The 10 Best Underwater Hotels in the World for a Magical Stay

Sleep under the sea at these next-level resorts.
The 10 Best Underwater Hotels in the World
Photo: Atlantis, The Palm
Suzie Dundas - The Knot Contributor.
Suzie Dundas
Suzie Dundas - The Knot Contributor.
Suzie Dundas
The Knot Contributor
  • Suzie is a freelance writer for The Knot, with a focus on honeymoon content and couples’ travel.
  • She’s written for publications like Outside Magazine, TripSavvy, Insider, Playboy, Forbes, SkyLife Magazine, Popular Mechanics, the SF Chron and more.
  • Suzie is an avid traveller, and she’s both stayed in luxury over-the-water villas in the Maldives, and slept in the plastic tube of an indoor playground at an airport when he...
Updated Jan 03, 2024
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If you've spent any time researching a romantic getaway, you've probably come across overwater bungalows in exotic destinations like Bora Bora and the Maldives. But why not take it one step further and book an underwater bungalow instead? It's not hard to explain the beauty of underwater hotels—they offer the chance to fall asleep while watching the ocean. You'll feel like you're in your own private aquarium while cozying up in bed.

Underwater hotels are also an unbeatable experience to share with your partner on an anniversary trip, plus they're a perfect honeymoon destination. And while underwater hotel rooms do tend to be fairly expensive, they're usually at resorts that also offer on-land rooms, so you can spring for one or two nights in an underwater suite and spend the rest of your days above ground. Many of the best underwater hotels in the world are in destinations like the Maldives, creating lots of overlap for visitors who want an all-inclusive resort and the chance to sleep underwater. If you're ready to dive into the world of aquatic luxury (no actual diving required), consider booking one of these 10 unique underwater hotels for your next special occasion trip.

The Knot's Top 10 Underwater Hotels in the World

The best underwater getaways for your honeymoon
Photo: Justin Nicholas for The Conrad Maldives

If you've always dreamed of falling asleep while creatures like jellyfish, manta rays and octopus float above you in an ethereal nighttime display, it's time to start making your dreams come true. The 10 hotels below represent the breadth of underwater hotel rooms in the world, from luxury stays in over-the-top Dubai to a renovated underwater research station now available for overnight stays.

Best Overall Underwater Hotel: The Muraka Suite, Conrad Maldives

Most Adventurous Underwater Hotel: Jules Undersea Lodge

Most Remote Underwater Hotel: Manta Resort, Zanzibar

Best Value: Reef Suites, Whitsunday Islands

Best Almost-Underwater Hotel: Hotel H2O

Best Underwater Spa Resort: Underwater Suite at Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai

Best Amenities: Equarius Ocean Suites

Best Aquarium Stay: The National Aquarium, Baltimore

Best All-Inclusive Underwater Hotel: Pullman Maldives Maamutaa

Best Underwater Hotel Dining: InterContinental Shanghai

The Muraka Suite, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, Maldives

The Muraka Suite, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, Maldives
Photo: Justin Nicholas for The Conrad Maldives

From the surface, the Muraka Suite at the five-star Conrad Maldives on Rangali Island already looks amazing. With a huge pier and large living space, the entire suite alone is surrounded by the ocean. But what makes it a truly jaw-dropping experience is the Master Suite, which just so happens to be positioned 16 feet below water. It's the only underwater hotel suite in the world with an uninterrupted domed ceiling and walls, akin to sleeping in a massive five-star bubble under the sea. The ocean outside is illuminated at night so you can see the nocturnal creatures come out to play. For that reason alone, many people consider it the best underwater hotel in the world.

The rest of the suite is the stuff billionaire dreams are made of, with sliding glass walls, a private pool and decks, a posh indoor area and a private 24-hour butler.

Conrad Maldives, JP8H+2FF, Mandhoo, Maldives

4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

Equarius Ocean Suites, Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore

Most underwater hotels are in remote, tropical locations, but the Ocean Suites at the sprawling Resorts World Sentosa are a little different. Aside from the fact that they're in Singapore—home to nearly six million people—there's something else unique about them: they're not in the ocean. Resorts World Sentosa is downright massive, covering 120 acres and home to its own Universal Studios Resort. It's also home to the S.E.A. Aquarium, which has more than 100,000 marine creatures—and 11 underwater hotel rooms.

