Inside The World’s First Undersea Restaurant – Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, Maldives

ithaa undersea restaurant maldives
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The Maldives is a paradise made up of over a thousand islands in the Indian Ocean. Each island is like a picture-perfect postcard, with white sands and crystal-clear turquoise waters. It’s a dream destination for everyone, especially couples and solo travelers.

The Maldives is famous for its incredible marine life. Snorkeling or diving here is amazing, with colorful coral reefs teeming with tropical fish, turtles, and even majestic manta rays and whale sharks. It’s a magical experience that you’ll never forget. In this blog post, you will find out what it’s like to dine underwater in the Maldives.

In addition to its natural beauty, the Maldives is also known for its luxurious resorts, where you can indulge in world-class accommodations, dining, and spa experiences. If you are visiting the Maldives, make sure to purchase an affordable mobile data plan with 8GB to stay connected until the end of your vacation, as Wi-Fi can be pretty spotty in the Maldives. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or an adventure-filled escape, the Maldives has something for everyone.

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The Maldives is also home to the first underwater restaurant in the world. Ithaa, which means “mother of pearl” in Dhivehi, is located in the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island hotel, which occupies two private islands, Rangali and Rangalifinolhu. This hotel has seven restaurants, including the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant. This undersea restaurant offers more than just a meal; it’s an adventure beneath the waves. Imagine enjoying tasteful food and champagne 16 ft (5 m) under the ocean, surrounded by the vibrant marine life of the Indian Ocean. The restaurant’s acrylic walls provide a 180-degree panoramic view, with tropical fish, sharks, and stingrays looking at you while you eat.

Constructed with cutting-edge materials, it withstands the ocean’s pressures while offering a luxurious ambiance and amazing views. The interior is elegantly designed, blending modern aesthetics with comfort. Soft lighting and sophisticated decor create an incredible atmosphere. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion like an anniversary or engagement, or you’re just on the lookout for a unique experience, you will not be disappointed. It’s not just about the food; it’s about immersing oneself in the magic of the underwater world.

Ithaa Undersea Restaurant is also committed to sustainability and marine conservation. The restaurant sources local ingredients, supporting the Maldivian fishing community and ensuring the freshest flavors. Guests can enjoy their meal knowing that Ithaa prioritizes the health of the ocean. This commitment to both great food and experience, as well as ecological responsibility, sets Ithaa apart as a leader among unique restaurants worldwide.

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The Construction Of Ithaa Undersea Restaurant

Source: http://www.mjmurphy.co.nz/projects/underwaterrestaurants/tabit/300/Default.aspx https://www.researchgate.net/publication/271938855_’Aquatourism’_submerged_tourism_a_developing_area#pf5

The work on Ithaa’s designs and sketches started in March 2004. Due to technical issues and limited resources, it was decided to build Ithaa in Singapore instead of the Maldives and then transport it to the Maldives. The construction took five months and cost over £3 million. The plan initially included straight walls, but it was later decided to have arched walls made of acrylic, measuring 15 ft (5 m) wide and 29 ft (9 m) long.

ithaa undersea restaurant maldives
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The acrylic is sourced from Colorado, the structural timber, known as treated pine, originates from New Zealand, while the Western red cedar wood, originating from Canada, serves as both the outer and inner lining. The transportation from Singapore to the Maldives took 16 days, and it was carried on an ocean barge.

On November 19, 2004, Ithaa arrived in the Maldives and was submerged into the ocean with the help of around 80 tonnes of sand ballast. The weight of the Ithaa restaurant is 175 tonnes, so it was carefully placed into the ocean.

The construction is expected to last 20 years, but hopefully, it will last longer than that.

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ithaa undersea restaurant maldives

Ithaa Undersea Restaurant

Upon entering the above-water portion of Ithaa Undersea restaurant, you’ll be asked to remove your shoes. A beautiful custom-made table decorated with frangipani flowers adds a special touch. From there, you can descend the stairs to enter the lower part of this undersea restaurant.

Ithaa Undersea restaurant is relatively small, with only 7 tables, each seating 2 people, making a total of 14 seats. It’s recommended to reserve your seats in advance, and you can find reservation information here. Ithaa undersea restaurant is for adults only, so if you are traveling with kids keep that in mind.

ithaa undersea restaurant maldives
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The décor of this restaurant is intentionally simple, with the main focus on the large acrylic tunnel and the surrounding sea life. Floor and tables are made of wood, and table settings such as plates, napkins, and cutlery are of high-quality materials. Even the selection of 4 salts with different flavors comes in a custom-built wooden container made exclusively for Ithaa.

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Menu Options

ithaa undersea restaurant maldives
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Ithaa is the only restaurant worldwide to offer fusion Maldivian cuisine, making it truly unique. The chefs at Ithaa skillfully blend traditional Maldivian cooking methods and spices with a Western touch, creating a distinctive culinary experience. This mixture of flavors results in dishes that are both familiar and exotic, providing guests with a one-of-a-kind taste.

The menu at Ithaa is proof of their innovative approach. You can find luxurious dishes like caviar, crab, and Maldivian lobster infused with saffron. Other highlights include expertly prepared duck and fresh Maldivian white fish. Each dish is carefully prepared and beautifully decorated. Desserts are equally impressive, with options like truffles, pumpkin cheesecake, and mille-feuille.

Complementing the amazing food is an extensive selection of drinks. Ithaa has a selection of premium wines to pair with every dish. Champagne is also available for those looking to add an extra touch of elegance to their meal. The combination of exotic cuisine, fine drinks, and the restaurant’s stunning underwater setting makes dining at Ithaa an unforgettable experience.

Ithaa Undersea restaurant has a set lunch menu with four courses that costs about $220 per person and seven-course set menu dinner that costs about $330 per person. These prices don’t include taxes, which add about 22% to the price. It’s not cheap to eat here, but for this once-in-a-lifetime experience, it’s worth it. Every dish is carefully prepared with high-end ingredients and is aesthetically pleasing.

ithaa undersea restaurant maldives
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Cocktail Hour: A Budget-Friendly Option

For a more budget-friendly option, you can try the mid-day cocktail hour. It includes one drink and one small appetizer, perfect for those who prefer snapping photos over a full meal. The cocktail hour is daily from 11 am to 12 pm, and it costs about $85 per person. You can choose from a glass of Ruinart Champagne or juice. The small appetizers are pretty small, but again, you will probably be staring at fishes.

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A Conclusion On Ithaa Undersea Restaurant

Ithaa Undersea restaurant in the Maldives is truly special. Dining here is a mix of luxury and nature’s beauty. With only a few tables, it’s cozy and exclusive. The food is a delicious blend of Maldivian and Western flavors. The views of the underwater world are stunning. Every detail, from the views to the food, is top-notch. The staff is friendly and attentive, making sure you have everything you need. It’s perfect for a memorable occasion or a unique experience. If you get the chance, visiting Ithaa for a meal or cocktail hour is something you will never forget.

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