Experience Life Under the Sea: 10 of the Best Underwater Hotels in the World
Immerse Yourself in One of These Otherworldly Accommodation Experiences
Reminiscent of Atlantis, staying in an underwater hotel offers a glimpse into another world. With views of fish instead of birds and coral instead of gardens, there is something futuristic and fanciful about underwater accommodation.
A stay in one of these surreal hotels is a unique and highly sought-after experience. An experience sleeping below sea level isn’t solely for the super rich, though. While some of the swankier underwater hotels are out of reach for the average traveler, there are more modest options tucked away in some surprising corners of the globe.
For a unique hotel experience, here are the best underwater hotels in the world.
Atlantis the Palm, Dubai
With all its ambitious and futuristic development projects, it’s no surprise that Dubai has tried to get several underwater hotels off the ground (or into the water!). Not all of them have been successful — some underwater hotel projects in Dubai seem to be dead in the water.
You might have heard about the mega-project Hydropolis back in the early 2000s. It was hyped up as being one of the most expensive and extravagant hotels ever to be built, only to be canceled before construction even began. In among the uncertainty of Dubai’s underwater hotel developments is one shining success: Atlantis the Palm.
Atlantis the Palm is a sprawling resort with more than 1,500 rooms and a huge number of facilities above sea level. However, it’s what lies below the water that really makes this hotel special. Beneath the lagoon lie two underwater rooms, aptly named Poseidon and Neptune. The submerged suites are some of the most glorious of all underwater hotels in the world.
Each suite is spread over three stories. They include a private lift, open-plan living area and interconnecting bedrooms. There are plenty of extra touches, such as a butler available 24 hours a day, and soap with gold carat flakes. Floor-to-ceiling windows maximize the underwater setting, giving guests an unobstructed view of the plentiful marine life occupying Dubai’s Ambassador lagoon.
Fitting with the ‘Atlantis’ theme, there are even mock ruins in the lagoon for that extra wow factor.
The lavish decor and romantic atmosphere of the suites make them perfect for couples. Prices start at around $4,000 USD per night for two adults.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Poseidon Underwater Resort, Fiji
The Poseidon Underwater Resort in Fiji isn’t operational yet, but when it opens its doors to guests it promises to be the ultimate vacation experience for elite travelers. The five star resort was first slated to open in 2008, but 10 years later it’s still not complete.
That hasn’t deterred interest in booking a stay — there are rumored to be more than 150,000 people on the waiting list, despite the opening date having been delayed until 2020.
According to the website, an introductory package for six nights and seven days costs $15,000 USD per person. The all-inclusive stay promises walks on the lagoon floor and dives in an expedition submarine in addition to all meals and two nights in one of the underwater suites.
The 25 suites are being constructed 40 feet underwater and boast acrylic construction that means 70% of the walls are transparent. One full-diameter wall in each suite is said to look out into a private coral garden.
There is still plenty of mystery shrouding this underwater hotel in Fiji — the exact location, the amount spent on building it so far, and whether or not the project will ever be fully operational are all unclear. These questions just make this an even more exciting space to watch!
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Jules’ Undersea Lodge, Florida
There is only one underwater hotel currently operating in Florida, and it is a far cry from the large-scale projects in Dubai or Fiji. Jules’ Undersea Lodge in Key Largo features only two small submerged rooms. A former research laboratory, this was the first underwater hotel in the world to start accepting guests.
Located in the Key Largo Undersea Park Lagoon, this is the underwater hotel of choice for diving enthusiasts as you will need to dive into the lagoon to reach the lodge. Once inside there is a room where you can have a hot shower and dry off before heading through to the lounge areas to relax. If you don’t know how to dive, never fear, you can also undergo dive training here.
The mangrove lagoon surrounding the hotel is a nursery for many types of reef fish, so there is great viewing from the windows. There is also air conditioning, a DVD player and a ‘mer-chef’ who will dive down to the hotel to prepare a gourmet dinner for guests.
Despite its simplicity, this hotel has attracted some distinguished guests. Previous visitors include Justin Trudeau, Steven Tyler and Tim Allen. Staying in one of the rooms costs $800 USD per night for two people.