beautiful natural surroundings, handmade artistic touches, and excellent food, the Chateau in the Air is a premier dining destination and a perfect place for photography.