The Maldives are definitely the land of undersea restaurants. On December 1st 2016, the so far inhabited coral island Hurawalhi saw the inauguration of a brand-new, extraordinary venue, the largest in the world: the 5.8 Undersea Restaurant.
Located in the farthest lower site of Hurawalhi Maldives Resort, the restaurant is only reachable through an overwater walkway. The water surrounding it on each side is a prelude to the 5.8 dining experience. At the end of the walkway there’s a hut, where a narrow spiral stair with windows at each bend leads to the actual entrance. As the doors open, you are struck by the mesmerizing view of the ocean all around. Any concern of claustrophobia is unfounded, thanks to the all-glass half-moon shaped ceiling and walls. Four tables with two seats each line the walls, an arrangement envisioning intimate conversations, surrounded by pure marine beauty.
The restaurant was designed by MJ Murphy architects, specialised in aquarium design, and built in New Zealand, before travelling to the island in a cargo ship and being lowered into the sea.
The Culinary Experience
But it’s not all about feeding the eye with beauty. Chef de Cuisine Björn van der Över offers a 7 course menu to 5.8’s clients, with the freshest available ingredients and locally sourced products, when possible. A lot of fruit, vegetables and herbs are grown in a greenhouse at Hurawalhi. The price for this culinary journey in the depths of the Indian Ocean is 280$.
Online bookings are possible just for two people; reservation for larger groups can be made through the Contact Us section of the website.
Shell to the pearl that is 5.8 Undersea Restaurant, Hurawalhi Maldives Adult Only Resort is the one and only venue on the island. It can be easily reached by a Trans Maldivian Airways seaplane flight from Velana International Airport, in the capital city of Malè. The flight is 40 minutes long. The seaplane flies only during daylight hours and in favourable weather conditions.
Once landed, hosts at Hurawalhi can choose between 60 over-the-water Ocean villas and 30 Beach villas. The price varies according to the level of service and proximity to the sea, starting from 629$ per night. All villas feature the same tropical chic style, earthy tones and clean lines. They are equipped with every digital comfort and amenities, such as a wine fridge. You can start figuring yourselves at sunset sipping a class of wine on the sundeck of your villa, wearing the resort’s complimentary fluffy bathrobe, a few hours before your reservation at the world’s largest all-glass undersea restaurant.