There is something mystical and uniquely captivating about the prospect of living under the sea. Whether it’s quiet solitude from the roar of life above the waves or the private splendour of being immersed amongst the oceans most secretive creatures, underwater resorts blend luxury and natural beauty in a way mankind has never been privileged with experiencing before. While there are many planned resorts including in Fiji and Dubai, the latest operational resort brings underwater living closer to home than ever before.
Nestled amongst lush mangroves, azure waters and hidden lagoons, The Manta Resort on Zanzibar’s Pemba Island brings an exciting new trend in luxury travel to Africa. Situated 250-metres from the shore, the Underwater Room offers guests an opulent glass walled bedroom four meters below the surface. Designed by Swedish artist Mikael Genberg and complete with a water deck for dining and a roof- top deck for star-gazing, the structure is anchored in a coral reef anomaly known as the Blue Hole.Perfectly protected from the strong Indian Ocean currents, from this unique vantage point, guests can admire vibrant shoals of fish,snorkel, Scuba dive or sunbathe by day or use a spotlight to illuminate the waters by night while relaxing amongst luxurious living spaces.
This is the second underwater lodging for Genberg, his first project was an art installation called Utter (Otter) Inn on Sweden’s Lake Mälaren. With a rustic A-frame roof, red sides and white gables, the tiny structure encloses a ten foot ladder leading down to two modest twin beds. Surrounded by panoramic windows, guests here can relax in total seclusion without access to electricity.
While Genberg has succeeded in opening two hotels (albeit on a much smaller scale), other more extravagant underwater hotel projects still remain in the planning stages. In Fiji, Poseidon Underwater Resorts was set to open in 2009 but is incomplete to date. The proposed structure would have guests enter through an elevator at the end of a pier and feature an arm of pressurized and humidity controlled rooms stretching over a coral reef. With over 150,000 requests for reservations once the hotel is opened, Poseidon’s management team is already considering launching a second resort according to its website. Meanwhile in Dubai, the Hydropolis Underwater Hotel is reportedly in the construction phase although funding restrictions have brought its completion date into question. With 220 rooms spanning over an area the same size as London’s Hyde Park, guests will be greeted at a land post before being transported by a submerged subway to the main part of the hotel.
With cutting edge luxury hoteliers around the world all looking to launch the next underwater resort, it is obvious that submerged living is still largely a trend of the future. However with so much excitement surrounding upcoming projects, opulent underwater lodging might be here sooner than we think.