Gay vacations The Best Underwater Restaurants in Maldives

The Best Underwater Restaurants in Maldives

Discover Maldives' most exclusive dining experiences


The Maldives is the native home of the underwater restaurant. Having emerged from relative obscurity to become a major tourist hub in the 1970s, the Maldives is now filled with luxury resorts.

Immerse yourself in an unforgettable experience and enjoy a meal like no other at some of the best underwater restaurants in the Maldives. From submerged dining areas with vibrant coral reefs to striking, modern architectures enchanting all senses, these establishments offer a sublime, unparalleled dining experience.

Back in the day, the best hotels in the Maldives were not known for being culinary havens. They may have offered the best overwater bungalows in the Indian Ocean, but the food on offer often took the form of a buffet (*shudder*). With more and more luxury travelers flooding into the Maldives, the culinary scene is now world-class. You’ll find Michelin-star chefs working in the Maldives and a vast array of international cuisine is available for you to choose from. The ingredients tend to be seasonal and sourced locally, including the stunning seafood. Let your senses go wild and explore the Maldives’ breathtaking undersea restaurants. Sample sumptuous meals while enjoying unparalleled views of some of nature’s most mesmerizing sights.

Since 2005, Maldives has been the home of the world’s first underwater restaurant. It was so successful that others soon followed.

From unparalleled views of ocean wildlife to exquisite ambience and a selection of delectable dishes, the Maldives’ underwater restaurants offer a truly memorable experience. With floor-to-ceiling glass panels, you can marvel at the exotic coral reefs and colorful schools of fish as they go about their day. Enjoy a unique culinary journey with innovative fusion dishes prepared using only the freshest local ingredients. Plus, when the sun sets over the ocean, watch as thousands of twinkling starfish come alive on your plate against an amazing light show.

Every underwater restaurant is its own unique experience, with some offering themed dinners like an undersea Turkish night or seafood special. Others offer private one-of-a-kind experiences such as a romantic dinner for two in the company of harmless reef sharks. Most restaurants also make sure you are never left wanting – whether it be through their knowledgeable waitstaff or the innovative flavors they serve. The selection of drinks on offer is just as enticing, and you’ll definitely want to stay until after sunset when bioluminescent creatures put on a show before your eyes. So don’t wait to come and experience these unforgettable moments at the Maldives’ underwater restaurants.

Here’s our guide to the best underwater restaurants in the Maldives.

Ithaa Undersea Restaurant @ Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

This is the Maldives restaurant under the sea you want to dine at. It was hailed as “the most beautiful restaurant in the world” by the New York Daily News. Located five meters below the surface of the ocean, this is one of the most romantic and atmospheric restaurants you’ll ever dine in.

Surrounded by sweeping coral garden views, you’ll be dining on fusion cuisine paired with fine wines as sharks, dolphins and manta rays swim past. The Maldives is home to some of the world’s most vibrant marine life. You’ll have plenty of time to get acquainted with it at the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant.

Ithaa Undersea Restaurant at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island offers an unforgettable five-course dining experience beneath the Indian Ocean. With its views of the vibrant and immersive underwater world, it has become one of the top dining destinations in the Maldives. Enjoy a remarkable meal of contemporary European cuisine prepared by world-renowned chefs, while taking in sweeping views of passing manta rays, reef sharks, and glowing schools of fish from the 16ft underwater tunnel.

Ithaa Undersea Restaurant is the perfect destination for a romantic date. Guests can enjoy their meals while being surrounded by the serenity of nature. The restaurant’s creative chefs craft an exquisite selection of modern European cuisine, using mostly local ingredients. Their decadent five-course lunch and dinner menus offer an array of delightful dishes that will make your taste buds come alive. With its impressive views and mouthwatering food, Ithaa Undersea Restaurant is an unforgettable culinary experience like no other.

 

5.8 Undersea @ Hurawalhi

Located 5.8 meters under the sea – hence the name, obvs – you’ll find the world’s largest all-glass undersea restaurant. Despite being the largest, 5.8 Undersea has just 10 tables. Only couples can book. This is very much geared towards romantic trips.

You can book one of two lunch sittings and one dinner sitting. You can even book the restaurant for a private champagne breakfast. The menus always vary and can change based on season and the chef’s current culinary inspiration.

5.8 Undersea is an underwater restaurant that you’ll never forget with its unique atmosphere and sophistication going above and beyond. Indulge in captivating views of tropical fish as you enjoy tantalizing dishes set against the beautiful backdrop of the Indian Ocean.

5.8 Undersea at Hurawalhi is a one-of-a-kind eating experience. You will be transported to an incredible culinary destination, with the restaurant’s glass walls giving you the perfect view of some of the most vibrant marine life in all of Maldives. The menu is inspired by the flavors and ingredients of all four corners of the world – blending together the best culinary delights from Europe, Asia, Middle East and South America into tantalizing plates designed to tickle your taste buds.

OZEN

M6m @ OZEN

OZEN by Atmosphere at Maadhoo is one of the best hotels in the Maldives. Naturally, it has an underwater restaurant. The big difference with M6m (Minus Six Meters) is that you can dine here as part of OZEN’s all-inclusive plan. One night per week, to be precise. Most resorts in the Maldives with underwater restaurants charge separately. This could potentially make M6m trickier to book.

Inspired by the colors of the surrounding ocean, this underwater restaurant has mirrored ceilings and a silver color scheme. Wine and dine in style as tropical fish and sharks swim by.

