Ship-shape: it’s the future for hotels, museums and landmark buildings

//Ship-shape: it’s the future for hotels, museums and landmark buildings

whampoa_x.jpgIt looks spectacular – bizarre, even – and it has excited a lot of attention since I posted pictures a couple of days ago, but the cliff-top Sun Cruise Resort hotel is only one of many buildings around the world which look like cruise ships .
One of the most bizarre is a shopping mall in Hong Kong, surrounded by tower blocks. At least The Whampoa (above), which houses 30 retail outlets, is surrounded by water, albeit a shallow pond. And the site was originally a dry dock.
Mercure_x.jpgTitanicBeach_x.jpgpattaya_x.jpgThen there’s quite a selection of hotels that take their inspiration from the sea. The 85-room Mercure hotel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for example, and the bravely (or stupidly)-named Titanic Beach Resort Hotel near Antalya, Turkey. At least it is big, with 586 rooms, three swimming pools, and a private beach. The Royal Cruise Hotel in Pattaya, Thailand, even comes with its own lighthouse.
You would be forgiven for wondering what could link the gigantic Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore to ships: unless I am very much mistaken there are no vessels with three 55-storey tower blocks containing 2,561 bedrooms.
But look up, and up, and up to the 340 metre-long SkyPark which tops the £4 billion development. It curves a bit, but it’s definitely ship-shaped, with an elegant bow – which is the end open to the public – and a square stern. Between the two is a spectacular infinity pool, 191 metres above ground level.
MarinaBay_x.jpgsauntonsands_x.jpgNearer home, the art deco Saunton Sands hotel in north Devon is nowhere near as large, but is just as impressive in its own way. It has the air of a 1930s ocean liner as it looks out across a magnificent 3.5 mile stretch of beach which was used for filming the Robbie Williams’ Angels video.
Tokyo_x.jpgzaha-hadid_x.jpgAway from hotels, it’s no surprise that the Museum of Maritime Science in Tokyo looks like it belongs at sea. More confusing is this concept created by Zaha Hadid, the architect behind the London Aquatics Centre, venue for the swimming events at the 2012 Olympics. Her plan for a railway station in the Saudi desert has yet to be built.
Conversely, modern cruise ships, with their serried ranks of balconies, look more and more like tower blocks tipped on one side, according to some critics.
But enough of them. If you know of any other ship-shaped buildings, let me know.

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:30+00:00 16 July 2013|Cruise Entertainment|4 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.


  1. Lesley 16 July 2013 at 6:53 pm - Reply

    I don’t have a picture of it but there is the building commonly called the Ark, which is ship-shaped. It is near the Hammersmith Flyover in London

  2. Keith 16 July 2013 at 9:19 pm - Reply

    There’s an island in the Firth of Forth

  3. Rhys 16 July 2013 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    Pretty sure the hideous-looking Burstin hotel in Folkestone was designed to look like a ‘ship’

  4. Jack cady 20 December 2016 at 12:45 pm - Reply

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