Opulent cars, fashionable spas, distinctive architecture -- leave it to China to find the most creative, unique and ultra-luxurious ways to draw attention to new hotels.
We already know that Asia is the fastest growing market for tourism and hotels, but that's not enough for some hoteliers. They want more. Much, much more.
In an effort compete with the hundreds of hotels opening across China in just this year alone, hotels are going to have to find ways to differentiate themselves in an effort to gain attention from tourists. Enter: the theme hotels.
Earlier this year, Shanghai Shimao Property Group broke ground on China's first underground hotel. Located at the foot of a 100-meter abandoned quarry at Shanghai's Tianmashan, the 380-room resort will have three levels above ground and 16 underground, and will also offer spa services, a sports facility and an underwater restaurant.
The property is part of the larger project to build Shimao Shanghai Wonderland, a large-scale theme park, and is expected to open in 2014 or 2015.
Those who want to stay sea level, but require a certain need for speed, might opt to check in to China's newest themed hotel, courtesy of the Lamborghini family.
The Tonino Lamborghini brand is the latest to enter China's hospitality market. The luxury Italian entrepreneur opened a five-star hotel near Jinji Lake in Suzhou Industrial Park and it's already attracting some wealthy crowds.
The Tonino Lamborghini Boutique Hotel Suzhou is a project of Mr Tonino Lamborghini himself, son of Ferruccio Lamborghini, founder of Italy's Lamborghini automotive brand in 1963. A hotel of the brand name already exists in Italy, but this will be Tonino Lamborghini's first foray into China.
The hotel has 92 lake-view rooms spread out around in four buildings, each surrounded by gardens and flowing water. The interiors are a blend of Chinese style and Italian details, Chinese Ming-style furniture and of course, Tonino Lamborghini's signature bull logo.
"I love to see the fusion of Italian luxury and Chinese culture," said Tonino Lamborghini in a statement. "This will be the perfect combination of a 'made in Italy' and Eastern philosophy."
According to reports, nine more Tonino Lamborghini boutique hotels are planned for seven Chinese locations, including Sanya, Zhuhai, Hangzhou, Xuzhou, Huangshi and Kunshan.Melanie Nayer is a hotel reviewer and expert on luxury travel around the world. She has covered all aspects of hotels including corporate restructures, re-branding initiatives, historical aspects and the best of the best in luxury hotels around the world.
Melanie writes a weekly exclusive column for 4Hoteliers.com