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Inside China's spectacular new underground hotel

Officially opened, the world’s first underground hotel is situated just outside Shanghai, in Shenkeng Quarry. Nicknamed the ‘Deep Pit Hotel’, the InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland is welcoming guests there new wonders of architecture.

Four years in the making the hotel, which is located mostly underground, has a range of facilities with their hosting rooms and restaurants situated underwater. According to the hotel descriptions, there are three ranges of rooms available from classic, executive and suites and, in total, this wondrous hotel has 300 beds. Prices start from around 4000 yuan (£500) as a base starting rate. Fittingly, other experiences involve rock climbing and bungee jumping.

Although an attraction in itself the hotel is situated only 30km from Hongqiao AIrport and other attractions like the Sheshan National Park and the Chenshan Botanic Gardens. This eco-friendly build generates its own power through the use of geothermal and solar energy. This ambitious architectural feat is 5-star and situated 35km for the city of Shanghai.

“Why do we say there is nothing in the world that compares to the quarry hotel project?” Chen Xiaoxiang, chief engineer with the real estate giant, Shimao Property, told AFP. “It’s a project that’s completely new, a project we have never encountered before.

“There were no references, cases or experience we could learn from to solve all the difficulties,” he added.

Built by British firm Atkins, who is the company behind another one of the world’s most luxurious hotels, also created the Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai. The chief engineer on this ambitious build spoke to Daily China last year stating it took 5000 architects, engineers, designers and workers to build.

Built 88 metres deep, 16 of its 18 floors are below ground with two underwater in what is a pioneering act of architecture. Only the top floor, covered in foliage, stands at ground level. The rooms and suites that have waterfall facing balconies for guests to take in the spectacle of a glass waterfall built into the side of the hotel.

“This was a totally unique idea, to really do something special with a site that was forgotten and nobody knew what to do with and to give it new life,” said Martin Jochman, the British architect who has been working on the project since it was dreamt up 12 years ago.

“I never lost my belief that it would be done one day, but it is here now, and I am really excited and amazed by the whole thing,” he said.

Here are the visuals: