The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island has officially announced the opening of the world’s first underwater hotel residence, a ground-breaking, two-story villa submerged more than 16 feet below sea-level. Now urging guests to dive below the surface of the Indian Ocean, the deep-set dwelling is an ambitious display of architecture, design, and technology.
The villa is named “The Muraka,” which translates to “coral” in the Maldives’ native language, Dhivehi, for the way that it rests along the ocean floor, peacefully observing the sea life that surrounds it. The sunken retreat embraces luxury, equipped with a private bar, butler’s quarters, gym, and infinity pool. The massive bed, shower, and bathtub have panoramic views of the ocean. The top floor, which rests above the water, comprises a sprawling relaxation deck for tanning and unwinding.
The elaborate suite isn’t cheap. It costs an astounding $50,000 per night, although it is only available for a four-night, $200,000 vacation package, which includes a personal chef, private boat, and automatic upgrade to Hilton Diamond status. In addition to The Muraka, The Conrad is home to Ithaa, a five-star restaurant submerged below the sea.
The construction of The Muraka was both innovative and environmentally-conscious. Each piece of the modular structure was built in Singapore and then carefully shipped to the Maldives, before being plunged underwater and nailed into place using thick, concrete pylons. The sturdy pylons ensure that the villa does not shift or downright float away in the midst of high tides or rough waves.
“The completion of The Muraka is a personal lifetime achievement,” said Ahmed Saleem, chief architect and designer of the residence, in a statement. “After years in the making, my team and I are proud to officially present The Muraka residence and its accompanying Maldivian experience to worldly travelers who crave the extraordinary.”
For travelers who aren’t brave enough to spend four nights below the depths of the Indian Ocean, The Conrad also boasts a number of luxury villas that sit above the water.
By ALI ORIAKU
Image: Conrad Hotels & Resorts