China launches first underground hotel

Beijing _ Agencies

In the heart of a huge hole in the ground left by a former mine, China opens, Tuesday, a luxury hotel on the outskirts of Shanghai, giving its wealthy guests a chance to sleep deeply, but costly.

The 18-storey "Intercontinental Shanghai Wonderland" Hotel was built in a hole, 16 storeys below ground level, all overlooking the remainder of the previous quarry, and two underwater floors.

"Many different buildings were designed in Europe and Dubai, but this was completely different and became a work of life, so I say it is probably the most important building that I have designed," said chief architect Martin Yukhmann.

The project started in 2006, while construction began in 2013 and the hotel cost US $288 million.

But how much does it cost tonight in this fancy hotel?

The rate of accommodation in the room of the "Intercontinental Shanghai Wonderland " near Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport ranges from 3666 to 6,000 yuan (530 to 860 dollars).

UNESCO representative Michael Croft, the hotel's 336-room description is a "Sustainable development model ".

"It is a model inspired by a vision of a better future, and a present looking forward to its past to get answers," he said at a press conference at the hotel Thursday.

Xu Shitan, vice president of the Hong Kong Real Estate Development Group of companies "Shimau ", developed the hotel:  "It was possible to abandon this quarry. But we didn't. We turned it into a treasure.


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