Un­der the sea

A ho­tel with a dif­fer­ence, off the coast of Zanz­ibar, will thrill trav­ellers who crave pri­vacy.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - TRAVEL -

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

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