The Maldives has a total of six resorts with underwater sections that can be accessed by guests. While all six have underwater restaurants (see below) only one of has an actual underwater room for overnight stays, and that is the extremely lavish Conrad Maldives Rangali Island. This is the Hilton Hotel company’s Maldives flagship and it opened this underwater suite – the world’s very first, which they named The Muraka – to great fanfare in late 2018.
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort, Maldives:
A half an hour by seaplane from Mali Airport, this incredibly lavish 5 Star resort is set on two different islands separated by a bridge.
It first opened its doors in 1997 as The Hilton Maldives Resort & Spa and has since then been voted the world’s best hotel on not one but two occasions.
As well as the underwater suite it is also home to a rather spectacular all glass underwater restaurant, the Ithaa Restaurant, as well as 11 more world class restaurants and bars, 2 multiple award-winning spas and a host of other facilities.
The Conrad Maldives offers spacious, very high end private villas both overwater, beachfront, and of course underwater. This was the the Maldives’ first underwater hotel suite and though a few others can be found around the world, it is still probably the world’s most impressive.
The Muraka Underwater Hotel Suite at Conrad Maldives:
The underwater suite at the Conrad Maldives, which they call The Muraka Residence, is separate from the main resort on its own islet (though connected by a jetty) and so, in more ways than one, feels very exclusive.
You can arrive directly there via private seaplane from the airport or transfer by speedboat from the main resort – a speedboat which remains on-call for you throughout your stay.
Other perks include complimentary jet skis, a private chef, private butler (who is also a trained photographer), on-call massage, spa treatments, personal training services and more.
The Muraka is an opulent 6000 sq ft, two story suite – one floor above water level and one floor 15 feet below.
The upper floor has a lounge & dining area, a double bedroom and a bathroom with bath tub facing out to the open ocean. Outside there is a spacious terrace area with an infinity pool, and direct access to the sea below.
Then there is the spectacular downstairs bedroom with its curved acrylic glass ceiling and walls that allow you to observe an incredible array of exotic sea life, sharks included, gliding endlessly above and around you. Along with that the splendid en suite bathroom has floor to ceiling glass as does the walk in closet.
This underwater section has a sleek modernist finish and comes with standard luxury hotel facilities such as WiFi and digitally controlled air conditioning, though no TV because well….that would be kind of hilarious.
It may otherwise be just as any luxury hotel room but unless you’re fast asleep you’re never likely to confuse it with anywhere else. It is an enormously impressive, dreamlike experience, one which makes the Conrad Maldives Muraka one of the world’s most exciting hotel suites.
Maldives Underwater Hotel Room Prices:
Note: The underwater Muraka Suite is extremely sought after. Bookings should generally be made as far in advance as possible.
Reviews of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island:
“A must for any traveler. What a beautiful resort. It’s the first time I have been to the Maldives and surprised my wife for her birthday. The service was absolutely amazing. I would recommend to book your lunches and dinners at their restaurants before you arrive as they get filled up fast – especially the underwater restaurant. We stayed at the over water villa – incredible! You can see the fish right in front of you….”
“This was the best vacation we ever had. This place is paradise!! Hotel grounds are amazing, they found a piece of property and made it spectacular !! Beaches, accommodation – villas, pools, amazing staff …….speechless!! Food is expensive, but as expected and typical for 5* lux hotel Even weather was perfect although we stayed here in May 9-15. We only had one rainy day that made a sunset spectacular – with purple and pink sky……”
Maldives Underwater Hotel Restaurants:
So, the Conrad Rangali Island is the only place you can find an underwater hotel room in the Maldives but six resorts, including the Conrad, have underwater restaurants/bars.
Three are with glass domed roofs which give the full underwater effect though which can also feel a little claustrophobic to some. All are very much high end hotels and you can expect the food, drink and service to be top class.
Niyama Hotel & Subsix Underwater Restaurant
No underwater rooms here but Niyama Private Islands Resort has an offshore section of its hotel firmly underwater. This is home to the stunning Subsix Restaurant and Bar.
The entire resort is pretty stunning it must be said, set on two paradise like private islands a half an hour by sea plane from Male and the Maldives’ International Airport, it has a number of classy beach villas and overwater bungalows as well as cool bars and eateries including its pièce de résistance the Subsix Restaurant & Bar.
