Sleeping Under the Sea
By: Ashley Gustafson
What may have been only a dream a few decades ago is now become reality. The trend of underwater hotel rooms has become a growing tourist destination all around the world. From the humble but innovative beginnings of Jules Undersea Lodge in Key Largo, Florida to extravagant and breathtaking Poseidon Undersea Resort in Fiji. New to join the rankings of undersea stays is the Manta Resort on Pemba Island of Zanzibar, Tanzania making it the first underwater resort in Africa.
As one can imagine, this beautiful hotel is geared toward anyone who not only loves water but the ocean scenery as well. It is important that guests be proficient swimmers and not bothered by small spaces to stay here. If not, guests can still stay but will need a guide to stay with them for safety and comfort.
To get to each luxury room, residents must take a boat ride out to sea where their room is located 13 ft. under the surface. Each room has a sort of floating construction that consists of three different rooms with ladders to get you to and from each room. The structures are predominately wood which adds a beautiful authenticity to each space. The rooms also come with a butler if desired to give your stay a “royal” feel.
The first room is a sea level deck where guests can enter their suite from boat. On this level there is a seating and dining area where the residents can look out over the Indian Ocean and all of its wonder. It is comfy and cozy with bright, tropical colors to set the mood. The colorful cushions and streaming sunlight make this space relaxing and exotic. The kitchen is also complete with a fully stocked refrigerator for all guests snacking and meal needs, so no worries about going hungry! Behind this room is the restroom, complete with a toilet, shower, and sink. The next room is a balcony perfect for soaking up natural sun during the daytime or star gazing at nighttime. Also for the daredevils out there, it is a perfect place to take a high dive into the ocean for a swim or snorkeling adventure (Note: non daredevils can swim and snorkel off the sea level dock too!)
Finally, the last room is the hotels claim to fame and its 5 star attraction; the bedroom 13 ft. under the surface. The room lets you feel at one with the ocean and all its glory. Guests are able to gaze into vast ocean water full of thousands of species of beautiful fish. The room itself has glass walls that allow for constant immersion in ocean bliss. If you are able to get past the sheer wonder of having the ocean so close, the interior décor is African in nature with a natural, homey feel. Coral beds and pieces keep the room contemporary and themed to a tee. The room is simple and sophisticated which allows the ocean to take center stage. It is a relaxing and comfortable place to sleep if you can indeed get past the exquisite views of the ocean and actually go to sleep. Below the glass walls are spotlights that are designed to attract sea animals like squid, slugs, rays and more. Coral is used to make the base of the architecture and provides a safe home to many of the organisms swimming around it. This in turn also adds to conservation efforts in the area by giving animals shelter and supporting coral growth.
The hotel itself is enough to write about, but the island it resides off of is a whole other thing of beauty itself. With dreamy white sand beaches, deep-blue sea color, emerald sea plants, and turquoise painted skies it is something out of a story book that will make you never want to leave. The Manta Resort is one of the most luxurious tourist hot spots in all of Eastern Africa and one night’s stay will run you anywhere from $900 a night to $1500 a night on average. It is truly the perfect destination for anyone who has been dreaming of a luxurious night of sleeping under the sea.