The Ocean Suites are all two-story townhouse-style homes. The top floor is the living and dining space (including a private plunge pool), but downstairs, there's a floor-to-ceiling wall to ensure you don't forget you're sleeping underwater. An extra-romantic feature in the bedrooms is that the lights dim when you raise the blinds on the aquarium, making it feel like a private underwater theater.

Guests of the Ocean Suites are treated to near-endless amenities, from marble bathtubs and priority restaurant reservations to private lounge access, private elevators and more.

Equarius Hotel, 8 Sentosa Gateway, Singapore 098269

4.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

Reef Suites, Whitsunday Islands, Australia

An underwater getaway for your honeymoon
Photo: Reef Suites

If you've always dreamed of exploring the Great Barrier Reef but aren't so keen on getting your scuba diving certification, there's still a way to do it: Just book a room at the Reef Suites, the only underwater hotel in Australia. It's in the Whitsunday Islands, located off the coast of Queensland.

All reservations include breakfast, lunch and dinner (dinner is al fresco under the stars, by the way); a semi-submarine tour; beer and wine; and guided snorkeling. You can also add on experiences like helicopter tours or scuba dives, if you're certified. The experience is expensive, but not as expensive as hotel suites. It's priced at $1,095 per person, based on shared occupancy. The experience is managed by Cruise Whitsundays, which will arrange your transportation to the fixed underwater hotel/barge.

QLD, Great Barrier Reef, Australia (Cruise Whitsundays meeting point is Cruise Whitsundays Maritime Terminal - 24 The Cove Rd, Airlie Beach QLD, Australia)

4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

Jules Undersea Lodge, Key Largo, Florida

It's no secret that the Florida Keys are a bit quirky, which is a big reason why they're so fun. Adding to that quirkiness is the only underwater hotel in the US: Jules Undersea Lodge, named for Jules Verne, author of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

The underwater hotel is in Key Largo and started its life as an underwater research station before opening to guests. What makes this the best underwater hotel for adventurers is that there's only one way to get there: by scuba diving. If you're not a certified diver, you can still get there by signing up for an introductory session, which will allow you to go under the surface without being certified.

The hotel isn't a luxury stay, with basic beds and a small-ish window looking out to the lagoon. But it does come with something you won't find at most underwater hotels accessed via scuba diving: a pizza dinner, delivered to your undersea room. You can also book private dinners, or book the room just for an afternoon pizza party, rather than an overnight stay. Rates for an overnight stay start at around $1,700 per couple.

Jules Undersea Lodge, 51 Shoreland Dr, Key Largo, FL 33037

4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

Underwater Suite at Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai

Atlantis, The Palm for your honeymoon
Photo: Atlantis, The Palm

Everything in Dubai is over the top, so you know you're dealing with something special when a hotel still stands out among a sea of five-star properties. One such hotel is Atlantis, the Palm, which offers a Signature Underwater Suite. The suite's bedroom is palatial, with a gorgeous chandelier and gold accents. But those draws pale in comparison to the clear wall peering into the hotel's 11,000-liter aquarium.

As if your underwater bedroom wasn't special enough, the suite has a huge, equally beautiful bathroom, complete with a huge soaking tub positioned in front of another underwater viewing window. Above the bedroom, guests have a private lounge with views across the hotel's private lagoon. All bookings come with access to the hotel's imperial lounge and 24-hour butler service.

Atlantis, the Palm is also home to the high-end Awaken Spa, which uses local ingredients for many of the options on its extensive spa menu. It also has wellness services for guests—underwater, of course—like underwater hatha yoga classes and sound healing meditation, all set against the backdrop of the massive Lost Chambers Aquarium.

Atlantis the Palm Dubai, Crescent Rd, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

Manta Resort, Zanzibar

Manta Resort is probably the most remote underwater hotel on this list. Not only is it in Zanzibar, a tiny country in East Africa, but it's on the far tip of a remote island in Zanzibar. It takes some time to get there, but the trade off is that you get to spend a few days in one of the most remote places in the world.

