History of Hotel Architecture in Taipei

The present day Taipei is an active, vibrant and modern city, not unlike similar cities all over the world. It never used to be like that though. These city has gone through many changes and many architectural styles, beginning with something much more authentic, and just as breathtaking.

The Grand Hotel

A perfect example of the historic architecture of the city of Taipei is The Grand Hotel, known locally as the Yuanshan Great Hotel. Looking upon this stunning building, designed in an ancient Chinese style, you would think that it was built several hundred years ago, or even that it was a throwback to the times of the Chinese empire, one that was creating beautiful buildings and modern civilizations back when the rest of the world was stuck in the Dark Ages. That is far from the case though as The Grand Hotel was actually built in 1952, with the main part of the building finished a couple of decades after that.

The architecture of The Grand Hotel is of a Classical Chinese style. In itself this makes it an iconic and beautiful sight, but the fact that it is also one of the tallest buildings in the country makes this even more magnificent. Taipei is not a small city either, and up until just a few years ago it was home to the tallest building in the world, the Taipei 101. The Grand Hotel was the biggest building in Taiwan until the 1980s, and today it still stands as one of the most impressive, adored by citizens and tourists alike.

The Grand Hotel is where the elite tourists go, as it is often the destination for diplomats and foreign dignitaries. It has close to 500 rooms though, so there is plenty here for everyone, with a sliding scale to match many budgets. Some of the cheapest rooms at the Grand Hotel include their Standard Double Rooms and Twin Rooms, which are close to 300 square feet and fitted with basic amenities. If you’re looking for something a little more upscale then the Junior Suites are about as good as it gets, with nearly 750 square feet of space, including a balcony that offers a river or a mountain view.

The hotel is so beautiful that you almost want to stay outside of it, so you can look upon it everyday, but there is plenty on offer inside the hotel as well, ideal as a base for a trip to Taipei. From the buffet feasts served at the Grand Garden Restaurant, to a game room, a fitness center and an outdoor pool, it really has it all. The Grand Hotel even has shops, but as it is located in the vibrant Zhongshan District, there are many more great places to shop outside of the hotel.

Shangri-La Far Eastern Plaza Hotel

Whereas the Grand Hotel reminds us of a forgotten age, the Shangri-La Far Eastern Plaza Hotel epitomizes the modern world and, in turn, the modern Taipei. Shangri-La are a big luxury brand, with sought-after locations in many of the world’s biggest cities, and the Shangri-La Far Eastern Plaza Hotel is one of the most stunning.

This 43-story behemoth is located in the financial district, standing at an impressive height and offering views of the equally impressive Taipei 101, which somehow manages to be even taller. Whereas the Grand Hotel was designed in an entirely Eastern style, the Shangri-La Far Eastern Plaza Hotel fuses both East and West to create something that all cultures can enjoy and are familiar with.

This is a 5-star hotel, and one that deserves every bit of that prestigious rating. It defines modern luxury, all of which is provided by a brand that has plenty of experience when it comes to providing top-notch luxury service and facilities in the hospitality industry. All of the rooms in the Shangri-La Far Eastern Plaza Hotel are designed with a modern aesthetic, with flat-screen televisions, bathtubs, a private safe and much more.

The hotel itself has a number of dining options, all of which provide the best fine dining cuisine. This includes the Shag Palace, which serves Cantonese dishes, Marco Polo Restaurant, which serves Italian fare, and a Cafe with International offerings. At the Shangri-La Far Eastern Plaza Hotel you will also find one of the most luxurious spas in the entire city, known as the Horizon Spa. Here guests can treat themselves to sensual massages, facials and other spa treatments, all in cozy and painstakingly designed surroundings. In fact, throughout the hotel you will notice that everything has been thought about, from the ornaments gracing the walls and the floors, to the illuminated fish tanks offering 306 degree views, the luxury chandeliers and the floor-to-ceiling windows that offer some of the most stunning views of Taipei that you will find anywhere.

If you want the height of luxury then the The Grand Hotel can provide. This comes in the form of the Premier King Room, which offers a landmark view, all of the standard amenities and much more besides.

The Future of Architecture in Taipei

Taipei has changed a lot in recent years, turning into a modern city that can rival the biggest and the best. It still retains some of its traditional styles and designs, but as the big hotel brands continue to move into the city, then it seems that such aesthetics will be seen less and less. The residents seem to be embracing this though, as their acceptance and adoration of the Taipei 101 shows. This is a modern skyscraper, and it is one that has immediately become an icon of Taipei’s wealth, growth and status.

As the city continues to grow, it seems likely that more buildings like this will crop up, and as they do then then skyline of the city will get bigger, more modern and much more Westernized. Still, Taipei will also maintain a sense of authenticity, if not in its architecture, then in its traditions and its food, where old will also be combined with new.

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