Sebastian the crab had it all figured out when he said it’s better under the sea. “Up on the shore they work all day, out in the sun they slave away” — that pretty much sums up our life as working adults. So while we can’t magically transform ourselves into a mermaid via an evil Cecaelia, the next best option is imagining our lives under the sea by checking in to underwater hotels. We’ll take it.

A growing number of luxury hotels around the world have been treading the waters on the concept of underwater lodges. While the entire resort isn’t exactly submerged, the most important parts are — namely, the rooms and restaurants. Fresh catches from the sea will have an entirely new meaning once you get a chance to dine underwater while looking out to the fishes swimming. Also, imagine waking up to the sun streaming through the clear ocean waters, while colourful coral reefs and sea creatures swim languidly above you. Now that’s living Ariel’s best life.

Excited to dive deep into underwater hotels? Read on for our picks of the most gorgeous ones around the world. Hint: one of them is close in proximity to us.

1
Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai

Everything in Dubai has to be bigger, taller, and more extravagant. So did you expect their underwater suites to be any different? The two suites in Atlantis, The Palm — aptly named Neptune and Poseidon — are the epitome of luxury taken to new depths. Think floor-to-ceiling windows that show off the best of the Ambassador Lagoon and all its marine life, while your personal butler tends to your every need. Of course, the interior of the suites also reflect the ocean — think coral decorations on the walls, paintings, and also on the bed sheets. Sounds swimmingly good.

Atlantis, The Palm, Crescent Rd – Dubai – United Arab Emirates, +971 4 426 2000.

2
Huvafen Fushi, Maldives

We’re used to having a spa treatment facing the sea, where the sounds of crashing waves lull us to sleep. But underwater? Now that’s something new. Lime Spa at Huvafen Fushi Maldives is located under the sea within its resort, where you can get your spa indulgence while looking out to the depths of the Maldives’ famously clear waters. Try the Lime Light Ritual, a treatment that utilises local ingredients including coconut, lime, and minerals, followed by a massage and quiet time in the relaxation pod whilst looking out to the depths of the Indian ocean.

Huvafen Fushi Maldives, North Malé Atoll 08390, Maldives, +960 664-4222. 

3
Subsix at Niyama Maldives, Maldives

Not everyone is a fan of sleeping with the fishes, and we get that. But if you’d like to experience being underwater for a limited period of time, may we suggest the Subsix underwater restaurant at Niyama Maldives? Stay at the overwater villas at the Niyama Maldives private islands, but have a romantic dinner at Subsix. It’s three-stories underwater — that’s 20 feet below sea level — and also doubles up as a club four nights a week.

Subsix at Niyama Maldives, Huluwalu, Maldives, +960 676-2828. 

4
Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore

Over in our neighbouring country, you can experience life underwater too at the Ocean Suite in Resorts World Sentosa. But you don’t have to rush to reserve one because there are 11 available suites. The structure is a two-storey townhouse — one is above the sea, one is below. On the upper level is the living area with an outdoor patio that has a jacuzzi. Down below, the bedroom looks out to the world’s largest aquarium that is home to over 40,000 types of fishes. So while it isn’t an underwater ocean view exactly, you’re still getting the experience of seeing marine life from the comfort of your room.

Resorts World Sentosa, 8 Sentosa Gateway, Singapore. 

5
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, Maldives

The resort first made waves with its underwater restaurant, Ithaa Undersea Restaurant. It’s a decadent dining outlet 16-feet below sea level that features a seafood-oriented menu. It’s also the first all-glass undersea restaurant, where you can admire 180-degree views of the ocean above you. Occasionally, they transform the restaurant into a private bedroom suite, so you can bring the experience from the moment you awaken right until you fall asleep. Who ever said money can’t buy happiness?

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, Rangali Island Rangali, 20077, Maldives, +960 668-0629. 

PohNee Chin
Editor, Kuala Lumpur
Poh Nee is the editor and writes about travel and drinks. When she's not living out her holiday dreams via Google Earth and sipping on an Old Fashioned down at the local bars, you can find her snug at home bingeing on Netflix and mystery fiction. Reach out to Poh Nee via email at pohnee@lifestyleasia.com.