InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland, claimed to be the world’s first underground luxury hotel, has opened in China after a decade of construction.
The £225m luxury hotel is located inside an abandoned quarry, almost 32km from Shanghai.
The hotel is built onto one side of 91m-deep quarry and features 18 stories. On the other side of the hotel, is a waterfall. Rounded balconies on the first 16 floors provide spectacular views of the nearby surroundings.
The last two floors are completely submerged under water and offer views of a 10m-deep aquarium intended to evoke a feeling “sleeping with the fishes”.
The hotel, which offers bungee jumping and rock climbing, is claimed to be eco-friendly as it is capable of generating power for its own use through geothermal and solar energy.
The ground level roof has lush greenery that blends with the surrounding landscape.
InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland has 337 rooms and suites in all.
It has an underwater seafood restaurant Mr Fisher, and a bar, called Quarry Bar.
Most of the rooms offer views of the artificial waterfall.
The entrance of the InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland features a dragon sculpture. It also has a glass-bottomed footpath on its rockface which serves as an attraction.
The hotel’s deepest floor is almost 700m lower than the top-most floor of the J Hotel, which is claimed to be the highest hotel in the world. J Hotel, also located in Shanghai, is currently under construction.
The quarry was first excavated in 1950s and then abandoned in 2000.
The hotel’s developer Shanghai Shimao Group chairman Xu Rongmao proposed the idea of building a luxury hotel in the quarry in 2006.
Construction of the luxury hotel began in 2013, but the development faced delays due to several technical challenges.
Martin Jochman, who designed the Burj Al-Arab skyscraper in Dubai, was the chief architect of this project.
Jochman was quoted by Associated Press as saying: “I designed many different types of buildings in U.K., in Europe, in Dubai, and so on but this one was totally different and became almost life work, so that’s why I’m saying it’s probably the most important building that I have designed.”
UNESCO representative Michael Croft called the hotel as a model for sustainable development.
Rooms at the underground luxury hotel are priced from CNY3,666 to CNY6,000 ($530 to $860).