M6m at OZEN by Atmosphere is a one-of-a-kind, exclusive waterfront dining experience in the Maldives. From the moment you step inside, you’ll be taken to another world – an unforgettable journey of culinary delights and relaxation awaits. Enjoy dishes freshly caught from the ocean’s depths and sip on exquisite wines as you twirl your fork above the mesmerizing coral reefs just a few feet below your table.

The underwater restaurant at OZEN is fully submerged, bringing you eye-level with the amazing sea life. Watch shoals of tropical fish flitting around your table as you savor deliciously prepared meals and spot turtles, rays and other beautiful creatures swimming just inches away. Private dinners are available for that extra special romantic experience and scuba divers can even get a glimpse of the restaurant walls from outside. An unforgettable experience awaits at M6m.

 

SEA @ Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas

Anantara Kihavah is a charming boutique hotel with stunning overwater villas. The hotel has an underwater restaurant and even the world’s first underwater wine cellar. Try the Maldivian lobster or pan-seared Japanese wagyu. The in-house Wine Guru will pair your food with a selection of over 6,500 bottles.

Located just 33 feet beneath the surface of the Indian Ocean, SEA at Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas provides a unique and awe-inspiring dining experience. Watch seamlessly as the mesmerizing sights of the teeming tropical marine life pass by during the course of your meal. Enjoy an exquisite four-course set menu that has been carefully crafted to offer an unforgettable culinary journey, complete with a delicate combination of traditional flavors from around the world.

This one-of-a-kind underwater restaurant features an atmosphere that is designed to make guests feel as though they are actually living inside the ocean. With its awe-inspiring sea life viewing tunnel, curving glass walls, vibrant coral reefs and fish happily schooling amidst the abundant marine life, SEA at Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas offers a unique combination of natural beauty and real luxury dining. The restaurant is multi-leveled for even greater visual interaction with the marine life, allowing guests to fully enjoy a memorable dining experience full of delicious food and unforgettable sights.

 

SUBSIX @ Niyama Private Islands

Not content with mere underwater dining, Niyama Private Islands has opened SUBSIX, a subaquatic entertainment venue. A speedboat will transport you over the lagoon to the three-story SUBSIX venue. Keep an eye out for the resident Hawksbill turtle. SUBSIX has a club as well as a restaurant.

Chandeliers shaped like coral glisten overhead. Enjoy a subaquatic lunch or a champagne breakfast. In the evening, experience one of the most exotic club nights known to man.

Experience gastronomical delights at one of the region’s most exclusive underwater restaurants. SUBSIX at Niyama Private Islands is one of the world’s largest submerged undersea restaurants spread across two levels and is the perfect destination for an unparalleled dining experience. With floor-to-ceiling windows, guests can take in striking views of the Indian ocean’s stunning marine life while indulging in sumptuous meals prepared by some of the world’s best chefs.

Located six meters (or 20 feet) beneath the surface, SUBSIX offers a truly unique experiential dining experience with an Alpine-style interior and an intimate vibe. For starters, tuck into caviar covered with green apples or smoked eel served on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes, accompanied by accompanying wines from its in-house sommelier. As the night progresses, unwind with their signature dishes such as deep-fried snapper fish in mango sauce or grilled sea bass cooked over rosemary-infused flames. Whatever your choice may be, you’re sure to savor it against the backdrop of coral reefs and marine life swimming outside the windows of this extraordinary restaurant.

H2O by Chef Andrea Berton @ You & Me

 

H2O by Chef Andrea Berton @ You & Me

You & Me by Cocoon is one of the more recent luxury hotels to emerge in the Maldives. It’s located in the north in the Raa atoll. It’s an adults-only resort geared towards romantic trips. There’s a fully submerged underwater restaurant, and even a Moet & Chandon branded restaurant. H20 by Chef Andrea Berton offers 360 Degrees views. This is the first underwater restaurant run by a Michelin starred chef.

H2O by Chef Andrea Berton is a unique underwater restaurant that allows you to get up close and personal with the ocean. Enjoy the memorable experience created by an award-winning chef, who has carefully blended traditional Italian flavors with modern techniques. The menu changes regularly depending on seasonal produce, so you’re sure to be taken on a gastronomic journey, while surrounded by swirling shoals of fish.

Setting off in a traditional dhoni boat, customers are taken to their seats in the middle of the turquoise lagoon. Here you’ll descend into an underwater restaurant which is situated 5 meters below the surface. Through floor-to-ceiling windows, diners can enjoy the marine life that inhabits these waters. From barracudas and stingrays, these creatures will provide additional entertainment during your dining experience. With world-class cuisine created with passion and skill, this is one restaurant you don’t want to miss out on.

 

FAQs

Can you drink in the Maldives?

All of the booze is imported. Alcohol is technically illegal in the Maldives; then again, so are many things. The reality on the ground is quite different. Booze flows freely at the Maldives’ many resorts, each of which takes the form of its own private fiefdom. The resorts and privately owned and managed.

The Maldives relies heavily on tourism, so western decadence is warmly embraced at the resorts. It’s a different matter for locals. So, the answer is yes, you can certainly drink in the Maldives.

Food and drink are priced at a premium in the Maldives, especially if you’re dining in an underwater restaurant.

What’s it like to visit the Maldives as a gay couple?

Good question. It is possible, despite the challenges surrounding the law. Gay couples can expect to receive the same warm welcome at many of the Maldives’ luxury islands. We explore this topic in more depth in our blog: The reality vs the law – what’s it like to be gay in the Maldives?

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