The Hidden Gems of Paris
A Parisian’s guide to the best hotels, restaurants, and out-of-the-way shopping...
In a city known for its skyscrapers, Shanghai's latest 18-story resort opening looks to the ground instead.
It took the design team behind Dubai's Burj Al Arab Hotel (including 5,000 architects, engineers, designers, and workers) more than 10 years to complete the Intercontinental Shanghai Wonderland. Starting December 1st, guests will be able to officially check in for a stay at the world's first underground five-star resort, with rooms starting at $487 per night.
Built into an abandoned, water-filled quarry about 20 miles from Shanghai, the groundbreaking hotel plummets nearly 300 feet down to a pool, alongside a waterfall built into the center off the hotel.
Of the Intercontinental Shanghai Wonderland's 18 floors, 16 are underground and face the impressive panoramic views of the quarry and the location's unique surrounding cliffs, hills, and waterfall which is best viewed from the rooms' rounded balconies. Two of the bottommost floors are underwater and face a 33-foot-deep aquarium.
Its deepest story is nearly 2,297 feet lower than the top floor of the J Hotel, which is set to be the highest hotel in the world and is also under construction in Shanghai.
Adventure travelers take note, the luxury resort makes the most of its location with a sports center cantilevered over the quarry for extreme activities such as rock climbing and bungee jumping. A glass-bottomed bridge and theme park are also expected to be added to the resort in the future.
In addition to being an impressive architectural feat, the building is notable for its environmental impact. It creates its own power—including heat and lighting—through geothermal and solar energy, and the roof is covered in greenery, blending seamlessly into the surrounding countryside.