Thursday, April 22, 2010

Conrad Maldvies' World's First All-Glass Under-Sea Restaurant Celebrates Fifth Anniversary

Ithaa, the world’s first all-glass undersea restaurant at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island celebrated its fifth anniversary. And to celebrate, the resort is offering guests the chance to spend the night under-water by turning the restaurant into an exclusive suite for two, complete with private champagne dinner and breakfast in bed.

Sitting five meters below the waves of the Indian Ocean, surrounded by a vibrant coral reef and encased in clear glass, the restaurant has hosted over 43,800 diners*, 151 under-sea ‘Renewal of Love’ ceremonies and been witness to the consumption of over 14,235 bottles of the ‘house wine’ champagne since opening.

Using aquarium technology, “Ithaa” meaning “pearl” in the Maldivian language of Divehi, was built to allow guests to enjoy the color, clarity and beauty of the Indian Ocean without getting their feet wet.

Ithaa consists of three five-meter wide x 125mm thick glass arches sitting one meter below the sea level during low tide and almost two meters at high tide, the widest constructed underwater structure in the world at the time of building. The inside of the restaurant is nine meters long and five meters wide and sits above the seabed.

Such a unique restaurant deserves a distinctive cuisine, which is why Ithaa is the first and only restaurant in the world to offer fusion Maldivian cuisine, taking local spices, seasonings and traditional cooking methods, but adding a western twist to create an innovative style of cooking.

Diners at Ithaa Undersea Restaurant experience a set-menu composed of 23 different dishes over four courses; from Reef Fish with grape, almond and saffron reduction to Maldivian Banana and Chilli Mascarpone cream with refreshing crushed basil. A three-course lunchtime menu is also offered.

World-renowned wine-makers and Chefs have also flocked to Ithaa to host numerous food and wine events with highlights including visits from Hubert de Billy from Pol Roger who will help celebrate the anniversary this month; Frederic Engerer of Chateau Latour and Chef Mathieu Pacau of acclaimed Paris restaurant L’Ambroisie.

Seats: 12 people (children may join for lunch while dinner is reserved for over 16’s only).
Open: Daily lunch & dinner at 12:30 and 6:30. There is one seating for each meal.
Concept: Contemporary fusion-Maldivian cuisine, under the sea.
Price: Dinner: US $320 per person. Lunch: US $195 per person

Did you know?
• There has never been water inside Ithaa. It was built on dry land and dropped into the ocean in one piece.
• The total cost of building totalled about US $5 million.
• Ithaa Undersea Restaurant weighs 175 tons, with an additional 85 tons of sand ballast placed beneath the floor to weight it down.
• At lunchtime, it is so bright inside Ithaa that diners and waiting staff need to wear sunglasses. The resort keeps extra sunglasses handy in case a diner forgets to bring theirs and offers a sunglass cleaning service during lunch.

About the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
Set in a picturesque corner of the Maldives, the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island combines three distinct resort experiences on two islands, linked by a bridge and surrounded by a vibrant coral reef and lagoon. Accommodation includes 50 of the most luxurious Water Villas in the country, 79 exotic Beach Villas and 21 fabulous Spa Water Villas – the ultimate in pure indulgence.

About Conrad Hotels & Resorts
CONRAD HOTELS & RESORTS is Hilton Worldwide’s global contemporary luxury brand, offering a seamless intersection of life, business and pleasure for today’s sophisticated traveller. Each Conrad hotel is a dynamic reflection of its city and culture, as well as a showcase for striking design and distinct surroundings. With hotels & resorts across six continents, the world’s gateway cities and most sought-after resort destinations, Conrad invites each guest to enjoy the personalized service and business savvy that truly delivers The Luxury of Being Yourself?. For further


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