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    News bites – 28 November

    Down to Earth

    The very first skyscraper to be built was just ten stories high, which by today’s standards may not seem all that impressive, but in 1885 certainly was. Since then, our obsession with skyscrapers has only grown, with each new building designed to be taller than the last – our very own industrial rainforest. However, a new hotel built in Shanghai could be the spark for a major change in architectural design, reshaping the connection between nature and city. Built in an abandoned quarry, this ‘earthscraper’ is a world first.

    The Intercontinental Shanghai Wonderland (also known as Shimao Quarry Hotel) has been built into the cliff face of an 88-metre deep quarry.  Featuring 336 rooms across 18 floors, its top two floors sit above ground while the lower floors sit within the quarry walls, with the two lowest floors completely submerged by the lake that fills the base of the quarry. Facilities include a restaurant, a recreation centre offering rock-climbing and bungee jumping and outdoor water sports arena in the quarry, plus a shopping precinct still in development.

    This unique hotel is located in the Songjiang district and cost approximately US$288 million to complete.

    Main image courtesy of RT

    Once in a Lifetime Musical Experience

    The concept of experiencing the gritty underbelly of 1960’s New York in Sydney, Australia may seem a little unusual. However, with the combined forces of Handa Opera and acclaimed American director Francesca Zambello, audiences will be transported back to the streets of West Side Story. There is only one stage in Australia that can do a musical like this justice, and that is Opera Australia’s famous over-water stage.

    Across eight years, Handa Opera have attracted more than 330,000 visitors from all over the world to experience its productions. The outdoor stage is nearly three times larger than any other stage in Australia and seats approximately 3000 people. Audiences can find a range of themed dining and drinking options, as well as the exclusive, treetop Platinum Club – a pop-up dining room, bar and lounge. In addition to the outstanding performances and dining options, audiences will be treated to nightly fireworks, adding to the magic of the night.

    With the Opera House in the background, city lights in the distance and the harbour waters lapping at the edge of the stage, it really will be a once in a life-time musical experience.

    Image courtesy of Sydney Opera House

    Image courtesy of Sydney Opera House

    To book these amazing travel experiences, contact your preferred TravelManagers’ personal travel manager here.

    With compliments of First Class: visit them online or at Instagram