Sleeping with the fishes takes on a whole new meaning at these villas and suites located under the sea.
Over the years, plans for a fully-submerged luxury hotel, like the Poseidon Undersea Resort in Fiji and Hydropolis in Dubai, have been mapped out. But they’ve yet to become a reality for intrepid travelers. Until that happens, you can realize your dreams of living like the Little Mermaid or Captain Nemo in these floating villas with underwater bedrooms or suites that look out into aquariums everywhere from the Maldives to Shanghai.
While the Conrad Rangali Island Resort has had overwater bungalows for years, in November 2018, it debuted a two-level villa called The Muraka—which means coral in the Dhivehi language in the Maldives—with an entire bedroom, living room, and bathroom with floor-to-ceiling glass walls below the Indian Ocean, as well a dining room, bedroom, and a plunge pool upstairs at sea level.
However, this isn’t the first underwater endeavor for the hotel. The resort made waves when it opened the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant 13 years ago, which is considered to be the first of its kind.
Since it’s built inside an abandoned quarry in southwestern Shanghai, 16 floors of the InterContinental Shimao Wonderland that opened in November 2018 are technically located underground. But two floors are also located underwater, with views of the hotel’s aquarium.
When it is finished in the next few months, the bedroom of the two-story Underwater Loft will look out over the water’s surface, while the living room one floor down will be ensconced inside the aquarium. The hotel’s seafood restaurant, Mr. Fisher, also has similar underwater views of the aquarium.
Pemba Island, Tanzania
Part of the Zanzibar archipelago off the coast of Tanzania, Pemba Island is surrounded by coral reefs for divers to explore. To truly submerge yourself, book the Underwater Room at The Manta Resort on the island’s west coast.
Accessible only by boat, the floating villa is anchored to the ocean floor and has an underwater bedroom where you can watch the local fish swim by while you relax. Upstairs at sea level, you’ll find the villa’s living room and bathroom, while the finished roof can be used as a lounge deck for sunbathing.
Both of the underwater suites—aptly named the Neptune and Poseidon—at Dubai’s Atlantis The Palm look out into the resort’s aquarium where 65,000 aquatic animals live among the ruins of the lost city of Atlantis. If waking up to views of sharks and rays isn’t enough for you, you can also choose to go scuba diving in the aquarium to get even closer to the marine life.
Most of the rooms at this resort on Sentosa Island, just off the tip of Singapore, are above ground. But if you stay in one of the 11 Ocean Suites on the property, you’ll have a view of the 40,000 fish that live in the resort’s aquarium, including manta rays, clownfish, and more. Since the suites are built like two-storied townhouses, you’ll also get to enjoy a living area above ground with an outdoor patio area with its own private Jacuzzi.