The Maldives is a nation comprised of a collection of islands in the Indian Ocean. It is renowned for its crystal-clear emerald waters and beautiful beaches. Positioning itself as the go-to destination to experience the beauty of travel, the Maldives boasts some of the world’s best underwater experiences.
With its azure Indian Ocean waters, the island doesn’t just have world-class hotels, restaurants, and spas above ground but also underwater. If you want to explore the mysterious deep, check out these unique underwater experiences on your next trip.
The dome-shaped restaurant is located in the luxury Hurawalhi island resort, almost six meters below sea level. It is one of the world’s largest all-glass underwater restaurants; a meal here will likely impress any date. The 5.8 Undersea restaurant has delightful multi-course fine dining with a seven-course menu that includes seafood-inspired dishes like seared scallops served with prawn coconut and pea mousse, along with an exquisite selection of fine wines. To complement your dining experience, tropical fish contribute to the restaurant’s unique ambience, offering an enthralling backdrop for your special night.
Built in 2004, Pearl at the Huvafen Fushi is the first underwater spa of its kind to be completely located under the water. Surrounded by the seductive calmness of the ocean, guests can experience a relaxing treatment in the undersea rooms with compelling views of the exotic marine life around them. The spa has a customized couple’s treatment room and four others for singles and couples. Special treatments include rejuvenating massages from highly skilled therapists along with special facials from renowned skincare experts to uncover healthy glowing skin.
Subsix is one of the trendiest underwater bars in the Maldives. It is part of the Niyama Private Islands and can only be reached by speedboat. The subterranean restaurant bar and nightclub has a unique decor concept. Once you enter, Italian abstract chandeliers illuminate the entryway like shining corals. In the depths, you are greeted by a clam-inspired bar surrounded by anemone designer chairs beneath a ceiling draped with shells. As fish and other ocean marine life dance across the sea floor around you, so can you. The bar has a live DJ with underwater glow parties that start late in the evening.
Considered one of the world’s first underwater restaurants, dining at Ithaa is undoubtedly a remarkable experience. Positioned five meters below the ocean’s surface, the undersea restaurant has panoramic coral views with shimmering waters filled with marine life and aquatic creatures. The restaurant’s ceiling is made of transparent acrylic that offers panoramic 180-degree ocean views.
The restaurant’s name means “mother-of-pearl” in the local language. Fine dining options include a four-course set menu lunch, a seven-course set dinner menu, and a mid-morning champagne hour.
Reservations are required before dining. The lunch and dinner menus showcase local cuisine with fusion dishes blending local and Western flavours.
Have you ever thought of experiencing art underwater? Coralarium is the first semi-submerged art gallery of its kind in the world. Created by renowned British artist Jason deCaires Taylor, the underwater sculpture museum is a semi-submerged tidal gallery showcasing sculptural artwork on the skyline, inter-tidal waterline, and the ocean’s seabed. Viewed from the water, the hybrid sculptures are modelled after the island’s endemic species. The gallery intends to raise awareness to protect Maldive’s coral reefs. Coralarium can be reached by boat or a short swim from the shore. It is open to snorkelers and divers as well.
The Muraka Hotel is the world’s first underwater hotel. It is part of the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort, owned by Hilton. A stay at the Muraka is an exclusive experience, to say the least. Guests usually arrive at the hotel with a seaplane. Nestled five meters under the Indian Ocean, it spans two levels with an underwater suite that includes a king-size bedroom, living area, and bathroom. The upper level has a twin-size bedroom, bathroom, gym, living room, kitchen, and bar.
The hotel boasts an ocean-view bathtub, a sunset-facing deck, and an infinity pool. All bedrooms have curved acrylic glass ceilings and walls, allowing guests to observe the sea life outside. Once you check in at the hotel, you can access a private on-call speedboat, complimentary jet skis, a private butler, chef, on-call masseuses, spa therapist, and personal trainer.
David Messiha | Staff Writer