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Extraordinary Eating Places: Underwater Restaurants

by K Kristie on 27/11/08 at 1:42 am

The world’s first all-glass undersea restaurant offers a 360 degree view of the breathtaking marine life in Maldives, while the world’s very first underwater restaurant in Eilat, Israel was a green project.

Imagine dining on fish while its mother stares at you. This is probably what eating at these two restaurants will be like. It’s like a diving experience without getting wet. It’s like eating inside an aquarium but we will still be looking in awe at the vibrant colorful marine life more, rather than the creatures looking at their underwater guests. Unlike what humans do to the fish in an aquarium, there wont be no tapping on the glass as the whole school looks at us, if ever it does.

Ithaa Undersea Restaurant

The world’s first all-glass underwater restaurant opened on April 2005 at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island (formerly Hilton Maldives Resort and Spa) in Rangalifinolhu, Maldives. Ithaa (pronounced eet-ha) which means “pearl” in Dhivehi is a five-by-nine meter transparent acrylic encased under water restaurant that seats 12 guests. The restaurant is submerged five meters below the Indian Ocean and offers diners a 360-degree panoramic view of coral reef and marine life. Ithaa serves Maldivian-Western fusion and international dishes that costs US$120 to US$250 a meal. It’s best to eat here during lunchtime since the view is at its best when the sun is shining. The restaurant is open Mondays through Sundays from 12:30am to 11:00 pm.

According to reviews, despite the tasty food being served at Ithaa, diners can’t pay much attention to their food. They are too fascinated by the breathtaking underwater view surrounding them. Being one with the vibrant aquatic life for some time also made them feel like marine creatures themselves.

Red Sea Star Underwater Restaurant, Bar and Observatory

image source

Submerged six meters below the Red Sea is the world’s very first underwater bar and restaurant, the Red Sea Star Restaurant, Bar and Observatory. Each table has two windows on the side and one above giving diners an octopus eye-view of the kaleidoscope beauty of the undersea kingdom. Ironically, the guest’s attention tends to get torn between the magnificent sea creatures in the colorful coral garden outside and the marine looking creatures and shapes inside such as the jellyfish stools and anemone lighting fixtures. The restaurant offers continental cuisine with the main course priced between USD$10-20. It seats 105 guests and is open daily including weekends and holidays from 10 am to 1 am.

Before the Red Sea Star was built in 1998, the area on where it now sits was a dirty and desolate seabed caused by severe damage due to illegal human activities. Four years before it opened for business, the “Star” team started growing a coral nursery surrounding the reef to save, recreate and preserve what used to be an active and colorful coral reef 20 years ago. Now, it has also become the only underwater night observatory in the world where the softly lit rare sight of the underwater kingdom at night is seen through the Star’s 62 amorphous windows.

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39 Comments

Frugal Expat

Nov 27th, 2008

cool

anbc

Nov 27th, 2008

i like it. very informative

Leo Reyes

Nov 27th, 2008

great places to see. nice pictures and informative article.

K Kristie

Nov 27th, 2008

Thanks Cyra, anbc and Leo!
All the best!

Peggy Toolen

Nov 27th, 2008

I knew someone would eventually come up with an underwater restaurant. I wrote a romance several years ago and in one of my scenes there was an underwater restaurant similar to the first picture. Awesome that someone actually built one. I wonder how they build something like that underwater.

Lito Apostolakou

Nov 27th, 2008

Fascinating!

Daniel

Nov 27th, 2008

Well done!

Rana Sinha

Nov 27th, 2008

Cool! Two places to drop in.

ferris

Nov 27th, 2008

Both of those are so cool!

Nice article.

Jaybeef

Nov 27th, 2008

Very different, Nice article

valli

Nov 27th, 2008

Cool stuff!

K Kristie

Nov 27th, 2008

Peggy, Ithaa was built on land and was submerged underwater. Thank you for dropping by.

