Why scuba dive when you can eat, drink and sleep amid the crystal blue waters of the some of the most beautiful oceans around the world? Here are five swanky below-sea-level hot spots where the ultra-wealthy can have a truly immersive experience.
1. Niyama Private Islands, Maldives
At the Niyama Private Islands in the Maldives, guests can enjoy a cocktail nearly 20 feet underwater in the Indian Ocean. The resort is home to Subsix, a restaurant and club where vacationers can see the like of Parrotfish and Moray eels swim by during their meal. For a $200 per person "subaquatic lunch," visitors can dine on crab, lobster, Wagyu beef and mango desserts, while drinks range from classic $15 Mai Tais and Mojitos to specialties like the $18 Kateebu. Made with Russian vodka, St. Germain and Champagne, the name Kateebu means "the boss."
2. The Manta Resort, Pemba Island
Near the eastern coast of Tanzania, serious water lovers can visit the Manta Resort's Underwater Room off Pemba Island. The accommodation has three levels: a landing deck at sea level with a living room area and bathroom, a rooftop area for sunbathing and stargazing, and a bedroom below sea level with 360-degree views of the marine life. Guests are left alone with a kayak, snorkel and fins and a cell phone, and meals are provided at prearranged times.
The room floats above coral heads and amid ocean life, and at night, underwater spotlights attract "shyer" creatures like squid. "Octopus and even Spanish Dancers have been seen attaching themselves to the glass panes," of the room, according to the hotel's website. "The reef inhabitants can simply not resist attraction, which makes for exciting watching and a truly unique experience." The price tag? $1,500 per night.
3. Conrad Hotels & Resorts Maldives Rangali Island
While visitors to this resort in the Maldives have a multitude of luxury restaurants to try, the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant comes with an ocean view about 16 feet below the surface. At dinner, visitors can expect a six-course dinner of "contemporary European cuisine," with courses including caviar, foie gras, lobster, sea snails and veal tenderloin. Children are welcome to the restaurant for lunch (which also offers lobster). Dinner is $325 per person, but if you book in advance, it is $275. The restaurant is amid "vibrant coral gardens," according to its website, and guests have spotted giant stingrays along with sharks.
4. Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas
The Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas has the world's first underwater wine cellar, offering a selection that spans nine decades, according to the resort's website. The restaurant, Sea, offers wine pairings with its dinner menus. For a seven-course dinner featuring seafood like oyster tartare, Saint-Jacques scallops and sea bream fillets, guests pay $345 per person. Adding a wine pairing is another $195. If there is money left to be spent, guests can also take part in a program sponsoring coral reef preservation and can adopt coral for between $100 and $400.
5. Under, Norway
Europe is set to get its first underwater restaurant. Norwegian architectural firm SnØhetta is designing a restaurant named Under that will be about 16 feet below sea level, CNN reports. The restaurant will be located along the Norwegian coastline near the village of Båly, according to the firm's website, and will function, "like a sunken periscope," while "the restaurant's massive acrylic windows [will] offer a view of the seabed as it changes throughout the seasons and varying weather conditions."
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