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Maldives

The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island announced the opening of the first-ever luxury villa beneath the waves of the Indian Ocean on November 15. At a cost of approximately $15 million, the underwater Muraka suite is the first of its kind in the country. Priced at $50,000 per night, the Muraka accommodates up to nine guests.

“The completion of the Muraka is a personal lifetime achievement,” said Ahmed Saleem, a director at Crown Company and chief architect and designer of the new submerged residence. “After years in the making, my team and I are proud to officially present the Muraka residence and its accompanying Maldivian experience to worldly travelers who crave the extraordinary.”

ABOVE: Muraka underwater bathroom.

The split-level lodging is home to a first-of-its-kind undersea suite, featuring a living space, bathroom, and a deck designed for optimal unobstructed viewing of the surrounding sea life.

Sitting 16-feet below the ocean surface, guests sink to the submerged quarters by means of a spiral staircase that connects to additional living space at the water’s surface. Resting upon the sea surface, there is a second deck, a twin bedroom, bathroom, and powder room, along with a gym, integrated living room, and bar. Also present is an additional king-size bedroom and bath with an ocean-facing tub and a west-facing dining hall and deck. Travelers wanting a cool dip out of the warm Indian Ocean waters will find an infinity pool.

From the native Dhivei language meaning coral, Muraka’s innovative design stems from the architects at Crown Company (Maldives) and was built by New Zealand-based aquarium technology specialists M.J. Murphy. Constructed with domed glass, arching from floor-to-floor, the rounded vault offers unobstructed views of the surrounding indigenous sea creatures and their habitat.

This isn’t the only underwater experience in the Conrad Maldives. The Ithaa, built in 2005, provides underwater dining. Ithaa is an all-glass undersea restaurant located five meters below sea level, and lays claim to being one of the world’s first underwater restaurants. The Ithaa, meaning “mother of pearl,” is only one of 10 dining options at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island.

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Outside of the suite, , the 430-meter family pool and recreation area features the sand-floored Rangali bar serving up lunch, dinner, and cocktails, as well as regular live music and events. Alternatively, The Quiet Zone infinity pool faces out over the lagoon and includes an open-air tented lounge on the beach accompanied by a bar offering both food and drinks throughout the day. Specifically for adults, this quieter area offers day-beds and music from morning until late evening.

Among the new enhancements being made at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, according to a press release from Hilton, the property is also now welcoming guests to Deluxe Beach Villas. Designed by MURAKA’s design collaborator Yuji Yamazaki, the resort has invested $8.3 million in redeveloping its 42 award-winning Deluxe Beach Villas, which also launch this month.

“From the first construction of Ithaa Undersea Restaurant to our second venture under the Indian Ocean, THE MURAKA, we are continuously making powerful enhancements to the property that are designed to attract the world’s most connected and knowledgeable travelers,” said Stefano Ruzza, general manager of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island.