We’ve all dreamed about life under the sea. Catchy Disney songs aside, we’ve grown up fantasizing about holding our breaths longer—or simply being able to breathe like a fish—so we could stay the cool wilderness of an underwater world. Such a power would give us the opportunity to explore deep sea caves, witness existence in the depths of the ocean, behold some of the most colorful wildlife on the planet, and meditate in an expansive, noiseless, and relaxing space. This week’s #BirthdayBucketList is about finally making good on that wild hope.
At The Manta Resort on Tanzania’s Pemba Island, you get the closest you ever will to your wish. Here, you can stay underwater for hours, days, or weeks! That's because off the coast is a breathtaking underwater room of windows with a very soft bed in it. Turquoise waves roll around the Swedish-engineered floating structure just above the reef floor, and you get to be a part of it. You get to live underwater without having to worry about oxygen levels. Simply put, it’s the hotel room we’ve always dreamed of, ever since we were kids.
The Exciting Exploits of an Underwater Vacation
The bluest hotel room in the world is a double bed surrounded by glass, and it easily makes for one of the most unique stays you could ever have. With a nearly 360-degree viewing of colorful reef and its fascinating inhabitants, any guest here goes to sleep with a seemingly endless blue landscape encircling it.
Your Own Private Resort
While the underwater room itself is the main draw (and truly a spectacular sight to see), you have much more space to roam. In fact, your ocean hideaway is three levels. Above the bedroom and atop the soft murmuring sea is a landing deck, where you'll find a lounge area and bathroom facility. From there, you can escape up a ladder to the roof. That's where you can lay out on an outdoor bed to welcome the sunlight of morning—as well as afternoon, given your tremendous lack of a to-do list—and at night behold the dazzling Milky Way and stargaze until slumber.
A Different Show at Night
You certainly don't have to rely on daylight to witness the magnificent life of local sea creatures. With spotlights beneath each underwater window, shyer and more curious animals come out to play, such as squid, octopus, and spanish dancers. Heck, some of them will even attach themselves to the panes. To them, the underwater room doesn’t seem as weird and out of place as you might assume, since coral has taken to disguising its exterior.
Choose Your Own Adventure
Although relaxing your mind, body, and soul is certainly an option, it is by no means your only option. The level of adventure here is up to you. Pemba Island offers tours and excursions of all kinds on land and at sea. Arranged at the resort, your interests drive your activities.
On land, you can visit the Kipepeo Spa, stroll through local villages, take a lighthouse walk, do a guided tour through the ancient Ngezi Forest, or seek out the local Pemba Flying fox (known only to the island). You can even sail to an isolated sandbank of white coral sand stretched between azure waters for an other-worldly saunter or beachy nap.
At sea, there's snorkeling to be had or learning the ways of the traditional dhow sailboat. Perhaps best of all is the sunset cruise by way of an ngalawa, a traditional sailing vessel used by local island fisherman. Even just diving and swimming from your little floating slice of paradise is an ideal way to spend your time.
Venue + Photos: The Manta Resort