In the Maldives, the Hurawalhi Island Resort is pulling out the stops to offer trendy surprises like the world’s largest all-glass underwater restaurant, swoons Feizal Samath
At the all-adult Hurawalhi Island Resort, 5.8m below sea level. The resort is a 40-minute seaplane ride from Malé International Airport.
The immense feat and cost of transporting this all-glass restaurant constructed in New Zealand and installing it underwater has paid off handsomely.
‘Unforgettable’ is the word to describe being surrounded by every imaginable fish variety and ocean life – clownfish, yellowfin tuna, snapper, parrotfish, batfish, octopus, etc – seamlessly floating all around barring the floor, which is the only piece of furniture that doesn’t have open-to-the-ocean acrolite glass.
The spectacle is well-kept with the acrolite glass being cleaned up to twice a day.
While this provides a window into the beautiful marine world, the space is also great for an intimate dining experience, with capacity for no more than 16 pax or eight couples.
Being a music buff, I thought the experience was enhanced with a great choice of music – from Van Morrison’s Brown Eyed Girl to Bob Dylan’s The Times They Are A Changin’.
The restaurant is open for lunch (one seating) and dinner (two seatings).
The US$280 dinner menu begins with diver scallops and ends with Baileys coconut praline. My personal favourite was the main course – Angus beef with Asian barbecue corn. Also included in the meal is the yellowfin tuna with cucumber wasabi sesame ponzu.
But the icing on the cake or coup d’etat of the evening was not simply the food. To quote one delightful newspaper headline, it was “Not seafood but ‘seefood’!”
Each dish is expertly explained to guests by the chef and his team. Beyond this, service was unobtrusive as we were allowed to tuck into our food amid the occasional shuffle of fish above!
Breathtaking and in a class of its own – you don’t often get to enjoy a meal in the company of ocean creatures.
Location Hurawalhi Island, Lhaviyani Atoll, Maldives
Opening hours Lunch (one seating); dinner (two seatings)
Tel: (960) 662 2000