Well-heeled visitors to the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island resort can now book a stay in a one-of-a-kind underwater hotel villa. Named Muraka, it features an expansive curved acrylic roof and allows guests to sleep beneath the waves without getting wet.
The Muraka (or Coral) villa is located near the Ithaa underwater restaurant, which was designed by the same team. Indeed, it features a similar design to the restaurant and consists of a large suite above the waves and a smaller suite beneath.
It can accommodate up to nine guests and while the upper level certainly looks luxurious, it's the lower level that everyone will want to stay in. It's situated 5 m (16.4 ft) beneath the waves and reached by elevator or spiral staircase.
That lower area features a master suite with one bedroom, bathroom, and a lounge. It's topped by an eye-catching curved acrylic dome window offering choice views of the marine life. Even the bathroom has generous glazing, so visitors will need to carry out their daily ablutions in front of the fishes too.
The Muraka's underwater section weighs around 600 tons and was built on terra firma then sunk into position by crane. The interior design, handled by Yuji Yamazaki (YYA), was kept deliberately muted so as to reduce glare and the floor is covered with silk carpet in an attempt to mitigate any reverberation. The idea is that the focus is very much on the view.
"People don't go to a theater to see the theater, they are there for the show," says YYA. "We had to make sure that the guests can have the underwater views from every vantage point of the room. More than 75 percent of wall, ceiling surfaces are made of clear acrylic. The glare and reflection on clear acrylic had to be minimized and views to the ocean had to be secured. We also wanted to give a sense of comfort. We looked at many interior design from private jet to classic Italian luxury cars, from which we learned about good details in confined spaces."
As you may have guessed, the experience isn't going to be cheap though. According to Designboom, it will set you back an incredible US$50,000 per night.