Staying at the Muraka: The $90k underwater hotel designed by a Kiwi

Telegraph Luxury Travel Editor John O’Ceallaigh was the first guest to check in to the Muraka – the world’s first undersea residence, designed by New Zealand engineer Michael Murphy.

After you’ve spent 48 hours immersed in a completely alien environment, it’s hard to pinpoint the most surreal moment, but I’ll never forget seeing the sun set from the sea bed – all alone, bone dry and with a glass of Ruinart in hand.

That morning, I had been the first-ever guest to check in at The Muraka at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island resort. It is the latest lavish, stand-alone villa to open at one of the country’s resorts, but it incorporates something unique: encased by a curved acrylic roof, its master suite stands 16ft below the sea’s surface. Billed as the world’s first undersea residence, it is an abode without compare.

Read more: Sleeping with the fishes… Kiwi’s $73,000 a night underwater hotel

My unconventional Maldivian sunset experience proved a case in point. Couples who visit what may be the world’s most predictable luxury honeymoon destination (with good reason, to be fair) will find every high-end resort capitalises on this reliably beautiful daily occurrence by repeating the same roster of themed events, from romantic dinners on the beach to dolphin-watching cruises.

The Muraka at Conrad Maldives Rangali Islandaccommodates up to six adults and three children. Itineraries are fully personalised and so rates vary. A four-night stay for two, incorporating the experiences referenced above, could cost approximately $365,000.

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