Underwater accommodations seem to have become a trend among hotels in recent years, but a resort off the coast of Tanzania is now putting a unique spin on the concept. The Manta Resort recently unveiled its Underwater Room, a three-floor suite that floats beside a thriving coral reef and boasts a submerged master bedroom surrounded by windows to view the local sea life.
Located on the tropical Pemba Island in Zanzibar, the resort's most standout feature is the natural coral reef lying just off its beach, which attracts numerous divers and snorkelers to its villas. To construct an enticing off-shore suite though, the Manta Resort enlisted the help of Genberg Underwater Hotels, a Swedish company that previously erected a similar structure on a lake in its home country. The unusual new room floats almost 250 m (820 ft) away from the coast and is held in place by several anchoring lines leading to the ocean floor.
The top two floors of the Underwater Room are paneled in local hardwood and rest above the surface of the water. At sea level, the landing deck in the middle contains a lounge area for resting and dining, as well as the bathroom facilities. Guests can also climb a ladder onto the top deck to lay out in the sun or gaze up at the stars during the night.
Of course, the real draw is the bedroom on the bottom level, which sits four meters (13 ft) beneath the surface of the water. Besides a double bed to lie on, the room features two large windows on each wall, giving an almost total 360-degree view of the water around it. Each window even has underwater spotlights on the outside that attract and illuminate nearby sea creatures at night, so guests can watch them as they drift off to sleep.
The floating hotel room is actually situated in the center of a blue hole, an area of the coral reef approximately 50 m (164 ft) wide where the sea drops to 12 m (39 ft) deep during high tide. With a few scattered coral heads below and a full reef surrounding them, guests are sure to see all kinds of marine wildlife right outside their bedroom window. According to the resort, some coral has already begun forming on the room's anchoring lines and a few of the reef's more unusual inhabitants, like octopus and Spanish dancers, have been spotted attaching themselves to the glass.
As you can probably guess, the cost to enjoy your own secluded, half-submerged hotel suite isn't cheap. Spending one night in the Underwater Room costs US$1,500 for two people on top of the regular cost of the resort, which varies depending on the time of year and duration of your stay. At the moment, the Manta Resort is taking reservations from now until Jun. 30, 2014 if you want to find out for yourself what it's like to sleep underwater in your own private island.
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