Travel

Published: Saturday December 7, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Saturday December 7, 2013 MYT 7:26:14 AM

Under the sea

Mind-blowing: Guests enjoying their private island accommodation at The Manta Resort. — AFP photo

Mind-blowing: Guests enjoying their private island accommodation at The Manta Resort. — AFP photo

A hotel with a difference, off the coast of Zanzibar, will thrill travellers who crave privacy.

SET off Pemba Island, also known as the Green Island in Arabic, guests of The Manta Resort’s underwater room are dropped off at a self-contained hotel which literally drifts at sea.

Guests can sunbathe on the top deck of their private island accommodations by day and dine on a lounge deck at water level. By night, they can dive into the sea to access their hotel room, where they nod off amongst the fishes and their marine surroundings.

For an ethereal effect, the suite, which is built 4m below the surface, is lit by underwater spotlights to provide a backlit projection of the Indian Ocean’s tropical sanctuary.

Part of the experience also lies in its isolation and underdevelopment as a tourist destination.

The most reliable way to access Pemba Island is by chartered flights from Zanzibar. And while interest in the region is growing amongst divers for its unspoiled reefs, the area has yet to be paved by large-scale resorts and tourist crowds.

The suite is designed by Swedish outfit Genberg Underwater Hotels, which opened its first underwater property in a Swedish lake near Stockholm in the year 2000.

The Utter Inn is a single room that lies 3m below the surface and contains twin beds and a table.

Meanwhile, the Manta Resort is the latest underwater guest experience to shake up the hotel industry.

While the conventional trend has been to look skyward and snag bragging rights to building the tallest hotel or the highest penthouse, other hoteliers have been looking the other way, designing properties that maximise the beauty of tropical underwater environments.

Room rates at The Manta Resort start at US$750 (RM2,423) per person a night. – AFP Relaxnews

Tags / Keywords: Travel, Lifestyle, underwater hotel room, Tanzania, Pemba Island, Genberg Underwater Hotels, Utter Inn

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