This morning we woke up to roadworks, drizzle and an empty cereal box. In our dream life, we would look out the window of our underwater hotel room in Zanzibar and see a sea turtle staring back at us.
Zanzibar’s Pemba Island is home to The Manta Resort – a tranquil getaway for anyone who really needs a slice of pure, unadulterated paradise. The whole place is a paradise! But hold on, it’s the Underwater Room that’s made us sit up with excitement. This three-level floating hotel room lets you spend the night submerged in the Indian Ocean. Remind you of another underwater room? And it should, as it was inspired by Utter Inn in Sweden.
Your adventure begins with a short boat ride from the resort to the Underwater Room. And you’re completely on your own out here. So enjoy a light lunch and then go exploring – a kayak, snorkel and fins are provided. Or maybe you might prefer to just lounge about on one of the three levels – the roof, the sun deck or the underwater bedroom.
Because the room is a permanent fixture, a few little ocean chaps and chapettes have worked out that it’s a cool place to stay. Foe starters, it gives them protection from pesky predators. And secondly, now that coral has started growing on the structure, it’s become a natural part of the underwater world.
You can expect to see are three resident batfish, an array of trumpet fish, squid and octupuses. There is also a fun creatures called a Spanish dancers! We had to look them up; we were expecting scuba-diving flamenco dancers, but actually they are nudibranches. NUDIBRANCHES!
From your bedroom window, you can watch these critters go about their sea-business. Sometimes you’ll even find one suckered to the glass in some sort of weird underwater welcome. And if being under the sea gets too overwhelming, you can choose to sleep under the stars on the roof bed. In the morning, breakfast will be delivered. Oh, and there’s a fully-stocked bar-fridge, too. Have an open-air shower, sit back and sip a G&T and contemplate the fact that life (under the sea) is beautiful.
The Underwater Room at The Manta Resort, Pemba Island, Zanzibar
The resort is open all year, but it’s worth bearing in mind that Pemba Island has two rainy seasons – March to May, and October to December.
What you need to know:
Just to be clear: this is a remote island off the east coast of Africa. And probably as far away from civilisation you might ever get. The Manta Resort is not a 5-star luxury resort, so if you’re expecting glitz and glamour you might be disappointed. However, if you are looking for serenity and close encounters with nature this place is paradise.