Taichung’s Stylish Boutique Hotels IV
TEXT / RICK CHARETTE
PHOTOS / ASKA CHI
The Place Taichung is beside the Calligraphy Greenway’s south end, facing the superlative National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts. So take a wild guess – what is its design theme?
Take your time.
This is the only chain outlet among this article’s subjects. Each The Place location around Taiwan is one-of-a-kind, with a design theme celebrating a key attraction or element from its local-neighborhood culture. The Place Taichung is presented as an art gallery.
The building itself is a work of art. The façade looks like a giant’s pile of stacked LEGO blocks, those on the top floor all askew and featuring bright pastel colors. The interior features a powerful black-and-white minimalist theme with impeccably clean lines. Spaces are highlighted, emulating an art gallery, with black ironwork and swank track lighting.
As you move up through the building, the wall on each floor opposite the elevators is graced with a gallery-style art display commissioned from a local artist, centered on such themes as local scenic highlights, culinary icons, green spaces, etc.
The ZEBRA? This is the first-floor restaurant, black and white all over – get it? – with various strategically placed décor splashes of crayon-character color. Here, traditional Taiwanese cuisine is paired with contemporary Italian.
Guestrooms are visually quiet and understated, predominantly white, which is harmoniously contrasted with iron latticework subtly incorporating the character zhong (中), the second character in the Chinese for “Taichung.” The secret of the hotel’s pastel LEGO-block centers is revealed in the top-floor guestrooms – the bright-color curtains, which open at quirky angles to let big, broad views of the city stream in.
The hotel’s capstone artwork is, appropriately, on the roof – the gym, or Pain & Gain Area. The machines are spread in a line along the long, thin room before floor-to-ceiling windows, entertainingly framing the almost 180-degree city panorama as mural art.
About the author
A Canadian, Rick has been resident in Taiwan almost continually since 1988. His book, article, and other writings, on Asian and North American destinations and subjects—encompassing travel, culture, history, business/economics—have been published widely overseas and in Taiwan. He has worked with National Geographic, Michelin, APA Insight Guides, and other Western groups internationally, and with many local publishers and central/city/county government bodies in Taiwan. Rick also handles a wide range of editorial and translation (from Mandarin Chinese) projects.