Hotel occupancy in the US increased by 6.8% to 61.6% in year-on-year comparisons for the week ending 29 October 2011, according to data by STR Global.
Hospitality firm Red Lion Hotels (RLH) has acquired ten US hotels formerly leased from a subsidiary of iStar for $37m as part of a global agreement with iStar Financial and Hilton Hotels.
Marriott International is to develop the Courtyard by Marriott New York Manhattan/Herald Square under a management agreement with owner 960 Associates, an affiliate of real estate company Hidrock Realty.

Shanghai Shimao Wonderland

Shanghai Shimao Wonderland is a leisure resort being developed in the Songjiang District near Shanghai, China. The project includes the unique Shimao Wonderland Intercontinental Hotel to be built in an abandoned quarry, an experience centre and other recreational facilities.

"The project broke ground in September 2007. It is being undertaken by the Shanghai Shimao Property Group (SSPG)."

The project is located in the Sheshan National Tourism Resort area of Songjiang. The area is the biggest tourism development in the Shanghai suburban area.

The resort is expected to promote new tourism avenues and holiday travel in the region. It is designed to provide a relaxing environment away from the crowded cities, such as Shanghai. The resort has been designed to offer an integral experience to visitors under a single roof.

The project broke ground in September 2007. It is being undertaken by the Shanghai Shimao Property Group (SSPG).

Construction of the Shimao Wonderland Intercontinental hotel was started in March 2012. InterContinental Hotels Group will manage the hotel. The project is scheduled for completion in late 2014 or early 2015 and is estimated to require an investment of $555m.

Award-winning design of the major Chinese tourism development project

The Shimao Wonderland resort was designed by Atkins and was the winner of an international design competition. The project won the gold medal at the 2011 MIPIM Asia Awards under the Futura Projects category. It was also shortlisted at the World Architecture Festival in 2009 under the future commercial projects category.

"The project includes the unique Shimao Wonderland Intercontinental Hotel to be built in an abandoned quarry."

The site for the resort is a quarry located in the Sheshan National Forest Resort area. The quarry pit, abandoned since 2000, is 100m deep, 240m long and 160m wide. It is located between Tianmashan Hill and Hengshan Hill. SSPG acquired the property in 2006 to develop the theme park.

The quarry itself became the basis for designing the resort. Natural elements of the quarry have been incorporated into the design. The main feature of the resort is the 380-room five-star Shimao Wonderland Intercontinental Hotel.

The design of the hotel is based on a water theme. It features a glass encased central vertical circulation atrium which connects the aboveground levels with the ground levels. The central atrium cascades over the edge of the cliff mimicking a waterfall. The curved facade of the hotel offers panoramic views of the resort.

The aggregate construction area of the project will occupy 550,000 square metres of the quarry and the main resort complex will cover an area of 428,000 square metres.

Facilities of the Shanghai Shimao Wonderland and unique hotel

Related project

Water Discus Underwater Hotel, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Water Discus is a proposed underwater luxury hotel to be found in Dubai, UAE.

The key feature of the theme park is the hotel which includes 19 floors divided into three levels – lower, underground and aboveground. Three floors of the hotel will be located aboveground and the remaining 16 will be located along the length of the quarry, including an underwater level.

The lower level includes water sports, a spa complex and a swimming pool. The underground level includes dining facilities and guest rooms facing a ten metre deep aquarium. The aboveground level includes the lobby and restaurants. Conference and banqueting facilities with a capacity to accommodate 1,000 people are also part of the aboveground level.

The resort will offer sports activities, amusement facilities and unconventional leisure and entertainment experiences. The experience centre of the hotel offers a mix of interactive games, shopping facilities and entertainment avenues. The area surrounding the main resort complex will include extreme sport activities, such as rock climbing and bungee jumping.

Sustainability of the Songjiang District-based theme park

Atkins has incorporated several sustainable features into the design of the resort. By redeveloping an abandoned quarry, a sustainable solution to improve the surrounding area was obtained. The quarry itself serves the energy needs of the project. The thermal mass of the quarry provides stability for the hotel and reduces the required energy input.

Other sustainable features include green roofing for all the aboveground structures of the resort. Photovoltaic solar panels and geothermal heating is expected to be used for generating electricity and heat for the resort.