Sometimes the presidential suite just isn't plush enough. Meet the hoteliers offering their guests accommodation beneath the waves.
Japanese hotel designer Yuji Yamazaki is describing the guest experience in an underwater hotel suite, called Muraka, recently constructed off the coast of Rangali Island in the Maldives. With living areas above the water and a lift to the bedroom down below the surface, it feels like something out of a James Bond movie. Glass walls and ceiling ensure there’s always a perfect view of the marine life swimming nearby.
Part of the Conrad Maldives resort, Muraka sits a short distance off the island’s coast, accessed by a long jetty. And the room rate? US$50,000 a night. Not unreasonable when you consider the complicated engineering involved. As chief engineer Mike Murphy explains, the project required pile foundations to be drilled into the coral reef, divers to guide the legs of the structure into place, some serious underwater concreting, and the services of a crane ship.
Hoteliers are resorting to ever more adventurous customer experiences in an effort to attract wealthy guests. And sleeping with the fishes is one way to stand out from the other holiday brochures.
The Manta Resort, in Tanzania, is another great example. Halfway between a boat and a building, its underwater room is a floating structure anchored to the sea floor in a gap in the coral reef, 250 metres off the shore of Pemba Island. There are three levels: a sunbathing area on the roof, the landing deck with its lounge area and bathroom, and finally the bedroom below the waves.
“Another state of being,” is how the resort describes their unusual accommodation, priced at $1,700 a night.