Dine with the sharks

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iol travel may 19 underwater restaurant YouTube.com The world's first underwater restaurant, the Conrad Maldives hotel resort on Rangali Island.

Male - With all-glass windows from floor to ceiling, sitting five metres below the surface of the Indian Ocean, this is the world’s first underwater restaurant.

Boasting unrivalled views of sharks, stingrays, turtles and stunning coral, the five-star eatery at the Conrad Maldives Hotel was built so that guests can enjoy the beauty of the ocean without getting their feet wet.

Set under the crystal-clear blue water, the restaurant is so bright, diners and staff are required to wear sunglasses.

Rated “the most beautiful restaurant in the world” by the New York Daily News this year, Ithaa – meaning “mother of pearl” in the Maldivian language of Dihevi – offers breathtaking 180° panoramic views.

A spokesman for the luxury resort on Rangali Island said: “Using aquarium-inspired architecture, Ithaa was built to allow guests to enjoy the colour, clarity and beauty of the Indian Ocean without getting their feet wet.”

The unusual building seats 14 people – and will set you back £190 (R3 300) per person for dinner.

It serves contemporary European cuisine in a six-course set dinner menu – including dishes such as caviar and lobster for dinner while the four-course lunch menu offers lighter fare.

The restaurant is also open for mid-morning cocktails and can be booked privately for breakfast, weddings or special occasions.

The ingeniously designed restaurant has never had water inside – instead, it was built on dry land in Singapore before workers carefully lowered it into the ocean in one piece.

The structure cost a staggering £3m to build and weighs 175 tons, with another 85 tonn of sand ballast used to weigh it down. – Daily Mail

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