Sleeping with the fishes takes on a whole new meaning at these villas and suites located under the sea.
Note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic some of these underwater hotels may be temporarily closed or have safety protocols that may alter the customer experience. Please be sure to call the property before booking, and check the restrictions these countries have for travelers arriving from abroad.
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, Maldives
The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island resort has had overwater bungalows for years. But in November 2018, it debuted a two-level villa called the Muraka—which means coral in the Dhivehi language in the Maldives—with a bedroom and bathroom with floor-to-ceiling glass walls submerged below the Indian Ocean, as well a dining room, two more bedrooms, and an infinity 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 more than a decade ago. It 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 Shanghai Wonderland that opened in November 2018 are technically located underground. But two floors are also located underwater, with views of the hotel’s aquarium.
This underwater hotel has several Underwater View Premier Rooms and Suites that look out into the aquarium, but the two-story Duplex Suite has an entire living room ensconced inside the aquarium (the bedroom is upstairs with views of the quarry). The hotel’s seafood restaurant, Mr. Fisher, also has similar underwater views of the aquarium.
The Manta Resort, 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, this underwater hotel room is technically a floating villa anchored to the ocean floor. In the underwater bedroom, 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.
The Manta Resort is currently closed and is slated to reopen on June 1, 2021.
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 underwater hotel rooms—called the Ocean Suites—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.
This article was originally published in December 2018; it was updated on March 12, 2021, with current information.