Underwater hotels let you immerse yourself in a rarely-seen part of the world — without needing to get wet. From their rooms, restaurants, bars, and spas, you can watch tropical fish swim by and, in some cases, even spot sharks or manta rays.
Fortunately, a handful of these hotels have now opened around the world, including one, conveniently for us, right here in Australia. Ahead, we’re sharing what you need to know about that option closest to home, as well as where else on the planet you can sleep under the sea.
Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai
Choose from two underwater suites at Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah, Poseidon, or Neptune. Both feature three storeys and 165sqm of space, 24-hour butler service, and bedrooms with floor-to-ceiling windows looking into the hotel’s Ambassador Lagoon, an aquarium housing 65,000 marine animals. Watch them swim by from the king-size bed or as you soak in the bathroom’s marble tub.
When you’re finally ready to leave the suite, dine at the resort’s restaurants — including Nobu, Hakkasan, and Bread Street Kitchen Bar — challenge others to a game of bowling in the resort’s own alley, or work out at the gym with a personal trainer.
As mentioned, we don’t need to travel far for a submarine stay — we’ve got underwater accommodation right in our own backyard. Reefsuites at Reefworld Pontoon in Hardy Reef, Whitsundays has two underwater rooms available, both boasting views of the Great Barrier Reef.
Arrive here via a scenic cruise through the Whitsundays, leaving from Hamilton Island or Airlie Beach. Accommodation packages include all meals, including some dining on the pontoon, under the stars, as well as access to an underwater observatory. Diving and heli-scenic activities can be added on.
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, The Maldives
The Muraka is a first-of-its-kind, two-level residence at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, with its master bedroom submerged nearly five metres below the sea. Arrive at the residence by seaplane and then spend your stay here lounging on its upper level’s sundeck, swimming in its infinity pool, or jumping straight into the shallow water. The top level also has three bedrooms.
When you’re ready to retire for the day, descend a spiral staircase, or take the lift down to the residence’s fourth bedroom, encased in thick acrylic walls. Above its king-size bed, you’ll find a dome ceiling looking at the marine life in the lagoon above.
Intercontinental Shanghai Wonderland, China
Intercontinental Shanghai Wonderland was built on an abandoned quarry in the district of Songjiang, roughly 30 km from Shanghai city centre, and was designed by the same firm behind Dubai’s Burj Al Arab Hotel. The hotel offers rock climbing, kayaking, and even bungee jumping over the quarry, as well as having two floors underwater where you’ll find suites, a pool and a seafood restaurant called Mr Fisher.
The two-floor suites are equipped with Smart TVs, Nespresso coffee machines, and bathrooms with Ferragamo amenities and Dyson hair dryers. On the top level, look out at the water’s surface while, in the living room, you can sit back and watch the activity in a saltwater aquarium.
Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore
Stay at one of Resorts World Sentosa’s 11 Equarius Ocean Suites, and you’ll be treated to the sight of over 40,000 fish, including manta rays and clown fish, in the resort’s aquarium. Each suite has two storeys, dedicated butler service and an upper, over-water level with an open-plan living area leading to a patio with a jacuzzi.
In the bedroom, you’ll find 400-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets, goose feather pillows, and a curved, floor-to-ceiling window looking out at the aquarium. The property is near Splashworks, Rainbow Reef, and Marine Life Park, which can be visited for the day — if you even want to leave the resort, that is.