This seem rather weird to me at first - we passed by this huge building along the way from the airport to the city. It didn't really get my attention apart from being rather huge & grand even from afar.
But anyway, like many other tourists to Taiwan, we too made our stop to this grand hotel in Taipei! The name of the hotel already sounds big (& grand) already - yes, it's named The Grand Hotel!
A Grand Welcome
This grand hotel entrance exudes a strong welcome - its huge arches & big garden before the hotel building itself.
Usually, one can ride all the way up to the building, or alternatively take a walk up the stairs to the main building of the grand hotel.
Apparently, the facade of the hotel is covered with dragons - up to 200000 of them! Wow! Even the roof top ends have golden dragons... and that is why this grand hotel is sometimes referred to as the Dragon Palace.
Inside The Hotel
Just before the lobby is the intricate ceilings.
Next, walking into the hotel comes the lobby with its high ceiling & still intricate walls. It does really seems a lil too ehem... grand!
And there is also the big grand (yes, grand again) stairs going to Level 2. This is suitable for grand dinners (emphasis on the grand) with red carpets & all. It should glitter quite a lot at night, especially as this hotel is used a lot by the Taipei government for dinner functions.
Also at the lobby, are some art displays for sale.
Actually what makes this grand & majestic hotel a landmark icon of Taipei is the many stories behind the things in the hotel.
Amongst them, the phoenix-dragon plum flower plafond which is for good luck. This is located at the ceiling of the lobby. It is eye catching and one can take time to admire the huge and intricate details of the 5 dragons + 16 phoenixes.
Further inside is a golden dragon. This is actually a significant structure at the Dragon Temple Hall - being over 100 years old. Apparently, the dragon is the remain from the Japanese god temple which was built before the hotel.
And one more interesting thing at this hotel is that it is supposed to have many poisonous snakes at the back of the hotel, many of these being left behind by the Japanese after their defeat during the WW2.
However, today, it just seems such a beautiful place to see Taipei's city view.
Btw, we didn't see any snakes, but a praying mantis instead.
There are many other interesting facts about this landmark icon of Taipei & no wonder it becomes a tourist landmark like the 2 secret underground passageway. Really this hotel is amusing & amazing!
*Surprisingly, this grand hotel, built in 1952 is a non-profit organisation. However, one is to pay normal hotel rates or in fact rather grand rates here. If one do not stay here, I still suggest a visit to to see this majestic icon specially built for Taiwan! :)
Coming up next: Another grand icon of Taipei!