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Ever fantasized about sleeping with the fishes, doing subaquatic yoga, or eating dinner below the surface? From Dubai to the Maldives, properties around the world are going to great lengths, err depths, to make honeymooning beneath the waves a reality! Excited to join the mile low club? Scroll on to discover the fantastical underwater hotels that would amaze even Jacques Cousteau.
Best Splurge: Conrad Maldives Rangali Island (Rangali, Maldives)
Twice voted “best hotel in the world,” Conrad Maldives Rangali Island wins hearts with its stunning overwater bungalows and all-glass underwater restaurant. This award-winning property made a huge splash when it debuted The Muraka (meaning “coral” in the local Dhivehi language) a few years back. Dreamt up by architect Ahmed Saleem and brought to life by engineer Mike Murphy, the envy-inducing two-level residence looks like a computer simulation with integrated living spaces above and below the water. Imagine sleeping in a fish tank. That’s the scenario offered by the submerged master bedroom, which is enclosed in a curved acrylic dome and surrounded by exotic marine species. Equally jaw-dropping? The $50,000 price tag. Of course, that covers everything from VIP fast-track arrival and departure to private speedboat transport and butler service.
Best for Solitude: Utter Inn (Västerås, Sweden)
Seeking a peaceful and private place to steal away for a few days of uninterrupted quality time with your sweetie? Consider the Utter Inn, an art project and underwater accommodation, in the central Sweden city of Västerås. The brainchild of Mikael Genberg, this tranquil floating gem (available to book between May and August) affords honeymooners a rare sense of solitude. From the outside, the Utter Inn resembles a typical Swedish house—except, of course, it’s sitting on the placid surface of Lake Mälare. A ladder descends into the cozy bedroom, described by past guests as an “aquatic womb.” The gentle flow of water promises restful zzzs. In the morning, greet your friendly piscine neighbors with a wave before going upstairs for a cup of coffee on the alfresco deck.
Best Desert Oasis: Atlantis, The Palm (Dubai, UAE)
The desert isn’t really the first place you’d imagine stumbling upon a stay filled with subaquatic pleasures. But, then again, Dubai never shies away from making the impossible, well, possible. A glitzy oasis that sprung up in the middle of a barren expanse, the City of Gold is famed for its larger-than-life attractions and luxury resorts. Prepare to be dazzled by the multi-level underwater suite at Atlantis, The Palm. Falling squarely within the category of astonishing architectural achievements, this honeymoon-worthy pad flaunts a king-size bedroom, marble bath, and floor-to-ceiling windows that peer into a gigantic aquarium. Atlantis, The Palm isn’t a one-trick pony (or, in this case, seahorse). Guests can partake in hatha yoga sessions below the waves, venture 32-feet deep on a guided walking tour of Ambassador Lagoon, and savor decadent eleven-course meals at Ossiano.
Best for Romance: Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas (Kihavah Huravalhi Island, Maldives)
Have money to sink (sorry, we couldn’t resist) into an insanely romantic honeymoon? Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas is a tempting five-star property that’s guaranteed ignite sparks. While it doesn’t offer subaquatic rooms, we’re confident you’ll find the overwater bungalows with private plunge pools and direct lagoon access utterly irresistible. Plus, the undersea restaurant blows every other dining experience out of the water. Guests journey beneath the waves to gorge on gourmet cuisine surrounded by the Indian Ocean. Tickle your tastebuds with a lunch of crab tian and pan-seared wagyu beef or feast on Maldivian lobster and green herb risotto for dinner. Fancy a bottle of bubbly to vino to toast the occasion? Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas boasts the first underwater wine cellar in the world.
Best for Relaxation: The Manta Resort (Pemba Island, Tanzania)
Advertised as “Africa's finest island sanctuary,” The Manta Resort is a reposeful all-inclusive that doesn’t concern itself with stress, clocks, or deadlines. All the thatched-roof cottages are beautiful and blissfully serene, but one really steals the show, not to mention the affection of honeymooners coming off the pressure of wedding planning. The underwater villa is a brilliant three-story structure that bobs in the azure tides off the coast of Pemba Island. (Don’t worry, this Swedish-engineered architectural marvel won’t drift away since it’s anchored to the ocean floor.) Catch some rays of the sun-drenched roof deck or opt for the sheltered comfort of the sea-level lounge. Instead of unwinding with a few episodes of whatever show you’re binging before hitting the hay? Fascinating creatures, including shoals of fish and the endangered coelacanth, replace television in the subaqueous bedroom.
