The former quarry, first excavated in the 1950s but deserted in 2000, now houses the world’s first ‘groundscraper’. Sixteen of the hotel's 18 floors are below ground, and the rooms on the bottom two levels are completely submerged with views of a 10 metre deep aquarium.
The former stone quarry has been transformed, with architects taking advantage of the natural surroundings and unique landscape. A waterfall, built into the rock face, is visible from the terraces of each of the 337 rooms.
Almost all of the construction has been kept within the quarry pit. Even the grassed roof, which will provide a tranquil hangout for guests, has been designed to merge with the surrounding environment.
The quarry will also be a factor in a number of extreme activities on offer to the guests. A sports centre cantilevers over the quarry and will be home to bungee jumping and rock climbing, while another area will be dedicated to water sports.
Arguably the most eye-catching feature of the hotel is the glass ‘waterfall’, which runs the height of the entire building, housing an indoor atrium.
The initial idea of building a high end resort in such a unique location was proposed in 2006 by Xu Rongmao, chairman of Shanghai Shimao Group, a real estate development company.
British architecture firm Atkins led the design for the hotel and was joined by JADE+QA, an architecture and design firm led by former Atkins employee Martin Jochman.
“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,” Jochman said.
“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.”
According to the hotel's website, rooms have been available for booking since 20 November. They’re not cheap, with rooms starting from around 3394 yuan ($AUD666 or $USD487) per night.
The maximum price for a suite is 71,068 yuan ($AUD14,000 or $USD10,243) per night, complete with butler service.