This Island Resort Offers a Hybrid Overwater/Underwater Bungalow

At the Manta Resort, located on Pemba Island off Africa’s east coast, you can stay overwater and sleep underwater.

June 5, 2018
This Island Resort Offers a Hybrid Overwater/Underwater Bungalow Courtesy Manta Resort

The Manta Resort, located on Pemba Island off Africa’s east coast, offers one type of accommodation we haven’t seen before: an overwater bungalow with an underwater bedroom. (Underwater bungalows are the new overwater bungalows.) The three-story digs feature an ocean-level lounge deck, a roof sundeck and a submerged bedroom. Plus, it’s all-inclusive, luxurious and super private — the perfect combo for a honeymoon or romantic getaway. Here are five reasons to book Manta Resort’s Underwater Room.

The Underwater Room at Manta Resort

1. Ultimate Privacy

The Underwater Room at Manta Resort Courtesy Manta Resort

Pemba Island is remote, Manta Resort is even more remote and the Underwater Room, located in a blue hole 800 feet offshore from the resort, is as remote as it gets. If you’re looking to get off the grid with your one and only, this is the ideal place. A short boat ride from the property and you’re left to your own devices with a kayak, snorkel gear and a fully stocked bar fridge — and a mobile phone should you need to call hotel staff. Plus, a security guard is anchored at a nearby buoy to ensure your complete privacy. Breakfast and dinner are delivered at pre-arranged times, for no unexpected interruptions, and the bungalow is a WiFi-free zone, so there’s plenty of time to reconnect with each other. Good to know: Since the whole structure floats — it’s held in place by lines anchoring it to the ocean floor — don’t forget to pack Dramamine if you’re prone to motion sickness.

Sleep Beneath the Indian Ocean

2. Sleep Beneath the Indian Ocean

A hybrid overwater/underwater bungalow Courtesy Manta Resort

The villa’s floating bedroom lies 13 feet below the Indian Ocean’s surface, and features a 360-degree view of the deep blue. It’s cozy, with barely more room than the double bed it holds, but it’s air conditioned for comfortable sleeping. (But let’s be honest, who’s going to sleep when you’ve got 24-hour fish TV to entertain you?) Trumpet fish, batfish, barracuda are among the species you’ll spot and in the evenings, underwater spotlights attract the shyer creatures, among them squid, octopus and Spanish dancers.

Bonus Overwater Bungalow Vibes

3. Bonus Overwater Bungalow Vibes

Watch the fish swim by from your bedroom Courtesy Manta Resort

In addition to the underwater awesomeness, you get one of the best features of an overwater bungalow. A ladder leads up to the villa’s top level, which features a sun deck that’s ideal for catching some rays and for taking the plunge directly into the ocean — just like an overwater bungalow. Bonus: it’s the perfect spot for peeping the Milky Way at night since there’s virtually no light pollution in the area.

The top of the underwater room

4. Luxury with a Clear Conscience

Dive in from the rooftop deck Courtesy Manta Resort

Manta Resort works hard at sustainability; they’ve turned nearly a ½ mile of coastline into a nature reserve and have worked with local authorities to conserve the Pemba channel area. They’ve also made strides in removing crown of thorn starfish from the area. The creature preys on coral, leaving it dead and disrupting the ecosystem, so its removal ensures rich marine life for years to come.

viewing the fish from the underwater room

5. Bragging Rights

Staying in the Underwater Room is a one-of-a-kind experience Courtesy Manta Resort

Its remoteness and its price tag ($1,700 per couple per night, all-inclusive) make it a luxury that few will indulge in, so you’ll be the first — and probably the only — of your friends to call this underwater bungalow your home for the night. Just think of all the envy-inducing Instagram photos you can snap during your stay.


Watch the video above to see what it’s like to stay there.


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