As Ringo Starr sang in The Beatles’ song, sometimes you just want to be ‘under the sea, in an octopus’s garden in the shade’.
Well, thanks to some of the best hotels in the world, and a few aquariums, you can do just that – and watch the colourful parade of sea life as you sup on oysters and champagne…
1. Nathan Outlaw at Al Mahara, Dubai
It’s completely appropriate that the two Michelin-starred chef Nathan Outlaw, known for his seafood, is now heading up Al Mahara at the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, which features an enormous central floor-to-ceiling aquarium.
2. Cargo Hold Restaurant, Durban, South Africa
Dine with sharks at this highly unusual restaurant, in the stern of the ‘Phantom Ship’, an authentically rusty looking replica of South Africa’s legendary ghost ship. Part of the uShaka aquarium lies below the boat, giving you the feeling of being shipwrecked as you eat lunch.
3. Subsix at Per Aquum, Maldives
If the tropical atolls weren’t idyllic enough, there’s an underwater dining experience to blow all others out of the water. The website invites you to ‘feel the tingle of Dom on the tongue, six metres below the waterline’. Look out for the resident Hawksbill turtle, shoals of parrotfish and moray eels snaking their way through the lagoon.
4. Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, Maldives
The world’s first undersea, all-glass restaurant, eating at Ithaa is a bit like eating in a massive ocean tunnel, five metres below the surface. Caviar is on the menu, and you’ll enjoy 180-degree views of the colourful coral gardens.
5. Sea at Anantara Kihavah Villas, Maldives
The Maldives have a bit of a monopoly on underwater restaurants and this one’s USP is housing the world’s first underwater wine cellar, featuring 468 labels from 22 different countries. Just don’t drink too much or you’ll start to feel sea-sick!
6. Aquarium Restaurant, Nashville
This one very much does what it says… you’ll be dining on seafood or steak in a 200,000-gallon aquarium, as more than 100 species of tropical fish swim past you. Twice a day, a diver feeds the fish, to add a little human interest.
7. Atrium Bar, Berlin
At the Radisson Blu Hotel in Berlin, you can sip cocktails below a 25m high cylindrical aquarium, the largest in the world. Called the AquaDom, it holds a million litres of salt water and 1,500 tropical fish. Be warned though, you might spend your entire evening craning your neck upwards to marvel at this feat of engineering.