This month in China, Sheraton is opening what may be the strangest-looking hotel you’ve ever seen. It’s the Sheraton Huzhou Hot Springs Resort, designed by the famed Beijing-based architect Ma Yansoong of MAD architects.
Some may think it looks like an alien communications transponder, or the world’s largest slinky, or perhaps a neon donut. Or perhaps its just China’s latest effort to impress you.
The luxury hotel is made up of layers of floors that create a ring rising from the south bank of Huzhous’s Taihu Lake. It’s a little over 100 meters high and 116 meters wide, with a floor area of 95,000 square meters.
The lobby ceiling contains 20,000 Swarovski crystals. The floor is paved with Brazilian tiger’s eye stone and Afghan white jade.
The resort has 27 floors and 321 rooms, which includes 37 villas, 40 suites and presidential suites.
Sheraton puts the cost at 1.5 billion dollars, and says the design is the “perfect embodiment of water, giving every room a view of the lake, natural light and ventilation no matter where it is located.”
The hotel is beautifully lit up at night, thanks to the LED light system on the exterior of the hotel that displays animated textures and patterns, all of which are reflected on the water’s surface.
While Huzhou hasn’t been discovered by most foreign travellers yet, it’s already a popular place for residents of Shanghai looking to escape to natural surroundings on the weekend. It’s just 160 kilometers to the west of Shanghai.
Huzhou is especially busy in the autumn and spring, and is famous for its bamboo forests and hot springs. Scenes from the films “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” were filmed there.
The U.S.-based hotel brand Sheraton has focused heavily on China recently. Of the 30 Asia hotels Sheraton will open this year, fully half of them are in China.
The Sheraton Huzhou Hot Springs Resort is already open for guests, and all facilities will be available by the end of September.