If you’re tired of the traditional hotel vistas—beaches, forests, and mountains—you may want to consider visiting the Shimao Wonderland InterContinental in China. The resort, which took 10 years to complete, is largely subterranean.
Located about 20 miles southwest of Shanghai, the hotel was constructed inside an abandoned quarry. Sixteen of the hotel’s 18 floors are set underground, and two are inside a 33-foot-deep aquarium.
“InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland is located at Sheshan Mountain Range and features quiet luxury, exotic flora and fauna, world-class cuisine and warm smiles to make your next holiday or conference visit to Sheshan a welcome escape,” Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts boasts on its website.
The website reveals little else. But the 61,000-square-meter hotel and its history is so intriguing, it merits its own Wikipedia page.
All the rooms except for those underwater will have balconies that overlook specially built waterfalls coming out of the quarry walls. Guests will have the option of going bungee jumping and rock climbing.
The resort will also have a restaurant, aquarium, pool, watersports center, conference center and banquet facilities. One unique feature is the rooftop is at ground level and is topped with grass and trees, allowing visitors to escape into the surrounding landscape.
Located near the Sheshan Mountain Range, Sheshan National Forest Park and Chenshan Botanic Gardens, the five-star hotel is being touted as one of China’s most eco-friendly places to stay.
To minimize the impact on the environment, most of the construction was contained within the quarry itself—that’s why it took a decade to build. More than 5,000 architects, engineers, designers, and builders were involved in its construction.
The hotel will use geothermal and solar energy power for heating and lighting. It’s expected to open later this year.