The World's First Underwater Residence Is Coming to the Maldives

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  • 3 months ago

Now making waves in the Indian Ocean: the world’s first undersea villa, slated to open at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island resort this November. The one-of-a-kind haven—which cost $15 million to develop—will allow guests to dream more than 16 feet beneath the ocean’s surface, surrounded by 180-degree views of marine life.

Aptly called “The Muraka,” which means “coral” in Dhivehi (Maldivian), the opulent accommodation can house up to nine guests and contains two floors connected by a spiral staircase and an elevator. 

Perched above the water, the upper level—which spans 5,921 square feet—features a king-size bed and a bathroom with an ocean-facing bathtub, along with a twin-size bedroom, a third bathroom, butler’s quarters, a powder room, a kitchen, a bar, and a dining area.

Two decks—one of which has an infinity swimming pool—provide optimal viewing points of both sunrise and sunset.

Down below lies the 193-square-foot undersea suite, comprised of a king-size bedroom, a living room, and a bathroom.

Designed by award-winning Japanese architect Yuji Yamazaki, the villa’s minimalist interior is marked by walls and ceilings of reflective glass, plush leather finishes, and marble and granite detailing. Natural hues and materials were purposely chosen to complement the undersea environment.

Crowned with an acrylic dome supplied and installed by Nippura Co., one of Japan’s leading aquarium manufacturers, the high-tech building has an outer shell made of two layers of steel and concrete. The structure is weighed down by ten legs concreted into steel piles—each a meter in diameter—to keep it steady regardless of sea conditions. For extra security, all materials used to construct the unit must be pressure-tested prior to installation to ensure they can withstand the ocean’s forces.

“Driven by our inspiration to deliver innovative and transformative experiences to our global travelers, the world’s first undersea residence encourages guests to explore the Maldives from an entirely new perspective below the surface of the sea,” says Ahmed Saleem, the project’s chief architect and designer.

Guests of the luxurious sprawl will enjoy highly customized excursions, along with a host of amenities such as VIP fast-track arrival and departure airport service, a private speedboat to get around the island, daily spa treatments, exclusive use of the resort’s yachts and speedboats, and access to an array of water sports, including jet skiing. Other perks include 24-hour butler service and access to an on-call personal fitness trainer, a yoga instructor, and a private chef.

The resort, which is also home to the world’s first underwater restaurant, Ithaa, is already accepting reservations for the unique retreat—though booking rates for the all-inclusive package have yet to be announced.

The resort is also home to Ithaa, the world's first underwater restaurant, which seats up to 14 guests at a time and costs $400 per head.

The Muraka might be the first full residence featuring a submarine suite, but it isn't the first hotel room to open under water. Two years ago, Airbnb invited the winners of an online contest to spend the night in a see-through chamber submerged in a giant tank full of live sharks.

Now that's sleeping with the fishes.


This article is only publisher's viewpoint.

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