The Yuanshan Grand Hotel is one of the tallest traditional Chinese buildings in the world, and was the tallest building in Taiwan for nearly a decade. It also features multiple restaurants, a swimming pool, all day buffet, shops, and secret underground tunnels, slides, and bunkers. It is a major landmark in Taipei and definitely worth a visit even if you do not plan to spend the night there.
After the ROC government moved to Taiwan in 1949, there was no decent hotel for international travelers and foreign dignitaries, so Chiang Kai-shek planned the Yuanshan Grand Hotel, which was established in 1952. The swimming pool and other buildings were completed in 1953 and 1956, and the main hotel building was completed in 1973.
Originally the land where the hotel stands was a Shinto shrine called the Taiwan Grand Shrine, left over from the Japanese Era.
In 1995 a fire hit the top floors, and repairs were not completed until 1998,
Numerous foreign dignitaries including US presidents have stayed at the hotel.
24/7 (it's a hotel)
Free to walk inside the lobby.
Rooms vary from about 3000 NT to 500,000 NT per night.
Every day at 11 AM and 2 PM (check with the front desk to make sure)
The tour is 200 NT per person
How to get there:
By Car/Scooter: The Yuanshan Hotel is a big square building in Taipei near Shilin and Neihu on the Keelung River. You have to take a roundabout road up to the hotel which can be confusing, it may take you two passes to make it into the parking lot.
By bus: There is a free shuttle bus from MRT Yuanshan Station.
Please see below:
I have stayed in the Yuanshan Hotel for one night in 2021. It was enjoyable and nice to be able to experience the hotel and the rich history that surrounds it.
View of the parking lot at the hotel. Parking is free, but it can get super crowded on weekends espcially with wedding events, etc.
More views of the main outside entrance of the hotel in the gallery above.
We went during Christmas time, so there was a huge Christmas tree there.
View from the second storey above the lobby.
View of the ceiling.
There are over 200,000 dragons inside the Yuanshan Hotel. This particular motif over the main entrance on the first floor also features bats, because the Chinese word for bat (蝠) sounds the same as the Chinese word for good luck (福).
We were able to check in to our room. The best part of the rooms here is of course the balcony. Our balcony was facing the mountain, so it was cheaper.
If your neighbors also come out on their balcony you can have an open air conversation.
Looking back at Shilin.
View inside the five star hotel. The furniture is traditional Chinese style wooden inlaid with mother of pearl.
We also had breakfast there. The main restaraunt is on the left on the main floor.
The buffet was pretty good.
Closer view of the breakfast buffet.
We were so full after the breakfast buffet that we had no room left for the lunch buffet.
Another view of the breakfast restaurant.
View of the main lobby.
Traditional clothing shop on the second floor.
Wedding reception going on.
More photos of the lobby in the gallery above.
Behind the main building there is also another golden dragon building.
Named because of this golden dragon fountain.
There are a few restaruants and shops here too.
And a Family Mart.
And a Cafe.
More photos of the golden dragon building above.
The tour is worth it. As far as I know since I last visited, tours are offered daily at 11 AM and 2 AM, and the price is 200 NT. Look for the desk in the main lobby with the mountain painting above.
The secret tunnel under the west side of Yuanshan Grand Hotel in Taipei, which would have helped the Chiang's and VIP's to exit the hotel fast and enter an underground bunker. It's much faster going down than walking back up.
There are so many intracate details in the main lobby, take the tour and find out.
They explain basically everything here.
View of an airplane coming to land on Songshan Airport.
Mural in front of the steps.
Historical photos of the hotel.
The golden dragon.
Getting to the slide tunnel.
Stopping for selfies.
These are old employee ID tags, later donated to the hotel.
See more photos of the tour above.
The tour took about an hour and headphones were provided.
Presidential Suite view from the top of the Yuanshan Grand Hotel in Taipei. One night there will only put you back 500,000 NT or about 20,000 USD.
Painting in the foyer.
There is a restaurant or something on the top floor.
And a banquet room.
Banquet room in the basement.
More views from the roof above.
Map of the hotel area.
Guests can use the hotel pool for free, but you have to walk up and down this giant hill to get there. No parking allowed down below.
The outdoor pool at Taipei's Yuanshan Grand Hotel. You have to walk down a giant hill to get there, and during winter the water is freezing cold.
There is also a fun kids recreation room and spa near the pool, free to guests.
More photos from near the pool above.
View of Taipei from the back parking lot.
More views from the back parking lot at night.
Sometimes the rooms light up to make words. Not this night.
More views at night can be seen above.
Japan Airlines flight taking off from Taipei's Songshan Airport.
Just so you know there is also a Yuanshan Grand Hotel in Kaohsiung near Chengqing Lake, but it is a little smaller. For more information about the Kaohsiung Hotel, click here.
After staying at both hotels, I can tell you the Taipei Yuanshan Hotel is better kept and has more amenities. When I visited much of the paint on the outside of the Kaohsiung Hotel was falling off. But it doesn't have this amazing backdrop of Chengqing Lake.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more of our blogs to come!
We are US Expats that have extensive experience living, working, and travelling in Taiwan. In our day, we had to learn many things about Taiwan the hard way. But we have come to learn that Taiwan is one of the best places in the world for Foreigners to live. Our blog does not represent the opinions of every foreigner in Taiwan. We are just trying to help others learn more about this beautiful country.