The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island has just announced the construction of an undersea villa, the first of its kind in existence. Called The Muraka, the US$15 million (S$19.8 million) residence is designed by Crown Company director Ahmed Saleem and realised by engineer Mike Murphy.
Granted, this won’t be the first underwater sleeping quarters in the world. Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai boasts rooms that look into the resort aquarium’s Ambassador Lagoon, filled with 65,000 marine inhabitants. Closer to home, Resorts World Sentosa offers 11 exclusive ocean suites designed like a deluxe two-storey townhouse — offering guests the best of both land and sea. Its lower level boasts an underwater view of one of the world’s largest aquariums, so guests can observe, within the privacy and comfort of their own suites, some 40,000 marine fishes.
However, while other resorts and hotels offer the same experience of sleeping with the fishes, these rooms all look out into man-made aquariums. The Conrad’s villa will be the first to be located below the surface on the ocean floor. Now, who needs a submarine?
Named after the local Dhivehi word for “coral”, The Muraka will span two levels, offering enough room for nine guests. The villa’s upper space, which is located above sea level, includes two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a powder room, gym, living room, kitchen, bar and dining area, an outdoor relaxation deck (with western and eastern sides that face the sunset and sunrise respectively), an infinity pool, butler’s quarters, private security quarters, as well as a spiral staircase that leads to the level below deck.
The underwater suite, submerged five metres (16.4 feet) under the sea, is flanked by clear, acrylic walls that provide a 180-degree view of the surrounding Indian Ocean and its marine life. It comes with a separate living area and bathroom.
“Driven by our inspiration to deliver innovative and transformative experiences to our global travellers, the world’s first undersea residence encourages guests to explore the Maldives from an entirely new perspective below the surface of the sea,” said Saleem in a press statement.
This is not the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island’s first undersea venture. The hotel’s underwater restaurant, Ithaa, pioneered the concept 13 years ago. However, the title of the world’s largest underwater restaurant goes to its sister property, the Hurawalhi Island Resort — with its restaurant 5.8, named in reference to its location 5.8 metres below sea level.
It seems like Conrad Maldives Rangali Island might just be the go-to place for taking the perfect Instagram shots in the Maldives. Last year, the hotel introduced an Instagram Butler program, where guests can get professional help in taking the best photos for their social media feeds.
The Muraka is set to open in November 2018, with an estimated starting rate of S$66,000 a night.