Five-star hotel New luxury digs in China carved out of a quarry

China 24

Five-star hotel New luxury digs in China carved out of a quarry

What was once an abandoned site outside Shanghai is now in the lap of luxury.

The area now houses the first hotel of its kind in the world.

CGTN’s Frances Kuo gives us a look at what makes this place so special.

For years, this site was simply the pits.

“When I first came to this place, it was just a hole in the ground,” said Martin Jochman, of the newly built Intercontinental Shanghai Wonderland.  “It was for quarrying stone for making roads.”

But developers with China’s Shimao Group came up with an idea.

“Totally unique to actually really do something special with a site that was forgotten and nobody knew what to do with – give it new life,” said Jochman.

The result: The Intercontinental Shanghai Wonderland Hotel, touted as the world’s first underground hotel.

“Here you can lose yourself in a natural fantasy environment and forget the outside world and relax in an underground and underwater world,” said Jochman.

That world includes more than 36000 square meters of space carved into the quarry, complete with 336 rooms and 15 floors underground.

It also includes a waterfall, huge fish tanks and a theme park.

“The difficulty and challenge of this project and the biggest difference from other projects is that it’s a project that’s completely new, a project we have never encountered before,” said Chen Xiaoxing, Chief Engineer of the Intercontinental Shanghai Wonderland.

Indeed, this was no easy feat; the idea was conceived 12 years ago and took five years to build.

“The Intercontinental Shanghai Wonderland Hotel was basically considered impossible (to build) from its conception because it runs counter to all the basics of engineering and construction,” said Kenneth Chan of the Shimao Group.

Construction was first delayed after a nearby river overflowed and filled half of the quarry.

To prevent flooding problems, the hotel has a pumping station to help regulate water levels.

To be a guest, you’ll have to dig deep…in your wallet.

Rooms are about $500 a night, but developers say the experience is worth it.

“It was the intention to create a place which becomes a sanctuary for the soul,” said Jochman.

Sara Hsu talks about high-end tourism among Chinese consumers

CGTN’s Elaine Reyes talks with Sara Hsu, associate professor of Economics at State University of New York at New Paltz, about high-end tourism among Chinese consumers.