China loves to counterfeit, and architecture is no exception. So it was no surprise when a massive, massive German-style castle popped up in the seaside city of Dalian. It's exciting, however, that Starwood Hotels has announced that it will open a giant hotel inside of it.
The new and appropriately named Castle Hotel will feature 292 guest rooms and 67 apartments. There will also be a "Royal Cellar", where you can get German treats like beer and wurst. A nearby "Lobby Lounge" is the spot for cocktails and according to Starwood's press release, "a place for the rich and famous to see and be seen, an elegant space which is very salonfähig." That's German word for "suitable for polite company". Honestly, the whole thing looks pretty suitable -- and also pretty ridiculous. (Fun fact: before the castle was converted into a hotel, it was a shell museum, featuring 20,000 rare shells from 30 countries.)
But wait, there's more. In case you haven't heard, China's love of counterfeiting is now happening on a citywide scale. There's a (now abandoned) replica of Paris on the outskirts of Hangzhou, and an entire English-style village called Thames Town -- just call it Little London -- near Shanghai. In fact, it's hard to keep track of the knockoffs at this point. There are enough to fill an entire book.
At this point, the culture of counterfeiting is beyond creative in China. From fake Apple stores to fake governments, the trend is so pervasive, it feels original. Some consider it a form of "mastery". [Jing Daily via Archinect]
Pictures: Starwood / Wikipedia / Dusit Fudu