A seaside restaurant with a front-row view of the beautiful blue waters will have diners waiting in line for hours to get a seat. You can only imagine the kind of stir caused by a restaurant that puts diners right in the center of the action — below the sea and with a front-row view of aquatic creatures ranging from sharks to rays to schools of fish.
Located in the Hilton Maldives Resort & Spa on Rangali Island, Ithaa is billed as the world’s first undersea restaurant.
Ithaa, which means “mother of pearl” in Dhivehi, the native language of the Maldives, is encased in a clear, acrylic structure that provides a gorgeous panoramic view of the deep blue waters of the Indian Ocean. The restaurant sits 5 meters under the sea (that’s a little over 16 feet for us Americans), and it is surrounded by coral reefs that feature an abundant and diverse variety of aquatic life.
Guests at Ithaa start their dining experience above water, enjoying cocktails on the restaurant’s deck. A spiral staircase then takes them down into the small dining room below for their main course. The cuisine features a mix of contemporary European and Asian influences and is described as “Maldivian-Western fusion.” The menu is seasonal and changes often. Expect to spend anywhere from $120 to $250 per person.
As you might expect, seating is a hot commodity at Ithaa. Not only is it a popular restaurant with a long waiting list, but it also has limited seating on the floor. In fact, the exclusive restaurant only seats 14 people in its 5-by-9 metre dining room (just a little over 16 feet by almost 30 feet). The restaurant recommends making reservations up to 14 days in advance, though you’ll probably have to call much further out than that.
If you are keen for a tropical vacation, consider taking a trip to the Maldives, where you can enjoy beautiful view both above and below the water. The Ithaa restaurant will be a one-of-a-kind experience that you can tell your friends about for years to come. Plus, if you aren’t a big fan of the water, or don’t know how to swim, the Ithaa restaurant gives you the opportunity to see ocean life up close and personal without ever having to get wet.
Best Time to Go
If you want the best view under the sea, the best time to visit is from January to April when the waters are calm and the sun is bright. Visibility in the waters can reach up to 30 meters during these months, allowing you to see a wide variety of sea life.
The bragging rights here will simply be getting a table. You can wait for weeks or months to get a space at the exclusive restaurant.
Expect dinner at Ithaa to cost anywhere from $120 to $250 per person — more if you are drinking cocktails or wine.
The dress code at Ithaa is “smart,” but many diners have reported seeing tourists turn up in shorts and t-shirts. However, if you’re paying so much to eat at such an exclusive restaurant, we recommend wearing something nice to make an occasion of it.
Check out the website of the Conrad Hotels & Resorts for more information about Ithaa, including the hours of operation.
Have you been to the Ithaa restaurant? Tell us about your experience in the comments!
Alexis Bonari writes for one of the largest open databases of college funding opportunities. Specific topics like college grants and scholarships are described in detail to provide multiple resources for students.