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Deep sleep: The world’s most incredible underwater hotels

The world's few underwater hotel rooms show that "sleeping with the fishes" can be surprisingly bucket-list-worthy.

The Godfather taught us that “sleeping with the fishes” is rarely a good thing, but, some of the world’s swankiest hotels are reimagining what’s possible in a luxury overnight stay in a way that includes legit undersea hotel suites with out-of-this-world views. Here are nine of the world’s most incredible underwater hotels and hotel rooms.

The Muraka at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

Rangali Island, The Maldives

Justin Nicholas

With its overwater bungalows and stunning private island retreats, The Maldives is already home to some of the world’s most over-the-top hotels. Conrad’s Rangali Island upped the ante in 2018 with the opening of its $15-million The Muraka. Billed as “the world’s first underwater villa,” the private, two-story suite is the pinnacle of honeymoon-worthy luxury.

Accommodations include an undersea master bedroom with a 180-degree curved acrylic dome and a dedicated marine tunnel viewing theater. Plus, there’s a bathroom with an ocean-facing tub, an outdoor deck with an infinity pool, an on-call spa, a butler, and 24/7 chef services, and Jet Skis whenever you need them. All starting at around $10,000 per night.

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InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland

Shanghai, China

IHG

China’s InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland is a marvel of modern engineering and architecture. Built on the site of an abandoned quarry, the futuristic structure took more than a dozen years and a purported $300 million to build. Rooms on the upper floors promise ultra-luxurious accommodations with stunning waterfall and quarry views.

But it’s the rooms below the water’s surface that are the most desirable. The hotel’s bottom two floors tout Duplex Suite Underwater View suites that rival even the swankiest Vegas accommodations with 55-inch smart TVs, butler service, and walk-in closets. Guests here also enjoy access to a private restaurant and an underwater swimming pool.

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Atlantis, the Palm

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Atlantis

Dubai takes ostentatious luxury to a whole new level (see also: this 500-foot, gold-plated picture frame). Everything from road trips to pools to five-star hotel suites is bigger, more lavish, more over-the-top in Dubai. Like its Bahamian sister resort, Atlantis, the Palm promises an almost absurd level of luxury.

It’s home to a massive, private lagoon filled with more than 65,000 marine critters. The resort’s Poseidon and Neptune Signature Underwater Suites offer the best views in the house to watch the action. All include private sitting areas, luxurious master bedrooms, and private hot tubs with intimate views of the aquarium.

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Resort World Sentosa

Singapore

RW Sentosa

Singapore’s Resort World Sentosa is like a theme park on steroids. The island mega-resort is home to six themed hotels, a giant spa, several outdoor pools, and Universal Studios. But if none of that is your scene, the property also boasts nearly a dozen two-story underwater suites that are a destination in their own right.

The upper level of each room offers sweeping views of the expansive property. The downstairs master bedroom affords relaxing views into the onsite aquarium — home to more than 40,000 fish — through a massive floor-to-ceiling window. Plus, all include private Jacuzzis, private, 24-hour butler service, a free minibar, and exclusive pool access.

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Lovers Deep Submarine

The Caribbean

Olivers Travels

Uber-luxury travel provider Oliver’s Travels offers some of the most incredible, bucket-list-worthy experiences in the world. Its “Mile Low Club” is hands-down the company’s most exclusive — and expensive, with an all-in price north of $220,000. The service provides one well-heeled couple at a time private access aboard the state-of-the-art Lovers Deep Submarine.

The underwater craft is available to pick guests up from anywhere in the world at a marina of their choosing with free speedboat and helicopter transfers. Once aboard, guests enjoy the services of a captain, chef, and personal butler, all of whom sleep in separate, soundproof living quarters opposite the master suite to ensure privacy. The experience is designed to be the perfect romantic getaway where guests can request a two-person shower, Champagne breakfast in bed, and an aphrodisiac-inspired dinner menu of caviar, oysters, and chocolate.

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Manta Resort

Pemba Island, Zanzibar

The Manta Resort

Compared to a private submarine, the Underwater Room at Manta Resort seems downright affordable, with a starting nightly rate of less than $2,000. Anchored 800 feet off the Zanzibar archipelago, this flagship room hosts just two guests at a time. The upper living quarters feature a bar, lounge, and sweeping, 360-degree views of the Indian Ocean and African coastline.

Below the water lies a master bedroom outfitted with a king-sized bed surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows with stunning coral reef views. After dark, underwater spotlights illuminate the underwater scene outside, attracting squid, octopus, and many fish not typically seen during the day. A kayak, snorkel, and fins plus room service are included, so guests never even need to go ashore.

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Jules’ Undersea Lodge

Key Largo, Florida

Jul

Situated in an unassuming Florida Keys marina, the quirky, Jules Verne-inspired Jules’ Undersea Lodge claims to be the world’s oldest underwater “hotel.” We’re not quite sure if that’s something to brag about. Either way, for American travelers, it is the most convenient hotel on this list since you won’t need a passport or a pricey flight halfway around the world to get there. The lodge was at one time a working research station, which means today’s visitors need to pack their gear in watertight cases and dive more than 20 feet down to reach their room. For an added fee, guests without a scuba diving certification can secure one at the hotel prior to their stay.

Inside, the one simple room offers limited amenities and feels more functional than flashy. Overnight stays include free continental breakfast, snacks, and scuba pizza delivery. Sadly, Grubhub doesn’t deliver here (yet).

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Hotell Utter Inn

Västerås, Sweden

Hotel Utter Inn
Visit Vasteras

For travelers who like their hotels without a lot of pomp and circumstance, Sweden’s Hotell Utter Inn (“Otter Inn” in English) offers a legit underwater experience for far less than any other on this list. Overnight rates start at less than $200! From the surface, the understated red wooden structure looks more like a floating utility shed than a hotel room.

With no electricity and no connection to the outside world, the one-time art project is ideal for a digital detox. It’s a simple, unfussy space perfect for sunbathing and relaxing with a good book on the water. Down a short ladder, the twin beds and end table provide basic living quarters. The surrounding windows in every direction are what make the stay entirely bucket-list-worthy, however.

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Poseidon Undersea Resort (Concept)

Mysterious Island, Fiji

Poseidon Undersea Resorts
Poseidon Undersea Resorts

Not surprisingly, building a full resort at the bottom of the ocean is a difficult engineering endeavor. Even with the nearly unlimited wealth of investors in Dubai, no large-scale underwater hotel exists anywhere in the world. Poseidon Underwater Resort at Fiji’s Mysterious Island might be the closest concept to seeing the bluish light of day.

But it’s been in the works since 2006 with no grand opening in sight. Its builders are making some lofty promises, including 22 underwater guest suites plus a restaurant, spa, wedding chapel, boutique stores, library, and even a nine-hole golf course — all at the bottom of the ocean. Guests will also have the opportunity to rent a luxury Triton submarine to explore the 5,000-acre resort “grounds.” Even less surprising: official pricing has yet to be announced.

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Maybe shelling out upwards of $50,000 for a hotel room isn’t in the cards for you. If you’re looking to prove to your significant other how much they mean to you without having to liquidate your 401(k) retirement plan, check out the world’s only undersea spa at Huvafen Fushi in The Maldives. Alternatively, you could grab a seat at the world’s largest underwater restaurant in Norway. We hear the seafood is excellent.

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Mike Richard
Mike Richard has traveled the world since 2008. He's kayaked in Antarctica, tracked endangered African wild dogs in South…
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