11 Incredible Underwater Hotels around the World

Relax at these retreats that take guests literally beneath the deep blue sea.

By Lyn Mettler, ContributorMay 21, 2018
By Lyn Mettler, ContributorMay 21, 2018, at 9:00 a.m.
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Underwater hotel in Dubai
Credit

(Courtesy of Atlantis, The Palm Dubai)

These properties make 20,000 leagues under the sea a reality for today's traveler.

Ocean lovers who just can't get enough of the water can take swimming, snorkeling and diving one step further with a meal, a spa treatment or an overnight stay underwater. Located in far-flung regions like the Maldives and Dubai, these creative hotels offer visitors a rare opportunity to catch a glimpse of sea life undisturbed in its natural habitat.
Underwater hotel in the Maldives
Credit

(Courtesy of Huvafen Fushi Maldives)

Huvafen Fushi Maldives: North Malé Atoll, Maldives

Huvafen Fushi, an adults-only luxury resort in the Maldives, is home to the world's first and only underwater spa. While spas often have water features, this one-of-a-kind retreat surrounds guests with water for immersive relaxation. Inside, there are two submerged couples treatment rooms with panoramic views of a reef filled with clownfish, sea anemones and stingrays. Guests can enjoy treatments like the Huvafen Coconut Hair Repair or the Huvafen Glow, which use the island's native coconut oil. All treatments are followed by fresh island fruit and herbal tea.
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These properties make 20,000 leagues under the sea a reality for today's traveler.

Ocean lovers who just can't get enough of the water can take swimming, snorkeling and diving one step further with a meal, a spa treatment or an overnight stay underwater. Located in far-flung regions like the Maldives and Dubai, these creative hotels offer visitors a rare opportunity to catch a glimpse of sea life undisturbed in its natural habitat.

Huvafen Fushi Maldives: North Malé Atoll, Maldives

Huvafen Fushi, an adults-only luxury resort in the Maldives, is home to the world's first and only underwater spa. While spas often have water features, this one-of-a-kind retreat surrounds guests with water for immersive relaxation. Inside, there are two submerged couples treatment rooms with panoramic views of a reef filled with clownfish, sea anemones and stingrays. Guests can enjoy treatments like the Huvafen Coconut Hair Repair or the Huvafen Glow, which use the island's native coconut oil. All treatments are followed by fresh island fruit and herbal tea.

Niyama Private Islands Maldives: Dhaalu Atoll, Maldives

Look for grouper, parrotfish and moray eels as you enjoy an elegant meal at Subsix, an underwater restaurant that's part of the Niyama Private Islands Maldives resort complex on the twin islands of Play and Chill. To get to the eatery, which is open for lunch daily, you'll have to travel by speedboat before descending a three-tiered staircase to the dining room. Once seated, you'll savor a four-course meal that may include local lobster, a lamb chop and petit fours. For an even more out-of-this-world experience, arrange a private Champagne breakfast or dinner.

Resorts World Sentosa: Singapore

The suites at the Beach Villa Ocean Suites hotel, an upscale section of Resorts World Sentosa on Singapore's Sentosa Island, can accommodate up to four guests in each two-story townhouse. The lower level overlooks the Open Ocean Habitat in the S.E.A. Aquarium (one of the world’s largest with 100,000 marine animals), while the upper level features an outdoor patio and a Jacuzzi. When guests (or personal butlers) raise a panel to reveal the aquarium, suite lights automatically dim to ensure prime viewing conditions.

Atlantis, The Palm: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The underwater accommodations at Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai aim to create the feel of looking onto the ancient ruins of the mythical lost city. The lavish two- and three-story suites offer floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the Ambassador Lagoon, which is part of the largest open-air aquarium in the Middle East. Enjoy watching fish, sharks and stingrays from bed or while using amenities made from real gold in the deluxe bathroom. Suite rates also include a dolphin encounter for two and unlimited access to Aquaventure Waterpark and the aquarium.

Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas: Kihavah Huravalhi Island, Baa Atoll, Maldives

Guests of the Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas, set within a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, won't want to miss the property's wine cellar. The world's first that sits underwater, this wine cellar features more than 460 labels. After choosing a bottle, visitors can dine at Sea restaurant while fish, sharks and turtles swim by. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, the eatery serves gourmet dishes, such as Maldivian lobster, fresh scallops and wagyu beef.

InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland: Shanghai

Slated to open in fall 2018, the InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland will be carved into the edge of a former quarry and set among waterfalls. The property will have two underwater floors with guest rooms you can reserve. Other planned features include a glass-bottom walking bridge, a rock climbing wall, a glass-walled aquarium and a restaurant.

The Manta Resort, Pemba Island: Zanzibar, Tanzania

Off the coast of East Africa sits a true underwater room set within a reef at a marine conservation area. Anchored to the ocean floor, this Swedish-designed floating structure, which is only accessible by boat, has three stories, including one with a king-sized bedroom beneath the ocean's surface. You'll find glass panes around the room that offer nearly 360-degree views of the ocean and its fish, octopuses and Spanish dancer sea slugs. More unusual species like squids may also be visible at night thanks to the spotlights found outside the room's windows.

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island: Rangali Island, Maldives

Retreat more than 16 feet below the Indian Ocean's surface for an otherworldly meal set within colorful coral gardens. At Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, one of 11 dining venues at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, guests can enjoy lunch or dinner as fish swim above and around them. Menu options range from lobster and scallops to foie gras. The resort also offers beach and overwater villas and suites, and the accommodations feature private plunge pools and direct beach or ocean access. Plus, an underwater residence is scheduled to open in fall 2018.

Planet Ocean Underwater Hotel

The folks behind Planet Ocean Underwater Hotel plan to build multiple submerged resorts at top seaside destinations around the world, including the Maldives, Fiji, Indonesia, Cuba and the Bahamas. With the first property scheduled to open in spring 2019, the hotels, which sit 24 to 30 feet below the surface, will use elevators to take guests to their accommodations. Avid scuba divers can even opt to dive to the facility. Lodging amenities will include internet access, entertainment centers, king-sized beds and plenty of underwater views.

Hotell Utter Inn: Västeras, Sweden

Open from May through August, the Hotell Utter Inn is set in the middle of a lake, offering guests the rare opportunity to sleep underwater. The lodge's bedroom is located 3 feet below the lake's surface and has panoramic windows throughout. Upstairs, you'll find a floating bridge for lounging, as well as a rubber boat for sailing to nearby uninhabited islands. You can book the inn, which is an art project by artist Mikael Genberg, by contacting the Västeras Tourist Center.

Hurawalhi Island Resort: Lhaviyani Atoll, Maldives

After arriving by seaplane to the all-inclusive, adults-only Hurawalhi Island Resort, guests can sit for a meal at one of three dining venues, including 5.8 Undersea Restaurant. Named for its position 5.8 meters (about 19 feet) below the sea's surface, this glass-enclosed restaurant has a minimalist design to keep patrons focused on what's outside. With only 10 tables for two, the eatery, which costs extra to dine at, offers a romantic spiral staircase and seasonal dishes like seared scallops and wagyu beef tenderloin. What's more, guests can stay in beach or overwater villas.
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Lyn Mettler, Contributor

Lyn Mettler is the hotels contributor to U.S. News and also writes about destinations, ...  Read more

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