The mark of a fine waterfront dining establishment often boils down to just how close to the water you truly are. Whether they are stand-alone establishments or attached to a hotel property, that truism always remains. By the same token, one restaurant in particular is celebrating a remarkable occasion that brings that point home.
Today, the Conrad Hotel Group celebrated a momentous moment at their Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort. They announced plans for the tenth anniversary celebration of the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, which is part of the resort that is situated at the Alif Dhaal Atoll in the Republic of The Maldives. The name of the restaurant takes its name from the national language of Dhiravi, meaning ‘mother of pearl’. The Ithaa is the world’s first restaurant that is entirely submerged underwater, at 16 feet below sea level. It serves 14 people in total and is a premier destination for foodies and adventure-minded travelers alike. One gains entry to Ithaa via a spiral staircase enclosed within a thatched pavilion. Once seated, the guests are treated to an aquarium-styled eating experience, replete with a 270 degree view of the wonders of the Indian Ocean. Ithaa was conceived in 2001 by Ahmed Saleem of the Crown Company. When the Conrad Hotel Group began to lease Rangali Island from Crown Company in 2004, plans were jointly made to make Ithaa a reality. The restaurant itself was built using an R-Cast acrylic tunnel as the body in Singapore, complete with all needed electrical ducts and air conditioning systems. Then it was transported to the Maldives, weighing in at 175 tons. On its arrival, Ithaa was ‘sunk’ by way of 85 tons of sand placed in its lower bottom. The process was complete once it was maneuvered onto four steel piles that had already been secured into the seabed, and then locked into place by concrete.
Ithaa plans to mark the official anniversary, which is on April 15th, by hosting the Chateaux Margaux wine estate for a special pairing dinner. The estate is well-regarded as one of the most distinguished in the world, with their vintage wines fetching upwards of over $200,000 per bottle alone. The dinner will see their best wines coupled with the restaurant’s unique fusion cuisine of Western and traditional dishes from the Maldives. Ithaa is no stranger to luxurious events; for their fifth anniversary they offered lucky guests a chance to stay overnight within the restaurant. Most recently they commemorated the sinking of Ithaa with a Dom Perginon-paired dinner in November of last year. Ithaa’s expected life span is set at 20 years, so that gives those looking to visit more than enough time to make a reservation.