The Grand Hotel

Has anyone ever stayed at the Grand Hotel?

I did recently. Before I go any further, I should say that it is impressive inside, the décor is splendid etc. We were upgraded to a bigger, better room, presumably because I think I made it clear when booking that it was our wedding night. That was appreciated.

Now the grumble. Bearing in mind this is in the context of it being the “most prestigious hotel in Taiwan”, not things I would normally grumble about.

After we arrived, at around 8.30 we needed something to eat. The only options seemed to be the cafe, the northern Chinese restaurant which would have been good but closed at 9, or the “Western restaurant” buffet (closing a little later). So we went for the buffet - apart from anything else, we’d had enough Chinese food for one day at our banquet (or at least I had - as usual at weddings, the bride not getting much to eat).

Firstly, the name of the restaurant was a complete misnomer. There were Japanese dry seaweed salad rolls, Chinese style stir fried vegetables, some broadly Asian meat dishes and salad and fruit. Plus a minimal selection of vegetarian cold cuts (I don’t normally expect much but the ‘best hotel’ should cater for everyone - Buddhists and vegetarians are not unheard of here). Nothing specifically western. After eating, I got a hot drink. Choice of coffee from a jug or green tea or Lipton’s teabags. I don’t know about the green teas they had, but Lipton’s is pretty much baseline for drinkable black tea. I went for coffee and the only cream they had was the standard plastic creamer you get in Subway or wherever else. Needless to say, paper tissues not serviettes.

None of these things would be a problem in themselves, it’s just when staying in the “internationally renowned” Grand Hotel and being charged $1000 a head for the buffet, I felt a little disgruntled.

In the room they had Mr Brown’s three-in-one coffee.

Breakfast was good though.

I can assure you, I did not let this put a damper on our wedding night.

Congratulations to the happy couple.

Yes, it’s a bit of an overpriced inflated tourist thingy. But going to the local diner on the wedding trip wouldn’t be a good idea I guess…

what do you expect…its not really an international class hotel is it? impressive though the building is it was run by the KMT for a long time and so is infused with the chabuduoism we know and love so well…its like China Airlines, only on the ground :sunglasses:

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One other thing. There’s no email address on the website.

I don’t think even the owners still have the gall to describe that place as “the most prestigious hotel” in Shilin, let alone Taipei, anymore!
The best they normally get these days and for the past couple of decades is “the grand old lady of Taipei,” which is a kind of backhanded compliment if ever I heard one. It certainly does have that sour “old lady” smell, metaphorically speaking. And needs a hip replacement.

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Ahhh, the old girl’s certainly had her ups and downs over the years.
Not long after I got here (before the fire), I taught the Front Office Manager one-on-one. She had the gig because her husband was old Beijing money and a retired KMT officer (his sabre and ceremonial uni were on display in their living room and there were pics all over the place of him with Peanuthead, Piggieface, et al).
She used to regale me with stories about stuff like keeping the kitchen open late to make 3 am clubhouses for Steve McQueen, and stashing The Burton Diamond in the hotel safe when Liz was there.
Unfortunately, there was a pretty serious Nationalist chip on their collective shoulder, too.
She took great pride in the fact that any couples staying there had to produce a marriage certificate.
Even then, I was like “Yeah, that and you’re in the middle of Bumfuck Egypt, is it any wonder you got no business other than KMT functions in the banquet rooms?”.
The place was in pretty shabby nick then, too.
I’d heard they fixed it up a lot when they did the repairs from the fire.
Oh yeah, she was the one who counseled me that, when I did get my first Taiwan girlfriend, make sure she was Chinese, not Taiwanese, since they had no class.


Yeah, we were there last summer for “afternoon tea”. I had called ahead to make sure they actually had afternoon tea, but obviously their idea of xiawu cha and my idea of “afternoon tea” were completely different. It was also a buffet, with very poor presentation, and dubious quality. The “black tea” was in a big metal thingy with a spigot in the bottom. It would not have been inappropriate for a camp kitchen, but it looked cheap and shoddy at the hotel. The guests seemed to be mostly local office ladies, and they demolished the buffet like sharks in a feeding frenzy. Anything that looked like it had any kind of merit would get stacked high up on a plate to be whisked off to the lucky scavenger’s table.

I actually went up to the front desk to complain. I told them that they should be ashamed of themselves. Hong Kong has their “Grand Old Lady” in the Peninsula, and High Tea at the Peninsula is worthy of capitalization. My mom lurved it. The Grand Hotel, on the other hand, was just a huge disappointment. The lobby looks nice if you squint, but it’s in need of a makeover. The red carpet is badly water-stained, and everything looks a little past the “sell-by” date.

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:roflmao: :notworthy:

Me and Erhu and tash went there for ‘tea’ and ended up in some grim buffet that you wouldn’t eat at in a mall basement foodcourt! tash was excited because she wanted to have ‘afternoon tea’, English stylee. :laughing: To echo Maoman’s posts, it was a bunch of obasans hitting the cold cabbage, bamboo and pork dishes like piranhas stripping a cow. Still had fun though. There’s something about those faded old hotels.

Hey they have a Family Mart inside now.

I hear this dim sum place is good and great view.
Golden Dragon restaurant
No. 1, Section 4, Zhongshan North Road, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, 10491

I can think of numerous places I’d spend my hard-earned cash.

The Grand Hotel—or, as @the_bear memorably put it a decade ago, China Airlines on the ground—is not one of them.


My aunt and uncle reserved a room on the top floor of the Grand Hotel for my parents on their wedding night as a gift. My mom said it was a nice experience, but since they were the only ones staying on the whole floor it ended up being kinda spooky.

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They’ve stuck a Family Mart in there? Kind of completely giving up on any semblance of grand.

They could rebrand as The Convenient Hotel.


I have no memory of writing that. :joy:

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Not just Convenience – Grand Convenience! :grinning:


“I’m visiting Taipei to stay in the Grand Convenience.”

I like it!


Anyone gone on the secret passageway tour?

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Hey I heard you were dead.


I heard I was too. What can I say, medical science, Thai buddha stick and mojitos work.