Most of us so-called “normal people” didn’t know there was such a thing as underwater hotels — but behold! — there is such a thing. The lavish, underwater getaways line coral reefs and catacombs from Florida to Zanzibar, and though you might have to be as rich as Warren Buffet to truly experience them, you can still fantasize in your off time. After all, what’s the point in living if you can’t entertain the hopes of an underwater getaway filled with decadent massages, five-star restaurants, submarine rides, and the occasional ballroom waltz? The seven resorts below are living proof that little crab from The Little Mermaid was actually onto something when he sang Under the Sea. Apparently, it is better down where it’s wetter. Go figure.
Unless you’re a trained Naval Commander, there isn’t any place on the planet where you can learn to pilot a 1,000-foot Triton submarine aside from the Poseidon Under Sea Resorts. Currently under construction off an island in Fiji, the private resort will be the World’s first permanent one-atmosphere seafloor structure. A full-size library and restaurant will accompany the 24 submerged suites, along with a dedicated theater and gym for fitness fanatics who can’t curb exercise even on vacation.
Can’t dive? No problem, simply step inside an elevator at the end of a private pier to descend 40 feet into an undersea wonderland. The structure’s exterior is 70 percent translucent, allowing you to view tropical fish and bottlenose dolphins at a glance, but week-long stay will also cost you a cool $15,000. Well, assuming you’re patient enough to make it through the 125,000 people already on the wait list. It might just have to remain on your bucket list until you croak.
You might be a member of the Mile High Club, but becoming a member of the Mile Low Club is a different story. Oliver’s Travels represents your golden opportunity, though, accommodating your every desire sans the cramped bathroom and blue toilet water. Lover’s Deep — the name of the submarine — allows its guest to design their own interior specifications, from bedroom to bathroom and even the moor location. Inside, a private chef and butler serve aphrodisiacs while Barry White blasts from the sound system. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about the crew hearing a thing after hours because they are located at the opposite end of the submarine in their own soundproof quarters. At $292,000 a night, this submarine better get your kicks off.
Zip up that wet suit and step in to some flippers because the only way to enter Jules’ Undersea Lodge is via a 21-foot dive. Previously an underwater research facility, the lodge is definitely the most cozy of the underwater hotels on our list, hence it’s more practical for those working on less affluent vacation budget. It may not be the most luxurious underwater adventure given it lacks fancy amenities such as a restaurant and gym, but the lodge does offer a pizza delivery service and plenty of books and movies on tap. Guest can also explore the topical mangrove habitat of Key Largo for only $15 a day. At night, you can even sleep in the same cozy bed as Steven Tyler, Tim Allen, and former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau once did. So, as Aerosmith’s frontman might say, “dive this way.”
Dubai is known for its luxurious and extravagant superstructures, but even for the city of gold, Hydropoils is over the top. Although the underwater luxury hotel began manifesting in 2006, recent rumors have been fueling speculation that the proposal has since sunk. However, it’s still on out list because it’s cool just to imagine. Dutch architect Joachim Hauser — who was previously hired to design a hotel in space — designed the $300 million project, which consists of a land station, noiseless train, and an undersea hotel. The land component even features a full-size theater and a plastic surgery clinic where you can get a facelift in the plastic surgery clinic.
If you decide to opt for one of the 250 suites lining the jellyfish-shaped hotel, you won’t even have to deal with the sounds of every day transportation. Instead, a noiseless train running on rubber wheels will ferry you to the underwater fantasy land. There, you can enjoy underwater accommodations like five-star restaurants, bars, a spa, cinema, and ballroom. It’s just like that 007 fantasy you’ve always had, except this one will cost you a staggering $5,000 a night if it ever manages to come to fruition.
Although the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant isn’t a hotel, per se, you might want to stay forever if you ever have the opportunity to dine there. It’s the world’s first undersea restaurant to be comprised completely of glass, one oufitted with a vaulted ceiling that grants you for 180-degree panoramic views of the surrounding sharks and rainbow fish gliding over your head as you dine. Ithaa, meaning mother of pearl’ in the Maldivian language, serves contemporary six-course meals of the European kind (with caviar, of course). The restaurant even hosts wedding receptions so you can say “I do” in style, but sadly, it likely only has a lifespan of 20 years given underwater conditions. That said, you still have nine years to dive in given it was built in 2004. We suggest skipping Disneyland next time around.
The lost world of Atlantis has been found in Dubai… err, sort of. The costly resort affords you breathtaking views of ancient ruins spanning from your floor to the ceiling, all of which face the mystical Ambassador Lagoon. At Atlantis, you can bathe in the lagoon without even touching the water with the panoramic windows surrounding your tub. The 65,ooo marine inhabitants may stare disapprovingly at you, but what’s better than relaxing in a tub in the middle of a lagoon. The park also features an aquarium, a waterpark, and one-on-one interactions with dolphins.
Get the best of both worlds with this land and sea hotel suite located 250 meters off the coast of Zanzibar’s Pemba Island. The partially-submerged hotel suite offers a room above and below water, the latter of which sports windows on every wall and allows for 360-degree views of the surrounding coral reef and sea life. So, instead of going to the aquarium to look at fish, you can be the specimen fish stare at throughout the day. Snorkeling and scuba-diving are the main attraction at this five-star suite, though, especially given an untouched reef engulfs the floating room. That said, the coral reef is about all that surrounds the suite, meaning there’s nothing but water as far as the eye can see. Talk about private.