China’s newest hotel is in the pits — literally. The InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland, which is built into the side of a formerly abandoned quarry and it is the world’s first underground hotel, opened today about 20 miles southwest of Shanghai.
The top floor of the hotel is located at ground level with a roof covered in greenery, while 16 floors of the hotel are located below ground. Another two floors are submerged inside a 33-foot-deep aquarium.
Aside from the underwater rooms, every room in the hotel features a balcony with views of a glass-enclosed, artificial waterfall spilling down the quarry walls. The underground levels also feature a restaurant, guest rooms, an aquarium, pool, and water sports center.
The hotel is also 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.
Built in part by British firm Atkins, the same developers behind the Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai, it took over 5,000 people to help complete the hotel as it required innovative engineering solutions. The chief engineer on the project, Chen Xiaxiang, told China Daily his team registered 39 patents and made hundreds of technological breakthroughs. “It’s been a fight against gravity,” he said.
The hotel was designed with eco-friendly principles and generates its own power, heating, and lighting through the use of geothermal and solar energy.
Rooms start at 4,000 Chinese yuan (around $576) on some online booking sites.