• 02.20.13

This Chinese Hotel Defies Gravity

A horseshoe-shaped Sheraton is changing the Chinese skyline.

Las Vegas, look out. While the city’s made a name for itself with uniquely shaped hotels–including replicas of pyramids, the Eiffel Tower, and castles– Huzhou, China might give the Strip a run for its money, with the newly opened horseshoe-shaped Sheraton.


Nestled at the banks of Lake Taihu in Zhejiang Province (about 150 kilometers west of Shanghai), the half-ring lights up at night, casting shadows and reflections against the surface of the lake. “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,” writes Designboom.

The design is by MAD, the Beijing-based firm that’s proven itself again and again to be one of the most creative architecture firms around right now. In addition to the Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort, recent projects include curvy residential towers in a Toronto suburb, the space-age Ordos Museum in China, and design proposals for an “urban forest” skyscraper, also in China. Equally ambitious is Sheraton, who’s embarked on a 30-hotel expansion across Asia for the coming year, complete with 15 new resorts in China.

About the author

Zak Stone is a Los Angeles-based writer and a contributing editor of Playboy Digital. His writing has appeared in,, Los Angeles, The Utne Reader, GOOD, and elsewhere.