Imagine. The perfect escape. Far from civilization. Aqua waters and the soft breezes of a tropical holiday. A lovely romantic dinner with a fantastic view of the sea. So close you can see the iridescent blues and greens of schools of fish and the occasional stingray swimming by you. They seem so close, as if they were right beside you. Well, in fact, they are beside you, and above you as well. Because this isn’t your ordinary restaurant with a view. It’s the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, part of the Hilton Maldives Resort and Spa.
The Ithaa (pronounced ‘eet-ha’) in Dhivehi, the language of the Maldives, means “pearl.” Encased in clear acrylic, the world’s first all-glass undersea restaurant, Ithaa is situated 16 feet below sea level and offers diners a 270 degree view of reef and marine life. Children under 12 are not allowed. And at an average dinner price of about $200 per person, this is probably a good idea
The Republic of Maldives is a group of about 1200 coral islands in the Indian Ocean to the west of India and Sri Lanka on the equator. Some of the islands are smaller than a football field , with others up to 1- 2 miles long. Many of the islands have no human inhabitants.
Part of a $5 million re-build of Rangalifinolhu Island, one of the twin islands that make up Hilton Maldives Resort & Spa, the reconstruction project included the construction of 79 of the most luxurious beach villas in the country as well as the Spa Village, a self-contained, over-water “resort-within-a-resort” consisting of a spa, restaurant and 21 villas.
The cuisine is a fusion of western food items with a Maldivian flavor. And the wine selection includes the prestigious Champagne of Louis Roederer. Be sure to book well in advance. Water shoes or goggles not necessary. It’s an aquarium in reverse. And you’re inside it.
"Our guests always comment on being blown away by the colour, clarity, and beauty of the underwater world in the Maldives , says Carsten Schieck, General Manager of Hilton Maldives Resort & Spa, "so it seemed the perfect idea to build a restaurant where diners can experience fine cuisine and take time to enjoy the views - without ever getting their feet wet."
"We are currently planting a coral garden on the reef to add to the spectacular views of the rays, sharks and many colorful fish that live around the area."
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