The World's First “Groundscaper” Hotel Is Now Open

InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland

It’s a high-rise with a twist.

The InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland hotel in China is the world’s first “groundscraper” hotel. Instead of soaring skyward, the five-star resort plunges 88 metres into the earth, built into an old quarry on the outskirts of the city.

It’s not the first underground hotel in the world (as anyone who’s ever been to Coober Pedy would know) but it is thought to be the first luxe property built in a disused quarry.

The subterranean space, which has 336 rooms and suites over 18 floors, takes advantage of its unique backdrop with a rock climbing wall, bungee jumping platform and a glass-bottomed walkway.

InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland

While most of the rooms are on the “top” 16 floors with views of the quarry’s artificial waterfall that cascades into the lake, suites on the bottom two floors are underwater so guests can admire tropical fish cruising through the aquarium from the living room. These luxury lofts also feature 24/7 butler service.

The underground theme continues into the Quarry Bar, too, which has views of the pit and serves whisky and other spirits with stone-shaped balls of ice.

The hotel officially opened its doors to guests on 15 November, after 12 years of planning and construction. It’s the 200th hotel from the InterContinental Hotels Group.

Image credit: Johannes Eisele/AFP; VCG/VCG

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