All-inclusive holiday resorts have been helping to take the stress out of vacation planning for decades, but a new destination located in Chengdu in China is taking the concept to a new level. The New Century Global Center is now the world’s biggest freestanding building by floor space, offering hotel, shopping and entertainment facilities – as well as a giant artificial beach – all under one roof.
Developed by Exhibition and Travel Group (ETG), the building is 1.9 million square meters in size and features a complete range of accommodation and hospitality outlets tourists would usually find in a typical town. Visitors can shop at one of two malls located in the building, go to the IMAX cinema, walk through a ‘Mediterranean village’, skate at the ice rink and book themselves into a variety of hotels. The building features a 300-meter-long false coastline, with a 150-meter LED screen offering the illusion of a horizon, complete with sunsets. The complex also has an artificial sun that provides sunshine and heat for 24 hours a day.
The New Century Global Center could appeal to those tourists who want new experiences brought to them, rather than dealing with the stress of finding the best places to go and organizing travel. While the Netherlands’ Hotel Droog has aimed to do something similar on a smaller scale, ETG has truly embraced huge scale to offer an entire holiday experience in one building – even if at the sacrifice of authenticity and subtlety. Are there other experiences that could benefit from being contained within a single space?