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Stay: Photo Essay

By Christine Pemberton

Off the coast off Africa lies the island of Zanzibar.
Off the coast of Zanzibar lies the island of Pemba.
Off the coast of Pemba floats an underwater room.
A beyond-idyllic floating island.
Welcome to the Underwater Room.

Don't believe us? That little speck, out in the turquoise ocean...yes indeed. The Underwater Room.

Underwater Room Image

Welcome to paradise, in the form of The Underwater Room.
Just imagine, your very own room, floating in the Indian Ocean, surrounded by coral reefs, shallow lagoons and reef fish of every size and colour. And it's just for you (or for the 2 of you). But that's it. Only 2 people, maximum.
Pretty close to anyone's definition of paradise.

Underwater Room Image

The Underwater Room is on 3 levels : the landing deck, the roof lounge and the bedroom, which is underwater.

Underwater Room Image

And just in case you were wondering whether the Underwater Room really floats...well, it is tethered, as you can see from this above-and-below look at one of the most amazing rooms to be found.

Underwater Room Image

A fish eye view of your room. Literally. Designed by the Swedish designer and artist Mikael Genberg, the room is tethered to the ocean floor by cables, which are slowly becoming home to coral formations and reef fish.

Underwater Room Image

Just a dot on the horizon, your floating room as seen from the beach.
The room lies approximately 250m from the shore, about a 2min boat ride over the crystal clear waters of the Manta house reef.

Underwater Room Image

A ladder leads up to the roof which has a lounging area - for sun worshipping by day and by night you can lie back in the starlight and wonder at the extraordinary clarity of the stars, planets and above all, the edge of our own galaxy - the wonderful Milky Way - all seen without any light pollution.

Underwater Room Image

Then downstairs - the magical feeling of lying on a soft double bed surrounded by panes of glass affording almost 360 degree views - watching the shoals of reef fish. Some have taken up residence around the room, which affords them some protection from predators.

Underwater Room Image

Meet Nick, the curious trumpet fish who is a regular visitor. He seems to like the company, since he constantly swims around the room, seemingly peeping inside.

Underwater Room Image

By night, the underwater spotlights beneath each window around the room attract the shyer nocturnal creatures, for instance squid. Coral is already establishing itself on the anchoring lines and around the underwater structure. Octopus and even Spanish Dancers have been seen attaching themselves to the glass panes.

Underwater Room Image

With a fabulous coral reef like this, small wonder that there are so many varieties of fish to be seen from the Underwater Room.

Underwater Room Image

A sunset like no other. Soon, your dinner will be delivered. By boat. What else?
As we said, paradise.





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