The quest for bragging rights as the world's tallest hotel never seems to go away, with ever-taller towers soaring into the sky. But how about the world's deepest hotel?
That crown is clearly going to a new InterContinental being built in China, where the hotel sinks nineteen floors down into a former quarry outside of Shanghai.
Set to open in early 2015, the hotel is being designed by the same UK-based company, Atkins, who created Jumeriah's stunning sail-like Burj al Arab in Dubai.
The best of the 380 rooms in the InterContinental Shimao Shanghai Wonderland (yes, 'Wonderland') will face across an artificial boating lake to a manmade waterfall, a rarity in the almost entirely flat Shanghai region.
And only two of the hotel's 19 floors will be above ground level, with the lowest level – featuring the hotel's restaurant – will actually be underwater in the artificial lake!
You'll find the InterContinental Shimao Shanghai Wonderland (sorry, we couldn't resist using the name again) near expat favourite hiking hill Tianmashan -- itself a locally record-breaking but internationally lacklustre hundred metres high -- in the southwesterly Songjiang district of the city.
So while it's not a hotel to stay at when you want to do business in Shanghai, it's a novel weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle.
Parent InterContinental Hotel group revealed its new China-focussed hotel brand, Hualuxe, last month. Expect to see some Chinese characteristics filtering through to the quarry hotel too.
About John Walton
Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.