world's first underwater hotel villa opens beneath the indian ocean

world's first underwater hotel villa opens beneath the indian ocean

the conrad maldives rangali island has opened the world’s first-ever underwater hotel residence, a two-story villa that sits both above and below the indian ocean. its name is ‘muraka,’ which means ‘coral’ in the maldives’ local language dhivehi and after sharing initial details of the project in april, images of the completed villa have now been released.

all images © justin nicholas



envisioned by crown company director ahmed saleem, the muraka comprises two levels and takes its luxury offering very seriously throughout. the villa sits perched out in the ocean, far from the conrad’s other villas and over-water bungalows. it offers a private gym, a bar, an infinity pool, butler’s quarters, an ocean-facing bathtub and a private jetty. meanwhile, a ‘relaxation deck’ is placed to face the sunrise and another secluded deck the sunset.



most importantly though is its underwater level. five meters below the waves is a king-size bedroom, living area, and a bathroom, housed in an all-glass structure offering 180-degree panoramic views of the ocean’s marine life. responsible for the connecting the two levels is tokyo design firm yuji yamazaki architecture who created a seamless upstairs-downstairs experience letting guests access either floor via a spiral staircase or an elevator.



with careful consideration over the environment, the entire lower suite was built on land in singapore. like the site’s ithaa undersea restaurant, it is been made using acrylic from japan’s premiere aquarium manufacturer nippura co., and sealed with shin etsu marine sealant. the 600-ton structure was then brought to the maldives on a specialized ship that transported it to the site near the reef without damaging it. once the residence was lowered into the water, it was nailed into place with concrete pylons to ensure it could not shift during rough waves or at high tide.

in total, muraka can accommodate up to nine guests. as well as a twin-size bedroom, the upper level contains an additional king size bedroom and a bathroom for each. but the hotel is more than just a series of rooms. for $50,000 night guests at the muraka are flown in on a private seaplane and given a speedboat that’s theirs to use during their stay. the suite also comes with dedicated staff, including a 24-hour butler and chef service, and a plethora of dining, activity, and experience menus offering guests the chance to ‘curate’ their stay.


  • That is not an underwater hotel.
    Tony Webb
    US PATENT DESIGN underwater hotel owner.

    Tony Webb says:
  • Mr. Webb,
    If you have to pay to stay overnight in it and some of the rooms sit below the waterline, then it’s an underwater hotel. Further, this underwater hotel has actually been completed so they could say the same for your project with a little more credibility.


    Raoul Wollman says:
  • A commercial establishment providing lodging, meals, and other guest services.

    In general, to be called a hotel, an establishment must have a minimum of six letting bedrooms, at least three of which must have attached (ensuite) private bathroom facilities.

    Tony Webb says:

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