Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? SpongeBob SquarePants! And now you can join him – kind of – because an underground hotel is opening soon, featuring underwater rooms.
If you’ve ever imagined yourself staying in an underwater hotel – because, why not? – then now is your time to shine because one will be opening its doors in Shanghai later this month.
The InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland has been under construction for 10 years, but will eventually be open to the public from November 20.
Ten years is an extremely long time to build something, so I’m guessing I’m not the only one who’s expecting massive things from the project.
And from the sounds of things, we won’t be disappointed. According to Insider, the hotel will be built into a quarry at the base of Tianmen Mountain – so if it’s mountain views you’re after (albeit, the inside of one), this is the ideal place for you.
The five-star hotel will have a total of 18 floors, the bottom two of which will be completely submerged underwater in an aquarium which is 33 feet deep. We’ve all heard of sea view, but aquarium view? Sign me right up!
And it doesn’t stop there. The part of the hotel which is underwater also boasts a restaurant, pool and water sports centre. What more could you want?
Apparently a lot more, as the hotel also has a gigantic waterfall cascading down the side of the building, ending in the water below.
Each of the 337 rooms – apart from those which are underwater, obviously – have balconies which look out onto the waterfall, offering guests the perfect views. Not as perfect as the aquarium, admittedly, but it’s a close second!
An expansive clear-blue aquarium sits at the bottom of the hotel, allowing guests on the lower floors to admire their surroundings. But if it’s something more adventurous they’re after, the hotel will also be offering guests the opportunity to bungee jump and rock climb to their heart’s content.
The project was not an easy feat, as the hotel was designed by British design firm Atkins – which, according to Lonely Planet, is the same company that was behind one of the world’s most luxurious hotels, Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai.
Both hotels shared a vision, with architects wanting to ‘push the limits of design’ in their creation. And that they did.
In total, 5,000 architects, engineers, designers, and workers were necessary to achieve the desired results, taking a total of 10 years to do so.
Speaking to China Daily, chief engineer Chen Xiaxiang mentioned how new solutions were needed to transport materials downwards, rather than upwards like in everyday projects.
It’s been a fight against gravity.
If you can get your head around it, the top floor is actually at ground level (confusing, I know) and its rooftop is covered in green vegetation, meaning it blends into the surrounding area seamlessly.
Rooms will be available from November 20 on InterContinental’s website, starting from approximately $487 (approximately £372) per night.
If I wasn’t completely skint right now, that would sound ideal but as it stands, I’d better get saving if I have any hope of staying in this ‘wonderland’.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).