For many years an overwater bungalow has been the holy grail of a luxury resort holiday, but a resort in the Maldives is about to take things to the next level, with the opening of the world’s first undersea villa later this year. We’re predicting this will be the most talked-about holiday accommodation of 2018.
You’ll find the incredible new suite – named the Muraka (which means ‘coral’ in Dhivehi, the local language of the Maldives) – at the über-glam Conrad Maldives Rangali Island. It cost US$15million (AU$19.2million) to build and has been designed to give guests 180-degree views of a breathtaking marine environment at every turn.
There are two decks at this new undersea residence. The top deck features a king-size and twin bedroom and luxurious living quarters, plus a gym, butler’s quarters and private security quarters. There’s a dining room with a sunset-facing deck and, on the opposite side of the villa, a relaxation deck that faces the sunrise and an infinity swimming pool. It’s just what you’d expect at a luxury resort in this spectacular part of the world: high-end everything and glamorous design that takes full advantage of the amazing setting and views.
But it’s the undersea suite on the bottom deck – connected to the top level by a spiral staircase – that’s going to get everyone talking. It sits five metres beneath the ocean’s surface and incorporates a bedroom, living space and bathroom… and, of course, lots of glass so that guests can gaze in awe at the wonders of the Indian Ocean swimming past. It’s like staying in the most glamorous, stationary submarine imaginable.
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island has form in this field: it’s home to beautifully designed villas and suites, two spas and 12 award-winning restaurants and bars, one of which is the world’s first undersea restaurant, Ithaa, which is celebrating its 13th anniversary this month.
The Muraka undersea suite – which can accommodate up to nine guests in total – is set to open at the end of 2018. A night here will apparently set you back US$50,000 (AU$64,000), which includes a chef, round-the-clock service from four dedicated butlers (they stay nearby, not actually in the villa), an on-call fitness trainer, a 90-minute spa treatment per day and an upgrade to Diamond Honors Hilton status.
But even if you do pay your bill you’ll be sleeping with the fishes!