Monday, February 6, 2012

Grand Hotel in Taipei

One of the more iconic symbols of Taipei is the Grand Hotel, suggested originally by Chiang Kai Shek as a venue to house foreign ambassadors in luxury. Seems that that policy was pretty successful as the hotel has since hosted Bill Clinton, Margaret Thatcher, Nelson Mandela and Ronald Reagan to name just a few notable guests. The hotel is built on Yuanshan Mountain with an impressive Chinese palace style complete with eaves and Chinese style balconies.

Another view of the hotel from the side and from the main drop off area.

The hotel's cavernous main lobby is just as grand, with huge stately, red pillars towering off to the sides and beautifully-decorated main stairs with plum flower carvings leading up to the second floor.

Halfway up the stairs and off to the side walls are plenty of wall decorations including numerous carvings and paintings like the one below.  Beautiful lanterns can also be found lighting up the main lobby.

The ceiling of the hotel lobby include a beautiful dome covered with intricately carved golden dragons.  This definitely reminded me somewhat of the frescoes in European palaces, albeit with a Chinese twist.

Another view of the spacious main atrium.

One last look from the outside where a statue of lion stands guard.  On the right is a view from the front of the hotel looking back towards the city where stands the front gate.

Since it was nearly lunchtime by now, I headed back into the hotel to grab some lunch.

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