A place of elegance, history, and grandeur. This pretty much sums up The Grand Hotel located in the northern part of Taipei City in Taiwan. Established in 1952, this landmark hotel in Taipei was constructed on the basis of Chiang Kai Shek’s vision of having an extravagant hotel to serve visiting foreign dignitaries and to promote Chinese culture. Such famous dignitaries include Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, and Margaret Thatcher. It is a truly remarkable piece of architecture inspired by traditional Chinese elements that resemeble the grandness of the Forbidden City in Beijing. Currently it has the world’s largest Chinese styled roof. Although the hotel shows many signs of aging, its legacy and importance in Taiwan will still live on.
My wife and I decided to stay 1 night at The Grand Hotel to experience a piece of Taiwan’s history. We booked the hotel online through Agoda.com and it costed about 130USD for one night for the standard twin room. I think its about an average price for a 4 star hotel, nothing of a killer deal, but considering the legacy surrounding this hotel, in my opinion it was worth it. We arrived to the hotel directly from the Taoyuan International Airport near Taipei City by taking bus number 2061 from the “airbus” shuttle service at the airport. The trip was about 1 hour, costed only 90 NT (Taiwan dollars) one way, and will literally drop you right infront of the doorsteps of The Grand Hotel. Alternatively to get to the hotel, there is also a free shuttle bus service between Yuanshan MRT station and the hotel (see pictures below for details).
Location map of The Grand Hotel (highlighted in red box)
Free shuttle bus map.
Free shuttle bus timetable.
The first impressions we had when we arrived at The Grand Hotel, was the extravagance and huge scale of the hotel. As soon you enter the parking lot of the hotel, you are greeted with a huge and beautiful Chinese gate with The Grand Hotel’s name written in Chinese. Once you arrive outside of the lobby entrance, and stare upwards to the roof top, you will notice the intricate and detailed designs that were crafted throughout the building.
The Chinese gate at the entrance of the hotel compounds.
Close up of the Chinese gate.
The Grand Hotel. No wonder they call it “Grand”.
Notice the detailed and intricate designs throughout the hotel.
As you enter the hotel and stare into the main lobby, you are greeted with massive red pillars, giant Chinese lanterns and lush red carpets that really give you a real emperor’s (or empress’s) welcome. The interior design of the lobby really tries to impress with the grandess of the Chinese dynasty days. The main lobby has a restaurant in the front that blends seamlessly to the main entrance. The builders of this hotel surely did not skimp out on the details in the main lobby!
Main lobby of the hotel.
View of the main lobby from the restaurant in front.
View of inside of the lobby restaurant.
Cool pic of the mirror reflections I took in the lobby restaurant.
In general the hotel service was quite good (based on the experience that I had during my stay). They were very professional, always smiling, and was very very helpful in provding me directions and travel tips around the area. Also the staff’s English was quite alright. Only thing that I found was quite lacking in the hotel was that the room was small, and that it was showing abit of wear and tear. However that being said, we were rewarded with a spectacular view of the Taipei skyline from the hotel’s balcony. So that kind of made up for it.
The hotel room, a bit small and old, but I still managed to get a decent night’s rest.
Night view of Taipei’s skyline.
Close up view of the skyline. You can see Taipei 101 tower in the centre, partly hidden in the clouds.
In general, I think this is quite a special place to visit and experience. Even if you don’t intend to stay overnight at The Grand Hotel, it is still worth a visit to snap some cool pics of this famous landmark, especially since its already nearby to other attractions such as the Shilin Nightmarket and the Martyr’s Shrine!
Visitor’s Information to The Grand Hotel:
Address: 1, Chung Shan N.Rd., Sec.4, Zhongshan District, Taipei, Taiwan
Getting There: Take airbus 2061 from Taoyuan International Airport
or, take the free shuttle bus service just next to Yuanshan MRT station
Have you visited other historical landmark hotels in the world? Please share your experiences! Cheers!