The food is excellent, pricey of course but excellent, and the service too is highly praised. As potentially gimmicky as the whole thing sounds even if the coral themed Subsix were not underwater it would still be an extremely impressive venue.
It can only be reached by boat where upon disembarking you descend down the grand staircase into the depths. There’s a clam shaped bar as the center-point but of course most eyes will be on the enormous glass walls that keep you and the sharks, sting-rays and others apart.
It’s very mesmerizing and can be alternately a conversation killer or a conversation starter around the dinner table. There is generally a nice, sociable atmosphere here though and as the evening wears on the place can get lively turning into something of a bar/club with DJ performances.
Anantara Kihavah Hotel & Sea Underwater Restaurant
The very highly regarded, high end luxury, Anantara Kihavah Hotel has six great restaurants to choose from but none offer quite the same excitement as the, fully immersed underwater, Sea Restaurant, which is also home to, as far as we know, the world’s only underwater wine cellar with around 300 labels from 15 countries.
The restaurant is smaller than that of the Niyama above – it sits just 16 in total – and therefore quieter and more intimate.
You might have a better chance of absorbing the unique experience therefore, with less distractions. It also makes it feel more exclusive and the service a tad more personable.
Pretty much all of this 5 star resort feels exclusive in fact, more so than most luxury Maldives’ resorts. It places a strong emphasis on good food and drink, and all of the other restaurants, in terms of food, service and decor though maybe not in setting, are equally impressive. They also offer cooking classes, with separate classes for children.
Hurawalhi Maldives Hotel & 5.8 Undersea Restaurant:
The 5 Star, all inclusive, Hurawalhi Island Resort is a fabulous resort with its own private coral reef that is now home to the world’s largest all glass underwater restaurant, 5.8.
It’s larger therefore than the similarly all-glass Ithaa Restaurant at the Conrad Maldives, but not by much, and neither of these venues could ever be described as large. 5.8, which can host only up to around twenty people, is similarly intimate and cosy and offers a very impressive immersive experience.
The restaurant is offshore, naturally, and to get there you walk out a wooden walkway over the sea where there is an overwater bar and a further glass paneled walkway to take you to the underwater entrance. It’s a no-shoes venue oddly enough so the shoes come off at the top of the stairs.
Once inside you’ll notice the ceiling doesn’t sit too high above your head and as all the tables are lined up against the glass walls it feels completely immersive. The food, mainly seafood, and service are very good indeed.
Ozen Maadhoo Hotel & M6m Underwater Restaurant:
The 5 Star, all inclusive Ozen Maadhoo has the M6m (minus 6 meters) underwater restaurant as its most famous asset.
Unlike at Hurawalhi Maldives or Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, the roof isn’t glass. The walls are of course but are not entirely floor to ceiling as at Anantara Kihavah and Niyama. The effect therefore is less jaw dropping.
Still though it’s hard to fault the interior decoration and overall it’s a top notch fine dining restaurant with an excellent seafood menu and a classy, refined atmosphere.
Hotel guests can enjoy complimentary meals there if staying more than 4 nights but note that though the resort is family friendly the underwater restaurant isn’t. Though they do have a very good Kid’s Club to keep them entertained (and fed) under supervision while you dine below.
All inclusive resorts, even luxury ones, and even luxury ones in the Maldives, don’t always have a great reputation for being consistent with the quality of their food, drink and service but Ozen Maadhoo certainly does. Their all inclusive option is very good value.
The accommodation is top of the range too – with a choice of stylish and luxurious overwater bungalows and beach villas ranging in size from 85 sq. meters/ 900 sq. feet to 285 sq. meters/ 3067 square feet. Luxury perks include a private butler service.
You & Me by Cocoon Maldives Hotel & H2O Underwater Restaurant:
You & Me is a luxury adults only private island, 45 minutes by seaplane from Male International, with another ambitious underwater hotel restaurant.
Here the design is very similar to the Conrad and Hurawalhi Maldives with a rounded glass ceiling offering eye catching 360° views of the surrounding marine environment.
You & Me have gone for the seats being lined up facing the outside which, though we understand why, feels a little strange for such an intimate, romantic venue.
The menu again is mainly seafood with multi course gourmet selections alongside interesting snacks and lavish platters.
The resort has a total of 99 Overwater Bungalows and 10 Beach Villas in various price categories. All are high end luxury and beautifully designed and decorated, their showpiece being the very stylish and spacious You & Me Overwater Suite.
Other Underwater Hotels Around the World: