Shanghai's "pit hotel" is now one of the city's must-see attractions. Photo: China News Service

The world’s lowest-lying hotel opened in Shanghai’s Songjiang district late last year.

The five-star InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland has only two floors above ground level, with 16 floors underground and two floors underwater with an aquarium. It is also dubbed a “quarry hotel” because it was built on the side of an 88-meter deep, water-filled quarry.

The luxurious complex, which is also known as the “Deep Pit Hotel,”  has 336 guest rooms and suites offering a panoramic view of the former Shenkeng quarry, virtually a giant hole dug into a sweeping plain. Each room boasts curved balconies where guests can enjoy views of waterfalls cascading from the surrounding cliffs.

Views of Shanghai’s “pit hotel.” Photos: Handouts, China News Service

Local papers in Shanghai have reported that the hotel is constantly overbooked, so much so that its operator has stopped accepting walk-in check-ins at the counter.

Of course, you will need a deep pocket to dive deep into the one-of-a-kind experience the hotel offers. The standard room rate is 3,600 yuan (US$530) per night.

“I designed many different types of buildings in the UK, Europe, Dubai, and so on but this one was totally different and became almost [my] life work, so that’s why I’m saying it’s probably the most important building that I have designed,” said chief architect Martin Jochman, who is known for the sail-shaped Burj Al-Arab skyscraper in Dubai.

The team faced delays and a host of technical challenges, including adhering to strict earthquake regulations and maintaining water levels.

The developer of the hotel is the Hong Kong-based Shimao Group, which hails the project as an ambitious architectural and engineering feat.

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