Under the sea
A hotel with a difference, off the coast of Zanzibar, will thrill travellers who crave privacy.
SET off Pemba Island, also known as the Green Island in Arabic, guests of The Manta Resort’s underwater room are dropped off at a self-contained hotel which literally drifts at sea.
Guests can sunbathe on the top deck of their private island accommodations by day and dine on a lounge deck at water level. By night, they can dive into the sea to access their hotel room, where they nod off amongst the fishes and their marine surroundings.
For an ethereal effect, the suite, which is built 4m below the surface, is lit by underwater spotlights to provide a backlit projection of the Indian Ocean’s tropical sanctuary.
Part of the experience also lies in its isolation and underdevelopment as a tourist destination.
The most reliable way to access Pemba Island is by chartered flights from Zanzibar. And while interest in the region is growing amongst divers for its unspoiled reefs, do you have travel news you would like to share with readers? Or maybe you know of a new gadget that makes travelling bliss? Share anything newsworthy or new at star2travel@ thestar.com.my. Note that this space is not for listing of events or announcements and that we reserve the right to edit all submissions. the area has yet to be paved by large-scale resorts and tourist crowds.
The suite is designed by Swedish outfit Genberg Underwater Hotels, which opened its first underwater property in a Swedish lake near Stockholm in the year 2000.
The Utter Inn is a single room that lies 3m below the surface and contains twin beds and a table.
Meanwhile, the Manta Resort is the latest underwater guest experience to shake up the hotel industry.
While the conventional trend has been to look skyward and snag bragging rights to building the tallest hotel or the highest penthouse, other hoteliers have been looking the other way, designing properties that maximise the beauty of tropical underwater environments.
Room rates at The Manta Resort start at US$750 (RM2,423) per person a night. – AFP Relaxnews MORE than a hundred passengers aboard a Southwest flight in the United States were greeted by Nintendo’s moustachioed, suspenderwearing Mario character and given free HD video game systems as part of a special collaboration between the two brands.
On a flight between New Orleans and Dallas, flyers were given free Wii U Deluxe Sets, part of a larger collaboration that includes Nintendo gaming lounges set up in some of the airline’s busiest airports.
Until Dec 22, passengers waiting to board their flights at airports like Dallas Love Field, Chicago (Midway), Denver, Atlanta, Tampa Bay and St Louis will be able to pass the time playing a free round of “Super Mario 3D World”, among other games.
Southwest and Nintendo aren’t the first to come up with the idea of capitalising on idle wait times by offering gaming centres.
Singapore’s award-winning Changi Airport has a permanent Entertainment Deck in Terminal 2 that features an Xbox Kinect Room where players can work up a sweat playing virtual rounds of beach volleyball, boxing or soccer. The centre also offers Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 games.
Visitors to www.southwest.com/nintendo can also enter a contest for their chance to win a pair of round-trip airline tickets and a Wii U system. Winners are selected every day. – AFP Relaxnews
Mind-blowing: Guests enjoying their private island accommodation at the manta resort. — aFP photo