- The Muraka, the world’s first underwater hotel villa, opens November 2018.
- Located more than 16 feet below sea level in the Maldives, the two-level hotel room offers panoramic views above and under the sea – for $US50,000 a night.
- As part of the Hilton’s Conrad Maldives Rangali Island resort, the Muraka cost a reported $US15 million to build.
Why swim with sharks when you can sleep with them?
That’s exactly the kind of experience offered at The Muraka, the world’s first underwater hotel villa. Located more than 16 feet below sea level in the middle of the Indian Ocean with glass walls, The Muraka is a two-level aquarium where you can fall asleep to fish swimming overhead and wake up to the swaying arms of coral.
Opening in November 2018, The Muraka is connected by a long jetty to the Hilton’s Conrad Maldives Rangali Island resort, which is known for its firsts.
“The resort was the first hotelier in the Maldives to perch villas on stilts above the water, the first to open an underwater restaurant, and now they are the first to sink a residence into the briny depths,” wrote Melissa Locker of Architectural Digest.
But the otherworldly experience at The Muraka, which translates to “coral” in the local Dhivehi language, comes at a cost – $US50,000 a night, before taxes. That’s not near as much as it cost to build, which Bloomberg reported was a whopping $US15 million.
According to Architectural Digest, the 600-ton lower level was built in Singapore before being transported to the Maldives on a specialised ship and submerged near a reef without damage. Ten concrete piles hold it stable so it doesn’t shift during bad weather.
Below, take a glimpse under the sea.
Guests can arrive to The Muraka via private seaplane to a private jetty or via speedboat from the main resort, which they can use for the remainder of their stay. Its location away from the main resort offers serious privacy.
The entire two-level villa is made of steel, concrete, and acrylic and sleeps nine guests, with an upper level looking out across the ocean. It also has a gym and an area for private security detail.
In addition to two bedrooms, the upper level has a bathroom with tub facing the ocean. But that’s just one of many all-inclusive indulgences. There’s a butler and chef for each suite, an on-call fitness trainer and spa treatments, and two jet skis.
Apart from the integrated space for living, dining, entertaining, and sleeping on the upper level, there’s also a deck prime for sunset watching, complete with an infinity-edge pool.
Guests can make their way down below the waves via a spiral staircase or elevator. A domed ceiling and expansive windows offer panoramic views of the deep blue.
The undersea master bedroom, which fits a king-size bed, offers 180-degree views of sea life for an otherworldly experience. You can even wash your hands and shower while watching the fish swim by.
The Muraka is all about unique experiences. It offers four itineraries, personalised to different types of travellers: “The Wanderers,” focused on culture; “The Flavours,” focused on food; “The Soul,” focused on wellness; and “The Thrill,” focused on adventure.
“The Muraka promises a unique experience that is not available anywhere else in the world,” the hotel’s architect Ahmed Saleem told Bloomberg.
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