Thank you also to Daniel, Rana, Runner, Jaybeef and valli. Your comments made me smile. :)

joystick7

Nov 27th, 2008

This was mind Boggling!! Good one!

Heather Pasternak

Nov 27th, 2008

Cool article. I’d still feel weird eating seafood if the fish were looking at me though. :-) Maybe something else on the menu.

leistat

Nov 28th, 2008

Marvelous! Wish I could visit one of those someday. . .

Amit Goyal

Nov 28th, 2008

The Red Sea Star looks exquisite! Interesting article Kristie!

K Kristie

Nov 28th, 2008

I’ll go with you leistat. :) Thanks joystick, Heather, and Amit.
I really appreciate your comments.

Will Gray

Nov 28th, 2008

What a cool article! Great pics!

Lisa Clayton Williams

Nov 28th, 2008

Interesting article and wonderful pictures!!

LP Jardine

Nov 28th, 2008

That’s different, interesting. Great first picture.

kiran8

Nov 28th, 2008

Fantastic write up and the pictures are lovely :)

eddiego65

Nov 28th, 2008

This is truly awesome. Fantastic pictures, too.

CHAN LEE PENG

Nov 29th, 2008

Great experience here! Take care!

Lauren Axelrod

Nov 29th, 2008

This would be a one of a kind experience. Excellent topic!

C Jordan

Nov 29th, 2008

They look wonderful

Richard Helland

Nov 29th, 2008

How did you find it:)
Great pictures

Sh1n0b1

Nov 29th, 2008

Awesome article and I also want to tell you that there are also resteraunts that takes you up into the air to enjoy yet not only the fascinating food but also the beautiful view of the ground. Literally putting it as a “Sky” Resteraunt doesn’t mean that it is on plane. :) Just wanted to give you a heads up!

Jasin

Nov 30th, 2008

Another great article, keep it up.

R J Evans

Nov 30th, 2008

Would love to eat in these restaurants! Great article – thanks for the info!

Tina Marshall

Dec 11th, 2008

These are incredible! Although probably not a great place for chlastrophobics.

Also, I found a great post on the new Peterman’s Eye Travel where you can post photos like these, ect. Thought I’d share!

http://www.petermanseye.com/travel/travel/426-on-the-road-to-burgundy-4-ch-teau-des-raynauds

Cheers!

silentangel6107

Dec 13th, 2008

I think it’s cool that there are underwater dining places, I would just never go to one. I am very intimidated by water.

rutherfranc

Feb 2nd, 2009

wow! just like eating in Atlantis!

Likha

Feb 2nd, 2009

E pano kung nabasag ang glass diyan? Malamang Dyesebel ang labas natin nyan. Yan e kung marunong tayong lumangoy. Pero seriously, maganda ang mga pics. Sana may ganyan din tayo sa Pinas.

CutestPrincess

Feb 7th, 2009

great articles and the pictures are awesome!

Nikiy

Mar 3rd, 2009

this is a great idea!! :) my friends & i are doing a report on this for our business class any pointers?

The Quail

Mar 17th, 2009

Awesome article and awesome ideas.

Joni Keith

Mar 19th, 2009

What a fantastic article. I think I\’d rather go for the view than the food, too. How great of the people who built the Red Sea Star to take something terrible we humans had done and turn it into something beautiful. I really enjoyed this.

leeaspro

Jul 16th, 2009

how do you actually get to the restaurant from land is there a stairwell or do u dive to it or what ?

Lady Sapphire

Apr 15th, 2010

This is cool . Going out to lunch or dinner one day , and having a meal with marine life all around you .
Sounds like a good idea . However i don’t want to be the quests who end up on the marine creatures menu when some idiot taps of the glass , and antagonises one of the sharks , and makes them angry enough to ram and the glass and crack it . The restaurant then get a water leak , and the restaurnt gets flooded .
Im sure if it safe , though it be scary if anything bad happen.

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