The 9 Best Underwater Hotels Worth Diving Deeper Into
At a time when travelers are looking to unplug, underwater hotels are the perfect place for a quick stay. The flexibility of these hotels makes them popular. Whether it’s first-class and elegant or woodsy and natural, the perfect room is only a splash away.
By today’s standards, underwater hotels are feats of architecture. Constructing a space that can show off an ocean setting while withstanding water, pressure, and the elements is anything but easy.
In other words, although there are underwater hotels in the world, they are rare. There are plenty of resorts, hotels, and inns that proudly advertise themselves as beachfront, lakeside, and ocean adjacent, but few are actually submerged.
Of those that are, these top spots are our recommendations for a merman-inspired adventure in which ambiance, sport, and novelty are the catch of the day.
1. Check Out the “Blue Hole” at the Manta Resort on Pemba Island
Down in the “Blue Hole,” as it’s called by locals, the Manta Resort’s Underwater Bedroom on Pemba Island in Tanzania has it all: comfort, class, and intrigue. It’s the kind of place where you can wake up peacefully to the gentle wavering light filtered through the sea.
Turquoise is the theme, inspired by the natural landscape. A blue bubble protects the underwater abode, linked to a three-story location that includes an above-sea-level rooftop. The Swedish-engineered structure boasts a lounge, bathroom, and a spot for stargazing.
A double room runs roughly $1,800 a night and comes with a three-night minimum stay requirement. The villas highlight the beauty of Pemban decor with a contemporary spin. Even the ventilation system, keeping the room fresh and cool, is topnotch.
There are some options that are more affordable, but they’re smaller and don’t all feature underwater living as the Underwater Room does. Opening in 2013, this off-the-coast-of-Zanzibar resort’s Underwater Room has been making waves, giving off total “mini private island” vibes ever since.
2. Combine Scuba and Science at Jules’ Undersea Lodge in Key Largo, Florida
Ever the classic, Jules’ Undersea Lodge of Key Largo Florida remains a hot spot as far as underwater hotels are concerned. Even celebrities have checked in. The exclusive guest list has included the likes of Pierre Trudeau, Steve Tyler, and Jon Fishman.
Before it was a renowned underwater hotel, Jules’ Undersea Lodge was a research lab in Puerto Rico. Now it’s been retired to a mangrove lagoon where angelfish, barracuda, and snappers swim freely among sponges, oysters, and anemones.
The best way to get around is in scuba gear which the lodge lends to guests (with an unlimited supply of tanks). Scuba diving is the only way to reach the room!
Although some might shake their heads at a hotel in a reef, the staff explains that the structure is itself an artificial reef and that the flow of air to the space adds needed oxygen to the water. In a way, they assert, it shows how we’re all connected.
Guests enter the wetroom to slide out of their gear and into something warm and comfortable. There’s a living space and two bedrooms, all air-conditioned. What else is the lagoon? Wi-Fi, DVDs, and a working intercom system!
Of course, the eye will be sooner drawn to the 42-inch circular windows that give an all-access pass to what lurks beneath. Be sure to leave room for dessert as the “mer-chef” will be scuba diving his way down to whip up some grub. Meanwhile, a command center monitors the hotel for safety, so support systems and backup systems are ready if needed. As for the price, it’s a mystery. Interested parties must reach out directly for current rates.
3. Try Island Life With The Muraka, Conrad Maldives on Rangali Island
In the Maldives, the land brings seaside tranquility through an intentional retreat called The Muraka. The grand entrance begins with a personalized arrival that includes entering the property on a private seaplane or boarding a speedboat that departs from the main resort.
The stay is partially above water, partially below. Above sea level, there’s a living and dining area. Other amenities include an ocean-facing tub, outdoor deck and infinity pool, 24-hour access to a butler and chef, fitness training, spa treatments, and jet skis.
A spiraling staircase brings the guest downstairs to the underwater aquarium and master bedroom. Floor-to-ceiling windows open up the space to sparkling waters.
The adventurous and social media savvy can book a dive complete with a film crew while the homebodies enjoy celebrity chef Jereme Lengu’s tasty creations. Others will go the spiritual route, dedicating time to meditation, yoga, and self-discovery.
The resort is super kid-friendly, too. They have child-friendly attractions and a 24-hour babysitting service for parents who find themselves desiring a moment to slip away.
Since it opened in the fall of 2018, the Rangali Island-situated Muraka has been a fan favorite with nightly rates starting at a whopping $18,000 per night. If it sounds pricey, remember the room accommodates up to nine, so maybe you can split the tab.
4. Soak Up Singapore at Resort World Sentosa
Resort World Sentosa finds itself on Sentosa Island, which is just off the coast of Singapore. Here, 11 two-story suites offer VIP access to the resort’s massive aquarium. Those staying will enjoy fresh air on the outdoor patio upstairs and exquisite views of the roughly 44,000 fish that swim about in the aquarium while down below.
Although it sounds a little gimmicky to take refuge in a hotel room facing the world’s largest aquarium, a five-star butler service makes the experience as regal as ever. Nearby, though, the crew can let loose at the Adventure Cove Waterpark.
