About 20 miles southwest of Shanghai in an abandoned quarry, is located an architectural masterpiece – a hotel, The InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland, considered to be the world’s first underground hotel.
The InterContinental Hotels Group is behind the project as one of its flagship hotels in the country under the banner of Shimao Wonderland InterContinental. The design was shortlisted for an award at the World Architecture Festival in 2009.
The hotel was designed with eco-friendly principles and generates its own power, heating and lighting through the use of geothermal and solar energy.
This hotel was opened for operations in November 2018. The hotel took 10 years to complete, with total cost exceeding 1 billion yuan ($151 million), according to a report in China Daily last year. A good number of visitors have been trooping into this luxury hotel since then.
The abandoned quarry is partially filled with water to create an artificial lake. The hotel is designed in an “S” shape utilizing a convex to concave form. The hotel has 336 rooms on 18 floors, 16 of which are underground while the remaining two are submerged inside a 33ft deep aquarium. Visitors in this floor get to enjoy watching dishes swim by while personal butlers attend to them.
The 336-room hotel also has scenic views of nature, large sculptures, and glass walkways.
Hotel guests can choose between 336 different rooms and suites, all of which are inspired by nature. The “turquoise water” rooms include blue walls and overlook the quarry. While amenities differ depending on where you stay, even the most basic guest rooms are full of perks. Guests who stay in “Classic Rooms,” for example, can expect to find 55-inch LCD TVs, Bose sound systems, Dyson hairdryers, high-speed internet, and Nespresso coffee machines.
There are plenty of dining options for hotel guests. Drinks at the Quarry Bar are served with stone-shaped ice cubes.From fancy restaurants to laid-back lounges, the InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland includes six different places to eat.
Commune, for example, provides buffet-style food and a children’s play area, while the bird-inspired Cai Feng Lou is recommended for business banquets and family dinners.
The Mr. Fishy Specialty Restaurant is located on one of the hotel’s bottommost floors. Each fish tank is approximately 32-feet deep.The underwater restaurant is filled with custom-built aquariums and offers seasonal seafood from countries like Japan, France, and the US.
Outside, the resort includes a scenic glass-bottomed Skywalk. The skywalk might be a challenge for anyone afraid of heights. The best view of the hotel is seen from this skywalk.
The waterfall from the cliff top cascading into the pool is a blend of nature and engineering, showcasing its natural use.
Rooms are expected to be priced at a minimum of US $500 per night.The hotel is taking advantage of its location inside a craggy, 288-feet deep pit and is providing bungee-jumping and rock-climbing attractions to thrill-seeking visitors.
The hotel has been nicknamed “the earthscraper”, cos if was built underground instead of the regular upwards, into the sky.