Le Meridien Taipei: modern art boutique hotel. Custom cat portrait paintings!

meng jin sky paintings, taiwan hotel

While in Taipei, I stayed at Le Meridien — a hotel that could easily be mistaken for a modern art museum. The focus is on Asian art with a sense of humor. Walking around, I encountered apologetic cavemen statues and grumpy fish.

custom cat painting

Speaking of fun art… If you want a custom portrait of your pet (like the one of Basil Farrow above) then make sure you read to the end of this post. Lots of cute cat photos await you!

le meridien taipei giraffe sculpture

Let’s start with a tour of Le Meridien. When you step into the lobby, you’ll see an immense statue of a giraffe with his head bowed. Made from stainless steel by Chinese artist Li Hui, the animal represents the hotel’s dedication to guests.

taiwan hotel luxury suite

Le Meridien belongs to the Starwood group, and opened not long ago (November 2010). Despite being an international name, the hotel has a boutique feel.

hotel view of taipei 101

The large suites are popular for special occasions, especially New Year’s Eve. Can’t beat this window view of Taipei 101.


The building is located in Taiwan’s downtown business district, Xinyi. The proximity makes it ideal for both work and play (since the best bars are also located here).

le meridien taipei hotel suite

At Le Meridien Taipei, art an essential part of the guest experience. The 160 rooms contain different works, putting art within reach of every traveler. This living room had X-ray photo of luggage above the sofa, by Nick Veassey.

ye Yongqing bird drawings

I was charmed by these seemingly child-like drawings by Ye Yongqing. Primitive, simple, yet profound.

taiwan boutique hotel

Anyone can come into the property and stroll through the public spaces. Contemporary art is everywhere, and you can take photos of (or with) it.

cao hui caveman statue

I got into a fight with this caveman, who tried to apologize.. but I wasn’t having any of it! (It’s by Cao Hui, one of my favorite Chinese contemporary artists. His remarkable works mix humor and morbidness.)

little prince shadow sculptures

Another favorite: these “The Little Prince” quotes by the elevators. The twisted wire is abstract, but it creates shadows that form words from the famous novel. (The hotel features international artists too; this is by Fred Eerdekens of Belgium.)

taipei 101 hotel

My blue hair matches the hue of Taipei 101, which used to be the tallest structure in the world. I’m wearing a white sheer caftan by Show Me Your Mumu, and a rainbow tie-dye top with a Gothic harness collar, by Gladnews Japan.

5 star taipei hotel downtown bathroom

Le Meridien Taipei is not just about design — it’s also a 5 star stay. Wouldn’t you like to soak in this freestanding bathtub?

le meridien taiwan swimming pool

Or in the swimming pool? I was tempted to jump in, outfit and all.

Hiroshi Ohashi fish art

I can’t help but smile when I see “Dream Fish” by Hiroshi Ohashi, a Japanese Buddhist carver inspired by fairy tales. Look close: those are dolls riding on his scales!

Le Méridien, Taipei buffet price

Le Meridien’s luxurious seafood buffet is one of the most popular in Taipei, with a current waiting list of three months! The price for a buffet meal is about $30 US, but that includes sushi and eclairs.

My Humble House chinese Restaurant

The PR team treated my photographers and me to lunch at My Humble House, the Cantonese restaurant found in the hotel.

They’re known as one of the best dim sum spots in the city. I could have eaten these truffle-and-veggie steamed dumplings all day.

cantonese restaurant taipei taiwan

The dishes are hearty favorites — spicy tofu, barbequed duck — with an upscale twist, like these flecks of gold.

quube le meridien cocktails

We also ate at Quube, a chic restaurant with tasty cocktails. The food ranges from Asian specials, like chicken fried rice…

italian lobster pasta

… to Italian pasta with lobster, and tomato and bocconcini salad.

tomato bocconcini salad

Quube’s dishes are perfect for sharing: there’s something for everyone. Images taken by Ken Yuen and noircorner.

le meridien taipei room interior

I leave you with these Meng Jin paintings. They reflect on how everything changes while you’re travelling, but the sky is the same — no matter where you are. Thank you to Le Meridien Taipei for this inspiring experience.

li hui steel giraffe bowing head

You can see more on Le Meridien Taiwan’s Facebook page. Also check out my post about their sister property, Humble House.

curious cat opening package

Speaking of animal art… a huge package from artist Bitsy Knox arrived for us. Basil Farrow couldn’t wait to look inside.

fat cat scratching

So he used his big, plush feet to try to open up the cardboard! He was right — the present was for him.

cat painted portraits

We uncovered… a custom painting of my Scottish Fold cat! Basil gives it a sideways-paw of approval.

custom pet paintings

Isn’t the resemblance uncanny? Basil’s round face, plush fur and short tail are perfectly rendered. Huge thanks to Bitsy Knox, a Canadian artist living and working in Berlin, for this adorable painting.

scottish fold cat art

Would you like a custom painting of your cat or dog? Just contact Bitsy Knox through her website, and send her a few photos. She’ll create a custom work that perfectly captures your pet’s look and personality. It would be the perfect Christmas gift, especially for animal lovers.

bitsy knox artist, cat painting

Check out more photos of Basil and his portrait on his cat blog. There’s also a new video of my Scottish Fold running obstacle courses. Yes, you can make cats exercise!

funny statue caveman i'm sorry

 Do you buy your pets presents? Did you enjoy the cheeky works of art in this post?


  1. Jean Genie
    Posted November 8, 2014 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    I want a cat painting too!!!!

  2. mark
    Posted November 8, 2014 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    Nice :) :)

  3. Diane5
    Posted November 8, 2014 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    I wanted to go to Taiwan for ever and now more so than before.

  4. Jerry
    Posted November 8, 2014 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    YES 5%編

  5. HIta
    Posted November 8, 2014 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    awesome snaps :)

  6. nao
    Posted November 8, 2014 at 11:06 pm | Permalink


  7. MelissaR
    Posted November 9, 2014 at 1:39 am | Permalink

    Awesome post! Love the portrait of Basil!!! I gotta visit Taipei soon! The hotel and food looked amazing! And the photo of you with the monkey in shorts is hilarious lol!

    • lacarmina
      Posted November 9, 2014 at 5:30 am | Permalink

      hahaha the caveman is like “Blehhh!”
      Let’s see more of Asia soon!!!

  8. Barbarella Buchner
    Posted November 9, 2014 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    You look as fab as always. The bathtub, yes, I love that bathtub!!! And the pawtrait of Basil looks like he´s a young lion!

    Of course I buy my cats presents. Birthdays and Christmas, just like with my human friends and family. :)

  9. kate
    Posted November 9, 2014 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    so cuteeeee

  10. Debi
    Posted November 9, 2014 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    Love <3

  11. Sean
    Posted November 9, 2014 at 9:42 pm | Permalink


  12. Andrea
    Posted November 10, 2014 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    The Neanderthal lol

  13. Archie B
    Posted November 11, 2014 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    How sweet, kitty cat.

  14. Jack
    Posted November 11, 2014 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    Did you do the jump from Taipei 101?

  15. Jamal
    Posted November 11, 2014 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    Lucky yyyyy

  16. Haruhi
    Posted November 12, 2014 at 9:29 pm | Permalink


  17. Manny
    Posted November 12, 2014 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    I know there is 3 new baby pandas born in captivity & are doing just fine.

  18. Rachel 311
    Posted November 12, 2014 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    There can never be too many kitty pics on the inter webs

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