Underwater resorts are still largely a product of a vivid imagination. Some hotels are in the planning stage, some are currently under construction, but a few hotels already offer the possibility to spend a holiday with the fishes. From partially submerged luxury suites to actual submarine stays, we present you the 10 most spectacular underwater hotels on the planet.
The 380 room Shimao Wonderland InterContinental is currently being built on the site of an abandoned quarry in Songjiang, China, around 30 miles from Shanghai. It will become one of the flagship hotels of the InterContinental Hotel group, and, notably, will features several rooms underwater as the abandoned quarry will be partially filled with water to create an artificial lake. There will be two underwater floors, the lowest of which will have a swimming pool. Construction of the hotel is estimated to be completed by 2017, only 2 years behind the originally planned 2015 completion date.
Boutique hotel Huvafen Fushi was one of the Maldives’ pioneer hotels and still delivers. It is located in a ridiculously clear lagoon, where you can relax on your own private stretch of sugar white sand, snorkel in one of the Maldives best house reefs, or swim in the lagoon-like infinity-edged pool. Huvafen Fushi’s spa, LIME, has 6 overwater pavilions in addition to the world’s first underwater treatment rooms. Soft cushions evoke the tactile versions of the corals and sponges and the slow rhythmic flow of the water, punctuated by the spectral colours of tropical fish.
It may not be on the same island as Huvafen Fushi, but the world’s first underwater club – Subsix – is also in the Maldives. Located within the superb Niyama resort, Subsix is situated 500 metres (1650 feet) out in the ocean and six metres (20 feet) below the waterline, and it is accessible to anyone. From private Champagne breakfasts, intimate subaquatic lunches, wedding blessings to wine tastings, themed evenings and club nights, you can chill out and enjoy the good life. Or, alternatively, you can dance the night away in this incredible underwater club while looking into the depths of the Indian Ocean.
Discreetly tucked away on one side of the world’s largest aquarium, guests here are treated to five-star comfort and personalized butler service whilst enjoying spectacular views of this underwater sanctuary. Each of these 11 exclusive suites is designed like a deluxe two story townhouse offering guests with the best of both land and sea. The upper level consists of an open living area leading onto an outdoor patio and Jacuzzi whilst the lower level offers guests with an underwater view of over 40,000 marine fishes in the comfort and privacy of their own suite.
Located on the kingdom’s man-made, palm tree-shaped island, palatial Atlantis The Palm is one of Dubai’s most impressive resorts, part blockbuster luxury hotel (more than 1,500 rooms and suites!), part aquatic wonderland. The hotel’s signature underwater suites have breathtaking underwater views, including the “ancient” ruins of the mythical lost city of Atlantis and its 65,000 marine inhabitants. With floor to ceiling windows looking straight into the hotel’s Ambassador Lagoon, you will be blown away. And if that’s not enough, the suites come with a 24/7 private butler, massages and a dolphin encounter.
Elevated and crafted along an idyllic island beach, Zanzibar’s Manta Resort offers privacy, romance, adventure and water sports on East Africa’s finest island sanctuary. While the resort has some gorgeous seafront villas and garden rooms, it is especially famous for its underwater room, a private floating island with a bedroom 4 meters or 13 feet below the surface. For $1500 per night, it is yours to enjoy while sunbathing and stargazing on the top deck, lounging and dining on the water deck and sleeping surrounded by a tropical marine environment.
A truly exceptional dining experience awaits you at Sea, Anantara Kihavah’s restaurant in the Maldives where you can sample a delicious meal amidst the vivid view of the ocean floor. Here, inside one of only a few underwater restaurants, you can experience the world’s first underwater wine cellar. Prepare to be amazed as a brilliant array of sea life swim, dart and dance before your eyes. The international gourmet menu accompanied with a choice of wines spanning nine decades is truly world-class and paired by the resort’s resident Wine Guru.
Situated just off the coast of a beautiful Caribbean island of your choice, Lovers Deep is leisure submarine intended for couples who want to have a private night together submerged beneath the ocean waves. The stunning views of the marine world will take your breath away and the vessel comes fully staffed with your very own team who are on hand to make sure you never have to take your eyes off the view, or each other. The airline industry has the Mile High club, but for the first time, you get an opportunity to join the Mile Low club. What are you waiting for?
Rated ‘the most beautiful restaurant in the world’ by the New York Daily News in 2014, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island’s Ithaa restaurant sits 5 metres or 16 feet below the surface, offering 180-degree panoramic views of the vibrant coral gardens surrounding it. Ithaa (meaning ‘mother of pearl’ in the Maldivian language of Dihevi) restaurant typically seats 12, but for $11,710 a night it can be made into a spectacular suite for two. With the restaurant serving indulgences such as caviar in a six-course set dinner menu, you can expect top-notch accommodations for your one-of-a-kind overnight stay.
The world’s ultimate underwater resort is currently under construction in Fiji. Once it opens, the resort claims it will be the culmination of every elite vacationer’s vision. Accessible via a lift from the shore of the Viti Levu island, the resort’s 25 suites will be located forty feet under the sea in an off-shore lagoon, and boast wall-to-ceiling windows and underwater lights, promising eye-popping views of multi-coloured marine life. However, there are fears it may end up a wash out: the resort has delayed its opening until 2020, despite 150,000 guests lining up to pay $10,000 to stay.