Best for Scuba Divers: Jules’ Undersea Lodge (Key Largo, Florida)
The first and only underwater hotel in the United States, Jules’ Undersea Lodge, which opened in 1986, isn’t for luxury lovers or five-star devotees. And that’s quite alright with the aquatic adventurers who drop anchor at this no-frills bolthole in Key Largo. Unlike many of the ultra-posh resorts on our list, Jules’ Undersea Lodge is geared towards real-deal dive enthusiasts. (A few famous faces—including Steven Tyler and Tim Allen—have swum through over the years, too.) Equipped with 42-inch round windows, beds, and other basic essentials, both rooms reside on the bottom of a protected lagoon. The only way to gain access? Scuba through a tropical mangrove habitat. Not ready to take the plunge just yet? You can get open water certified or do a discovery course before committing to an overnight.
Best for Attraction Seekers: Resorts World Sentosa (Singapore)
Resort World Sentosa—comprising numerous restaurants, six different themed lodgings, and countless attractions—is a sprawling playground for travelers who require constant stimulation. If Ariel were real, we’d venture a guess that she’d be sufficiently impressed by the ocean suites at the Equarius Hotel. Positioned on one side of the open-sea habitat in a massive aquarium, each of the exclusive two-story townhouses invites duos to appreciate nature from a unique vantage point. You could (and probably will) spend hours staring at the fish, sharks, and stingrays. Besides spectacular views of more than 40,000 marine life, couples can look forward to round-the-clock butler service, refined furnishings, and plenty of sumptuous comforts. When you’ve had enough of the in-room excitement, try your luck at the casino or hit up Universal Studios Singapore.
Best for Yogis: Hurawalhi Island Resort (Hurawalhi Island, Maldives)
Situated on a private island in the Maldives, Hurawalhi Island Resort is a luxurious all-inclusive that caters to couples desiring the relaxation of a kid-free beach holiday. While you can’t technically snooze under the sea, we haven’t heard a single complaint about the well-appointed villas that have private infinity pools and breathtaking panoramas. This adults-only respite does host perspective-shifting asana sessions in the all-glass undersea restaurant that doubles as a yoga studio. It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re a regular practitioner. Hurawalhi Island Resort gives yogis of all levels the opportunity to move through an endorphin-boosting sequence of postures alongside tropical fish and reef sharks. Even if you’ve never tried yoga before, it would be pretty darn cool to say your first time took place in a submerged shala.
Best for Instagram: InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland (Shanghai, China)
Choosing the most Instagrammable of this photogenic bunch wasn’t easy. But, ultimately, after much consideration, we had to award the title to the InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland in Songjiang. At first glance, you might not even realize its sheer size. That’s because the majority of the building sits underground. Intrigued? You’re not alone. The InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland is a magnet for shutterbugs, influencers, and honeymooners alike. A below-the-surface seafood restaurant and rock-climbing wall are just some of the awe-inspiring attributes. Of all the flashy features, one thing truly defines this pioneering property. The unabashed crown jewel? Six underwater suites. Each sunken sanctuary has a saltwater aquarium and balcony to watch the nightly water show. Be sure to hit record on your smartphone, because you’ll certainly want to post a video!
Best Spa: Huvafen Fushi Maldives (North Malé Atoll, Maldives)
After wedding planning wraps up and the rings are exchanged, many couples high-tail it to a plush resort for a boatload of pampering. Far fewer have the privilege of relishing a tension-releasing rubdown below the sea. If that sort of once-in-a-lifetime experience sounds like a non-negotiable element of a perfect escape, add Huvafen Fushi Maldives to your shortlist. (We should note that snoozing beneath the waves isn’t an option. Not that a beachfront bungalow with a king bed and sun-splashed deck is a hard sell.) Honeymooners can indulge in self-care sessions at the underwater spa. From the moment guests step foot inside the subaquatic sanctum, a sense of calm washes over. The soft lull of the tides, unspoiled ocean vistas, and skilled therapists help travelers descend further into a state of tranquility.