China has been in the forefront of the world’s construction race, and now is taking a first in constructing a luxury five-star hotel in an abandoned quarry that plunges some 80 metres below ground level, with two levels being underwater.
The 18-story Shimao Wonderland Intercontinental Hotel launched its construction in early 2006 about 50 kilometers away from the city of Songjiang, Shanghai, China, and began operations on 20 November 2018.
A Natural Wonder Meets Ambitious Architecture
Over the last few years, China has been promoting creativity in its ambitious architectural ventures, some of which are unusual and some are simply curious.
The hotel was built on the side of the quarry with a total of 337 luxury rooms spread over 18 floors, two of which are inside a 33-foot deep aquarium. The 61 000 square meter resort is situated in the Sheshan Mountain Range and will be ideally suited to environmentally conscious travellers.
Rooms at this luxury hotel will get you back some 3,666 to 6,000 yuan, approximately $530 and $860 respectively.
In addition to the 337 room, there is a conference facility that can accommodate for 1,000 guests, a large ballroom, many restaurants and cafes, an indoor swimming pool, a sports centre and many attractions.
Nicknamed the “Earthscraper” the hotels give guests in the bottom two floors an aquarium-like view where they can see a variety of fish swimming, while also offering 24/7 personal butler services.
Those who do not have an aquarium view can sit comfortably on the balcony of their room and enjoy a stunning view of the waterfalls that cascade across the quarry wall.
If you’re looking for an adventure, you will enjoy bungee jumping and rock climbing to gets the adrenaline flowing. After all that you can only unwind at a bar called The Quarry.
The hotel was designed by the top British company Atkins and constructed by Chinese companies with a total cost of $555 million according to Shanghai Shimao Property Group.
Atkins designed this hotel with the environment in mind, combining the eco-friendly roof with the numerous trees planted on it to blend seamlessly with the surrounding greenery.
Xu Shitan, who is the Vice Chairman of the Shimao Property Group, said that instead of leaving the quarry, they turned it into a treasure.
UNESCO’s Michael Croft expressed the same sentiments and said that the 336-room hotel was a blueprint for sustainable growth.
The hotel aims to mitigate its environmental effect by keeping much of its building underground in an abandoned quarry and producing its own electricity through solar energy.