Maldives

Book now for the best underwater adventure

Book now for the best underwater adventure




Brando’s guests gain access to some of the most impressive dive sites in the world
(Brando)

Land exploration is so last century. Cardmembers of Travelers’ Century Club – globetrotters who have visited more than 100 countries – are increasingly drawn to being underwater, where more and more heightened experiences await them. On our radar is a luxury submarine called Lover’s Deep, considered the most expensive ultra-luxury hotel suite in the world.

We’ve taken more waiver-free ways (let’s keep this on at least one page) to channel your inner Jacques Cousteau to communicate with marine wildlife, or simply in the Deep Living – Luxurious living on the water in bright colours.

The sparkling pool at The Brando is perfect for sunrise workouts and sunset cocktails (Jeremy Austin/The Brando)

We can never see the true state of the neurotic complex unless it is shown to us by comparison. Underwater, we cannot breathe without mental discipline. This has always been the allure of deep sea diving in my mind. It lies in the extreme contrast between swimming with whales in Bora Bora and swimming with sharks in a mediocre outback base.

Brando’s backyard in Tetiaroa Atoll is the kind of place where you feel as if everything outside this coveted sapphire necklace corner of the South Pacific ceases to exist. Thirty miles northeast of Tahiti, Tetiaroa is a collection of more than a dozen small islands ringed by a sparkling azure lagoon. There are very few places on earth that can tick every box on your underwater adventure wish list, and this is certainly one of the most chic.

Named after previous owner Marlon, Brando’s mythology isn’t based on stories of fleeting encounters. This place speaks of long, languid, unraveling experiences that leave you breathless. The resort is home to Topdive, helmed by the region’s most trusted diving experts; and the majestic new Giant swim experience.

Anantara Kihavah Maldives’ underwater restaurant is a fascinating experience
(Anantara Kihavah, Maldives)

The divemasters here work overtime to maximize your chances of swimming with 66,000-pound humpback whales. The euphoria begins once you’re in the water with two freight train chain-sized behemoths. You’re a guppy pulling out all the stops to keep up with a meandering giant dolphin. Such an underwater spectacle is chilling, and just when your pulse slows down, you’ll be engulfed in ecstasy by giant schools of guppies.

The likes of Leo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp and Pierce Brosnan have returned, likely attracted by Brando’s record on privacy and Topdive’s solid reputation. Let’s face it, if your franchise business is underwritten by Lloyd’s of London, you can’t do two-bits lightly. Former President Barack Obama stayed for six weeks in 2017, and since the only way to get here is via Brando’s Air Tetiaroa (or a very long boat ride), it’s all but paparazzi-proof.

Horizontal hedonism is more suitable for you? Retreat to the InterContinental Bora Bora Thalasso, where underwater luxury means a massage from James Cameron himself. Pampering is a highlight, breaking the orthodoxy of traditional spa menus – Deep Ocean Spa bungalows feature glass-bottomed floors; calm the marine life below while drooling on silky facial braces. No one here will try to make you wear paper panties.

Shangri-La Al-Husn, Muscat is one of the most luxurious resorts on the coast of Oman
(Shangri-La Al Husn, Muscat)

The downside to Baden-Baden spas is that they sneak you a disposable briefcase and expect you to wear it. This diaper silliness with no obvious front or back is second only to Hokkaido’s cheese-cut thongs. Here, the focus is on unfettered, unhindered happiness. Therapists drape in linen like nimble ninjas, trained to protect modesty while masking your tenderness.

The Maldives is another go-to water playground for jet-setters around the world. The $15 million Conrad Maldives Rangali Island debuted in 2018 with Muraka, a luxury suite submerged 16 feet below the water’s surface. Conrad Maldives is also home to Ithaa, a rather upmarket undersea restaurant. This luscious pearl of the estate delivers premium underwater endorphins and lush vegetation in a lagoon the color of Olivia Wilde’s watery eyes, like a big-budget fantasy film scene in .

For culinary enthusiasts, Anantara Kehava Maldives Villas is located in Baa Atoll, a famous UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, with the richest and most diverse marine life in the world, offering SEA, underwater restaurant and wine cellar, offering the country’s first Certified wine education. Expand your wine knowledge and gain the globally recognized WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) accreditation on your next holiday. The resort’s wine collection is worth more than $2 million.

Aerial view of The Muraka, the underwater residence of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
(Photo by Justin Nicholas)

for those who are not twenty thousand leagues under the sea Shangri-La Al Husn Like to temper underwater adventures with copious amounts of lobster and caviar, Shangri-La Al Husn is a rare utopia on the coast of Oman. This is one of the only sea turtle nesting sites in Oman, and turtles are often seen while diving or snorkeling here.

Sneak into breeding grounds for endangered hawksbill hawksbills by day; at dusk, assist Mohammed Al Hassani, the resort’s full-time turtle ranger who grew up in a nearby fishing village, patrol turtle nests and help hatchlings when called upon by duty Turtles need a hand hammock when out in the sea.

Oman is one of the most important regions in the world for sea turtles, with five species of sea turtles visiting these waters, four of which nest on its shores. The Shangri-La Hotel is built on a hill, overlooking the clear waters of the Gulf of Oman, and has a private beach.

The world’s first underwater bar, Hendrick’s Neptune, recently made waves in Madrid (Hendrick’s Neptunia Pubmarine)

This exclusive adults-only enclave is oozing with sexiness and modern sophistication, incorporating Dhofari architecture in classic Middle Eastern tropes. Each of the 180 luxurious bedrooms has a balcony or terrace, all overlooking the ocean from one of Muscat’s most palatial resorts – the Ferraris, Bentleys and Bugattis with valet parking are simply stunning. match.

Fancy a gin and tonic under the sea? Last May, the first underwater bar opened to a lucky few in Madrid. The Hendrick’s Neptunia Pubmarine was born out of the sea legends that inspired the Scottish distillery’s latest limited edition gin, Hendrick’s Neptunia. The Victorian-designed bar is immersed in one of the cosmopolitan city’s main aquariums, with intrepid attendees toasting gin underwater, thanks to state-of-the-art diving tanks specially designed for the purpose.

Encapsulating the alluring magic of the sea in a bottle, the seductive juniper base elongates the rich earthiness and clean citrus notes of Scottish coastal botanicals. The unique underwater experience revolves around a variety of marine species: sharks, bullnose rays, and even the mythical mermaid. Talk about testing your Lothario eye contact game in a diving helmet. Slightly drunk underwater flirting has never been more alluring.



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