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.
And don’t forget to check out cool Airbnb options that sometimes include underwater stays. But 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 5-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.
Photo Credit: Planet Ocean Underwater Hotel
Planet Ocean Underwater Resort, Florida
As well as the modestly sized Jules’ Undersea Lodge, Florida is the site of another underwater hotel that might blow all of the others out of the water — if it is ever completed. Planet Ocean Underwater Hotel in Key West, Florida, is a building that is actually classed as a vessel and when complete will take a place in history as the world’s first movable underwater resort.
An exact location for the hotel hasn’t yet been chosen. As it will be able to navigate waters, it might end up roaming around the ocean floor.
To do justice to the impressive technology involved in the hotel, the interiors will be kitted out with every luxury. Each of the 12 “aqua pods” will feature amenities worthy of any 5-star resort. The project — perhaps the most ambitious underwater construction to date — is still under construction, but is reported to have cost more than $18,000,000 USD so far.
Despite there being no completion date in sight, Planet Ocean Underwater Resort is accepting deposits for bookings, according to their website. The price for a 1-night, all-inclusive stay is $3,000 USD.
Photo Credit: The Manta Resort
Manta Resort, Pemba Island, Tanzania
The Manta Resort features several rooms out of the water, set on the luscious sandy beaches of Pemba, an island just north of Zanzibar. This is a deliciously remote island escape, and any room in the resort is a treat to sleep in. The most famous suite, though, is the floating island tethered just off the coast, complete with an underwater bedroom.
The floating structure has three levels. At sea level are a lounge area and bathroom. Climb up a ladder and you’ll find yourself on the roof, which is an additional sun lounging or stargazing spot. Down below, of course, is the bedroom with 360-degree views of the surrounding tropical waters. You’ll have front-row seats to an underwater world — shoals of colorful reef fish flit right past the windows.
Whether sunbathing on the top deck or sleeping with the fishes down below, spending time here is an immersive experience. Staying here for one night will set you back $1,700 USD.
Photo Credit: Conrad Maldives
Conrad Rangali Island, Maldives
As well as the overwater bungalows that the Maldives is famous for, resorts in this island paradise are branching out into underwater hotels as well. There is the underwater restaurant and world’s only underwater wine cellar at Anantara Kihava, and the underwater spa at Huvafen Fushi Maldives, where visitors can enjoy a relaxing massage in the blue glow from windows looking directly into the water.
However, the most enticing underwater hotel option in the Maldives is found at Conrad Rangali Island.
Conrad Rangali Island is one of the best hotels in the world full stop, but it also features an underwater restaurant which makes it even more alluring. The Ithaa Undersea Restaurant is a fine dining experience like no other. This is the world’s first undersea restaurant, 16 feet below the surface with panoramic views of coral gardens.
The menu and wine list are superb. There are only seven tables, so if you want a spot you’ll need to book weeks in advance.
The space can be reserved for private dining or special occasions such as weddings. And if you’re willing to shell out a little more than $11,000 USD, the hotel can convert the dining area into a bedroom for two for one night.
Photo Credit: Resort World Sentosa
Resort World Sentosa, Singapore
The Resort World Sentosa complex in Singapore is a one-stop shop for entertainment. Inside the resort, you’ll find multiple hotels, Universal Studios, S.E.A. Aquarium and more — including an underwater hotel.
Tucked away on the edge of the gigantic aquarium in Resort World in Singapore are 5-star rooms. The 11 exclusive suites have been designed in the style of 2-story townhouses, so guests can enjoy the best of both under and above the water. On the upper level is an outdoor area with a Jacuzzi, while down below in the sleeping area windows allow guests views of the more than 40,000 fish in the aquarium.
The luxurious amenities and personalized butler service ensure this is a top-notch experience in every way. Spending the night in one of these suites starts at around $1,500 USD.
Photo Credit: Visit Vasteras
Utter Inn, Sweden
A world apart from the lavish underwater hotel developments in Dubai or Fiji, the Utter Inn (or Otter Inn in English) in Sweden is actually an art project developed by Mikael Genberg. The 1-room floating hotel is set in the Vasteras harbor, with the upper level resembling a typical — if very small — Swedish cottage.
There is a 270-square-foot deck where guests can relax or launch a dinghy from. Below deck, 10 feet underwater, is a bedroom with panorama windows in every direction.
The accommodation is simple: there is no electricity and you’ll be climbing up and down a ladder to get to the bedroom. This merely adds to the peaceful and whimsical nature of the hotel, though. You’ll be rocked gently to sleep by the movement of the structure, and be visited at the windows by all manner of aquatic life.
The hotel is only open between April and October and prices start from $165 USD a night.
Photo Credit: Oliver's Travels
Lovers Deep, Caribbean
The ultimate in exclusive accommodation, Lovers Deep is a first-class submarine where couples can join the “Mile Low Club.” Everything about a stay on this underwater hotel — booked through Oliver’s Travels — is personalized. It can stop in the waters of any Caribbean island that guests desire. An underwater stay in this mobile hotel is unlike any other vacation package in the world.
You’ll be ferried to your accommodation in a speedboat (or reach it by helicopter if you prefer), then you’ll be treated to fine dining with a (submerged) sea view, and can even request rose petals to be scattered throughout your suite for an extra romantic touch.
An aphrodisiac menu designed to round out the ultimate honeymoon experience includes sensual delights such as oysters, caviar and chocolate fondant with essence of royal pomegranate.
If you’re worried that the interior of a submarine would be cold and harsh, don’t stress — this vessel has been designed with utmost comfort in mind. The luxurious living rooms and bedrooms feature hardwoods and leather sofas as part of the decor, and every possible amenity has been accounted for.
An underwater stay in one of the most unique and romantic hotels in the world costs a cool $292,000 USD per night.
Photo Credit: Niyama
Subsix at Niyama, the Maldives
Although Niyama doesn’t offer any underwater suites, it deserves an honorable mention for having what is potentially the coolest underwater bar in the world. Found in the Maldives, Subsix is located nearly 20 feet underwater. You reach the bar by speedboat and make your way inside via a spectacular 3-tier staircase.
The sparkle of Italian chandeliers and theater of the reef visible through the full-length windows make this a glamorous destination dining experience. Whether you’re after a champagne breakfast, subaquatic lunch or lavish dinner, the shell-inspired bar and restaurant delivers an unforgettable experience for every visitor.
It gets even better late at night. After the gourmet dinners have been cleared away, Subsix transforms into a nightclub. Sip sea-themed cocktails as you dance the night away beneath the Indian Ocean, in the company of parrot fish and the rainbow colors of butterflyfish. Don’t miss the Underwater Glow Parties on Wednesdays and Saturdays.