It's worth the effort, as the beachfront resort sits on calm water and backs to the jungle, creating privacy for guests in each of the villas and rooms (all with outdoor patios). But the star of the show is the Undersea Suite, with an underwater bedroom in a lagoon surrounded by coral reefs. On the top, there's a huge deck with a built-in daybed, and a living room area at water level with ocean views in all directions.

For a truly bucket-list vacation, combine a few nights at Manta Resort with a multi-day safari on the mainland. The staff at Manta can arrange custom safari packages with its partner hotels (as well as activities like sunset sails and scuba diving trips).

Manta Resort, Pemba Island, Psv-zanzibar estate, Tanzania

5.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland, China

InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland, China
Photo: InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland

The InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland resort is one of the coolest hotels in the world, architecturally speaking. It was built on the site of an abandoned quarry, and if you know anything about quarries, you'll know they tend to fill with water. So the designers took advantage of the natural surroundings and built several rooms under the water.

Aside from the impressive above-ground features, like a gorgeous waterfall, spa and futuristic indoor pool complex, the resort also offers underwater suites with floor-to-ceiling clear walls. Both the bedrooms and the chic living areas have underwater views. Rooms start at around $1,700 per night, but if that's too steep, you can take in the views by booking a table at Mr. Fisher Restaurant. It's built one floor below the surface, offering similar views as the pricier suites.

Shimao Wonderland, 5188 Chen Hua Rd at Ding Yuan Rd, Songjiang District, Shanghai

5.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

Pullman Maldives Maamutaa, Maldives

The Maldives are known as the luxury beach playground of the world's elite, so it's not surprising that the country would have multiple options for underwater hotel rooms.

The Aqua Villas at Pullman Maldives Maamutaa are luxury two-story homes that just happen to be built partially below the turquoise lagoon. The top floor is akin to a five-star overwater bungalow, with private infinity pools and sliding glass walls that face the sunrise each morning. Even cooler is that there's just as much glass on the lower floor, giving guests a wall-sized window into the Maldivian lagoon. Maamutaa Island is in the country's Gaafu Alifu atoll. It's one of the deepest in the country, attracting larger species like dolphins and manta rays—either of which you may see from your five-star aquarium bedroom.

Stays at Pullman Maldives are all-inclusive, giving guests access to three gourmet restaurants, guided talks and walks with marine biologists, and pool and beach yoga, among other benefits.

Pullman Maldives Maamutaa, Maamutaa, Island 20219, Maldives

5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

Aqua Jellies Suite, Hotel H2O, Philippines

Aqua Jellies Suite, Hotel H2O, Philippines
Photo: Hotel H2O

It shouldn't come as a surprise that a hotel named Hotel H2O would have rooms that forgo picture windows for massive fish tanks. The hotel is part of the massive "Oceanarium" complex, home to more than 250 creatures endemic to Southeast Asia (plus a promising penguin breeding program). The hotel offers several different types of rooms, from premier suites for two to multi-room family suites and the unique Aqua Jellies suite, with illuminated jellyfish tanks in the bedroom and bathroom walls.

Granted, these aren't underwater hotel rooms, but the feeling is the same when you're in the room. Plus, the price is a lot better than many other spots on this list, with most rooms starting at around $300 per night.

Hotel H2O, Manila Ocean Park, Behind the Quirino Grandstand, Rizal Park, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila, Philippines

4.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

The National Aquarium, Baltimore, Maryland

OK, it's not technically an underwater hotel. But if your goal is to fall asleep while staring at sharks and wake up looking at octopuses, you may find that the award-winning National Aquarium in Baltimore fits the bill (and costs a lot less).

Several times a month, the aquarium hosts public sleepovers. The program includes a behind-the-scenes tour of the aquarium and a chance to see the various exhibits at night. It also includes an evening snack, continental breakfast and full admission to the aquarium for the following day. You may not be technically sleeping under the sea, but with the huge 225,000-gallon "Shark Alley" tank just steps away from your sleeping bag, it'll sure feel like it. Sleepovers are priced at around $125 per person.

National Aquarium, 501 E Pratt St, Baltimore, MD 21202

4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

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