Inside China's new underground hotel that's built in a quarry and has underwater rooms

InterContinental Hotels and ResortsThe hotel officially opened on December 1.
  • The InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland hotel recently opened in China.
  • Built inside of a quarry roughly 20 miles from Shanghai, the 336-room hotel took 10 years of construction to complete.
  • Sixteen of the hotel’s 18 floors are located underground, while two floors are underwater.
  • Guests can expect to find unique architecture, glass walkways, and views of nature throughout the resort.

On December 1, the InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland hotel officially opened for business.

The resort, which took 10 years of construction to build, is located inside a quarry roughly 20 minutes outside of Shanghai. Of the hotel’s 18 floors, 16 are underground with two floors underwater.

The 336-room hotel also has scenic views of nature, large sculptures, and glass walkways. But don’t stress out if you can’t pay the $US564 per-night fee or make it to China any time soon.

Below, take an inside look at the hotel and get a glimpse of what the Shanghai resort has to offer.


The hotel was built into a quarry at the base of the Sheshan mountain range.

InterContinental Hotel and ResortsBefore construction began, the decommissioned quarry was filled with water.

Representatives for the resort told INSIDER that the hotel was built without conforming to the “traditional architectural concept of building towards the sky.”

Instead, the hotel was unconventionally designed approximately 288 feet below ground.


Construction of the hotel took 10 years to complete.

InterContinental Hotel and ResortsSome water appears to have been drained in order to build the quarry.

Though originally slated to open in October 2018, the resort did not begin booking reservations until November 20. The InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland hotel then officially opened for business on December 1.


The structure was designed by architecture firms Atkins and JADE+QA.

InterContinental Hotel and ResortsThis photo shows the hotel while it was still under construction.

JADE+QA is led by Martin Jochman, a former Atkins employee.Atkins is widely known for building the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai.


Of the hotel’s 18 floors, 16 are located underground.

InterContinental Hotel and ResortsMost guests who stay underground will have an outdoor view of the quarry.

Two floors, which are not visible in the photo, are completely submerged underwater.


But not every area of the hotel is located deep inside the quarry.

ForgemindArchiMedia/Flickr/Some Rights ReservedThe hotel blends in almost seamlessly with the local landscape.

Two floors of the hotel are located above ground.


Sculptures can be found throughout the resort.

InterContinental Hotel and ResortsThe style of this sculpture matches the water it’s placed upon.

The largest sculpture at the resort, located at the hotel’s entrance, is abstractly shaped like a dragon.


Hotel guests can choose between 336 different rooms and suites, all of which are inspired by nature.

InterContinental Hotel and ResortsThe ‘turquoise water’ rooms include blue walls and overlook the quarry.

While amenities differ depending on where you stay, even the most basic guest rooms are full of perks. Guests who stay in “Classic Rooms,” for example, can expect to find 55-inch LCD TVs, Bose sound systems, Dyson hairdryers, high-speed internet, and Nespresso coffee machines.


There are plenty of dining options for hotel guests.

InterContinental Hotel and ResortsDrinks at the Quarry Bar are served with stone-shaped ice cubes.

From fancy restaurants to laid-back lounges, the InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland includes six different places to eat.

Commune, for example, provides buffet-style food and a children’s play area, while the bird-inspired Cai Feng Lou is recommended for business banquets and family dinners.


The Mr. Fishy Specialty Restaurant is located on one of the hotel’s bottommost floors.

InterContinental Hotel and ResortsEach fish tank is approximately 32-feet deep.

The underwater restaurant is filled with custom-built aquariums and offers seasonal seafood from countries like Japan, France, and the US.


Outside, the resort includes a scenic glass-bottomed skywalk.

InterContinental Hotel and ResortsThe skywalk might be a challenge for anyone afraid of heights.

Not only is the area surrounded by cliffs and lush trees, but those who walk the pathway can also look down to see rushing water and mountain valleys.

Resort representatives compared walking on the pathway to “walking on the clouds.”


Resort representatives told INSIDER that the hotel “sets an example for the harmony between man and nature.”

AtkinsThe hotel might be hard to spot unless you were flying overhead.

Because they’re surrounded by forests and large bodies of water, hotel guests just might forget that they’re staying inside a quarry.


Water plays a big part throughout the resort.

InterContinental Hotel and ResortsSome of the best views of the waterfall can be seen from the glass skywalk.

Nature lovers can enjoy the hotel’s natural waterfall, while those who remain inside can use the spa and indoor swimming pool.


There are plenty of things to do both on-site and nearby the resort.

InterContinental Hotel and ResortsNature is surprisingly abundant inside the quarry.

Though the hotel is worth a trip in and of itself, the resort is located near many tourist attractions, such as the Sheshan National Forest Park, Chenshan Botanical Garden, Tianma Country Club, Guangfulin Park, Shanghai Sculpture Park, and Shanghai Happy Valley.


The entire resort lights up at night.

InterContinental Hotel and ResortsEven the glass stairway, located on the left, shines bright.

You can find out more about the InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland hotel here.

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