World’s First Underwater Hotel Opens in the Maldives
What’s better than staying in a hotel next to an aquarium? How about the hotel actually being the aquarium?
The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island resort just opened an underwater hotel residence, the first of its kind. Created by architect Ahmed Saleem, who also built the resort’s (as well as the world’s) first underwater restaurant, Ithaa, back in 2005, Salem had a dream of sleeping beneath the glassy surface of the sea. This month, he achieved that dream in the form of the beautiful two-story villa, Muraka (In the Maldives’ local language, Dhivehi, Muraka means “coral.)
Situated 16.5 ft. beneath the waves of the Indiana Ocean, the suite comes with not only the typical hotel room components of a bed, shower and furniture, but also a few other specialties. There is a private gym, a bar, an infinity pool, living quarters of a butler, a bathtub that faces the ocean and most of all, an underwater bedroom where you can fall asleep watching the fish swim past. The structure is made with the well-being of the local ecosystem in mind; the resort has marine biologists as a part of the staff to ensure that the villa’s presence has as little impact on the coral as possible.
A few other additions include the use of an elevator or spiral staircase, a committed staff, including a personal chef and the aforementioned butler who provide round-the-clock service and everything else from facialists to massage therapists to trainers can be arranged as part of the experience and lastly, a secluded observation deck where guests can get a tan, listen to the sound of waves or even just relax with a good book.
This sounds like a dream vacation, but it doesn’t come cheap. The price tag is $50,000 a night, but the Muraka cannot be booked for a single-night stay. In actuality, the villa is only accessible for a four-night stay, meaning vacationers will be looking to pay a grand total of $200,000. This, of course, includes the personal staff as well as transportation to the villa either by private seaplane that lands at their own private jetty or by speedboat from the main resort.
Despite the enormous cost of the villa, the experience (if it can be afforded) will no doubt be unforgettable and purely magical. As a souvenir of their stay, guests are also awarded the Hilton Honors Diamond status, which unlocks perks such as guarantee of a room when a reservation is made 48 hours prior to arrival and every 5th night free when booking a reward stay of five nights or more. This benefits are accessible to those of Diamond status through Hilton Honors membership only.