Underwater Hotel Room: In Tanzania, Living In Company of Marine Animals Is A Reality [PHOTOS]
Ever fancied the idea of sleeping underwater with colorful marine creatures? Have your dreams been dismissed by others as a preposterous idea? Welcome to the Manta Resort. Intrepid tourists, especially those who love ocean, will find their dreams have come true in this new underwater hotel room at the Manta Resort, off the coast of Tanzania. Set off Pemba Island, this self-contained hotel literally drifts at sea.
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The 16-room hotel just added a 17th: an other-worldly underwater bedroom designed by Genberg Underwater Hotels, a Swedish company. Genberg specializes in construction of underwater rooms. One recent project, The Utter Inn, was constructed in the middle of a lake in Sweden.
The latest structure, a three story building approximately 250 meters offshore, however, is exemplary in design, looks, and function. It has a rooftop deck, a bathroom and a lounge area at sea level, while the underwater bedroom with the fish is downstairs, 13 feet below the sea level. Underwater spotlights offer panorama views of a tropical marine sanctuary that takes you into the magical world of fish, squid, octopus, and coral reefs. The guests have the freedom to sunbathe on the top deck by day in the privacy of their island accommodations, while they dive to the comfort of their cozy underwater room by night to sleep with fish.
Pemba Island's relative lack of development and isolation perhaps adds to the overall exotic experience. The best possible way to reach the destination is by chartered flights from Zanzibar. The unspoiled reef here is attracting divers from all over the world. The closest to Manta Resort one can access is the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island hotel, located 16 feet below the surface. It is listed among the most exclusive hotels.
Maldives, the hot international tourism destination has also attracted Polish developers who are planning to build an ambitious, futuristic luxury hotel here that will be partially underwater. The space ship resembling property will be built seven meters above water and 30 meters below the sea level.
So the underwater room at Manta Resort joins a list of other experimental under-the-sea hotel rooms in Maldives, Sweden and Florida. The underwater room in Manta resort has eight windows with spotlights to illuminate the sea life. A squid, an octopus and a trumpet fish known as Nick are identified among the frequent visitors.
There are a slew of other similar projects in the offing but the Poseidon Undersea Resort in Katafinga Island in Fiji has generated the maximum publicity, perhaps for its long delays attesting to the challenges involved in building under the sea.
The project has been full of challenges, but not so much for technology, according to L Bruce Jones, president of US Submarines Inc, the designer behind the Poseidon Resort. "We also had a coup in Fiji and a financial crisis. Building a structure fixed to the sea floor isn't that hard - there are far more problems in building submarines which have to be able to move," Bruce Jones said.
Inspired by the Poseidon resort, Jones is now toying up with the idea of an underwater house or the "H2Ome" claimed on the company's website as "the most technologically advanced undersea residence ever designed." Highlighting the feature of the "H2Ome", Jones says, "It's circular in plan and 65ft in diameter, but the most important thing is that the interior is at one atmosphere - the same pressure as on land."
The difference in pressure is the biggest challenge in underwater living. "There have been about 70 underwater habitats built over the past 50 years," says Jones, "but all of them have been at ambient pressure." The pressure under water is so huge that it can result in the dissolution of gases in the bloodstream. It can result in intense pain or even death if divers come back to the surface without decompression. It may require days of recovery after a couple of weeks under water. So, H2Ome with one atmosphere pressure is a huge advance in making underwater living a reality.
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