Sunday, April 18, 2010

Stay In An Underwater Hotel Room

Yesterday, Ithaa, the world"s first all-glass under-sea restaurant at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island will celebrate 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 metres 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 colour, clarity and beauty of the Indian Ocean without getting their feet wet.

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


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