UNDERWATER GETAWAYS

There are many large and scary creatures in the sea that could suddenly try and eat you if they wanted and if they, or rampant claustrophobia, are a ‘thing’ for you, then a holiday on a submarine may not float your boat. Sorry. Couldn’t resist. But if exploring the ocean bed inside a fully kitted up underwater hotel sounds like a dream come true, good news is at hand.

Submarines are now available to everyday punters for anything from a 3 hour wizz across a coral reef off the coast of Spain with a bunch of equally excited fish enthusiasts with nice cameras to a bespoke deep sea vessel that is yours to rent and enjoy. The 3 hour tour from Thomson Holidays in Spain will set you back $66 USD per adult, half that for children.

However, your own private submarine furnished in a way that makes you happy and not entirely set up for a jolly with the kidlets will cost you a mighty $140,000 USD per person, per night or close to $275,000 USD per couple. Per night.

Mind you, for that you get cable TV and a DVD player in your room. Don’t ask me how cable TV works on a submarine, I’m just not sure. The Lovers Deep private submarine can be parked off the Caribbean island of your choice and the people who hire it out (Oliver’s Travel, in case you were wondering) use the term ‘Mile Low Club’ to entice the paying public into coughing up that amount of cash for the experience. Sure, anyone can get pleasure *cough* flying thousands of miles above the earth, but how many of us (apart from lonely sailors miles and months from home) have had the same…motion of the ocean….deep inside it. As it were.

If you’d like to be under the sea but not moving, there are a number of choices available to you. Off the coast of Zanzibar there is a three story hotel that is partly submerged in the Indian Ocean. From your neatly appointed room you can sit and watch as squid and fish glide by your windows. The hotel is called The Manta Resort, and the Underwater Room costs $1500 USD per night, but this includes meals and drinks and a spa treatment.

The same man who designed The Underwater room in Zanzibar, Mikael Genberg, also designed one of the very first underwater hotels, The Utter Inn. Unlike a number of tropical sea (and therefore colourful and warm) destinations, The Utter Inn is 3 metres below the surface of a freezing cold lake in Sweden. In the summer the lake is more hospitable so it gets busy but make no mistake, this is not 5 star luxury accommodation. No room service, no spa treatments and no bikini clad mermaids floating past your window. Still, it’s cosy and you won’t get wet whilst you snooze under the waters of Sweden.

In Dubai the Underwater suites in the Atlantis Hotel offer all the luxury you could possibly need, as well as a whole bunch of sting rays and fish buzzing past your room at all times. The Atlantis is part of The Palms, and like all things UAE, it’s not terribly subtle. The entire Atlantis Resort complex includes a waterpark and an aquarium and is maxed out with an overindulgence of all things Atlantis themed. However, what it lacks in understatement, it more than makes up for in enthusiasm towards its guests pleasure. You can swim with dolphins, wander around under sharks and lay on one of over 700 sunbeds and a night in the submerged suites will set you back a mere $4440 USD per night. The suite sleeps either 2 adults and two children or 3 adults and one child, and you do get a butler and a whole lot of cool stuff happening right outside your windows all day long.

If Barbados is more your vibe, Atlantis Submarines (there is that word again, and no, there is no affiliation, it’s just ‘lost’ and therefore ‘exotic’) offer day tours underwater as well as night tours that promise a whole new and exciting range of predators and creatures to see that prefer the dark. Oddly enough, they do make special mention of the huge amount of floodlighting they offer so that you don’t miss a thing, but what are you going to do? Day tours cost between $100 USD and $120 USD depending on the season, night tours are about 20 USD more per person.

Jules Verne tapped into part of the human psyche when he set his story 20,000 leagues down, and as hideous as the rest of the film was, Star Wars The Phantom Menace had a pretty cool underwater world as well (please don’t write in and complain, I hated JaJa Binks too). But now we don’t have to fantasise about being Captain Nemo and looking out to a world of wonder, we can be him for an hour or two, or even a few nights if the budget and the fear of being devoured by enormous intelligent sharks (or octopus) will allow.

#HOTELS #LUXURY #HOLIDAYS #SUBMARINE #UNDERWATER

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