The room was built around the viewing experience, though, so it may be hard to peel yourself away from the glass. When the viewing panel opens, the lights automatically dim, ready to show off the view that is nature’s bounty. After the show, sit with the family in the private jacuzzi. Nightly rates for these rooms begin at approximately $1,260.
5. Indulge in Seaside Amenities at Huvafen Fushi in the Maldives
Found in the Indian Ocean, Huvafen Fushi in the Maldives lands as our number five pick. The rolling seascapes speak to a classic luxury that never goes out of style. At the private hideaway in North Malé Atoll, only half an hour away on a speedboat from the local airport, time seems to drift away.
Spa treatments are on the menu as well. Treatments include stress-relieving deep tissue massages, energy work, touch therapy, and Thai stretches. All the experiences are designed to help recalibrate the mind, body, and spirit.
Other indulgences include picnics, sailing, and sightseeing. Thrillseekers can opt for scuba courses (at all levels, from open water and advanced open water to rescue and divemaster).
A year-round destination with two main seasons, Maldives rarely has a bad time to visit. The only hangup here is that the rooms technically aren’t underwater. A deep 25-foot plunge, however, is possible at the Huvafen Spa, offering great glances at the reefs. A bungalow will set the visitor back roughly $1,350.
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6. Keep It Small Scale With Utter Inn in Västerås, Sweden
Those looking for an underwater room that floats on a lake in Sweden should consider lodging at The Utter Inn. Waking up will feel like a dream when critters and crawlers from the lake swim past your window. Swedish artist Mikael Genberg, who dreamed up the room, wouldn’t have it any other way.
The abode sits upon the lake, floating above with an innocent allure. The surreal image calls to mind a world of possibilities (and world-class therapeutic benefits).
The clear waters awaken the mind and a round of brisk (or leisurely) canoe paddling connect it to the body. Whether bringing your nearest and dearest or setting out alone, the locale is sure to please.
The situation here mirrors more of an Airbnb; all that tranquility comes with a price. Guests are advised to stock up on essentials, snacks, and toiletries before embarking as no additional amenities or services are available beyond the bed.
Lake Mälaren’s water is clean, but not crystal clear. Instead, you’ll get up close and personal with the near-Stockholm flora and fauna in a murky-yet-cozy setting. If it gets to feel a little too intimate, the above-water deck has space for sunbathing and fresh air. Although this rustic experience might not be everybody’s cup of tea, for those up for a wild time, a nightly rate of $125 is sure to fall under budget.
7. China’s InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland Caters to All With Aquarium Views
In Shanghai, China, an underwater room option awaits at the InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland. This $300 million project was constructed 20 miles away from the city center of Shanghai. Rooms on the upper floors feature balconies that open to the quarry and waterfalls. Downstairs, however, there are two special floors that are submerged: the “Premier Underwater View Suites.”
A restaurant and a swimming pool add to the fun down below. The hotel calls Songjiang home, which is 40 minutes away from the Shanghai National Exhibition and Convention Center. Located in the quarry, it’s said to be “88 meters closer to the heart of the earth.”
Guests are likely to arrive for a variety of reasons, including business, tourism, and leisure. The options for all three objectives put the hotel’s offerings on the map.
For example, the deluxe suite is an expansive 120-square-meter space with children’s rooms, terraces, and underwater viewing. Everything can be stepped up with Club InterContinental privileges and butler service. Nightly rates start at $1,100.
8. Try a Stay Fit for the Gods at Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai
In Dubai, at Atlantis, underwater rooms are always a good idea. Two suites, Neptune and Poseidon, give complete views of the 65,000 sea creatures who maintain a residence in the resort aquarium’s Ambassador Lagoon.
An elegantly designed and expansive lounge welcomes guests into the space. The bathtub sits affront aquarium glass, giving a wet-dry-wet touch of nature to a soothing soak. Ease into a restful slumber afterward in the king bed with marine blue views.
Sweetening the deal, the stays include a half-hour personal training session, airport transfer, and in-room dining 24/7. The aquarium has some fascinating marine life making the rounds, including sharks, stingrays, and colorful fish. Sleeping with the fish at this luxury locale costs $6,295.
9. Don’t Bail on Bali. Stay at the Bambu Indah Hotel!
How about an eco-friendly option? That’s what’s in store at Bambu Indah Hotel in Bali. Although this hotel is currently closed due to constraints brought on by the pandemic, its website assures guests it will be back in action soon. When it is, the masses will be hoping to check in the bungalow known as the Udang House for an unforgettable stay.
Pricing will be re-established upon reopening. The hotel asks guests to immerse themselves in nature and hospitality, two domains combined by Bambu Indah. Tranquility and zen are inspired by the staff’s kind spirit and commitment to luxury service.
The hotel has various spots to spend the night, but our favorite is the “Shrimp” House (Udang House). The hotel room’s not 100% underwater; there is a glass floor that exposes the shrimp and aquatic life living below.
Imagine the scene: Gracefully floating on a shrimp pod calms your mind. Outside the door, a private concert of frog croaks and cricket chirps drowns out the stress of twenty-first-century life as we know it. Sounds divine!
If thinking of being surrounded by water, or even scuba diving to your next hotel stay, was making you nervous, this floor-only option could be a winner.
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