A futuristic-looking luxury hotel made up of spaceship-like discs that recall the Starship Enterprise from TV’s ‘Star Trek’, is set to be built partially underwater in the Maldives.

The Polish developers of the Water Discus Hotel received the green light last week by the national ministry of tourism to begin construction off the island of Kuredhivaru, where the ambitious underwater project will be built amid delicate coral reefs in crystal clear waters.

The two-part structure caters to guests with different preferences: those who want an underwater marine view of tropical fish and colourful coral, and those who prefer aerial views of their lush, blue-skied surroundings.

The specs are impressive: suspended up to 7m above water on five pillars, the upper deck will house the hotel restaurant, a spa, a rooftop seawater pool and a tropical garden, as well as a helicopter landing pad.

The lower underwater deck – built up to 30m below the surface – will house 21 soundproof guest rooms and the hotel bar as well as a submarine, air-locked dive centre that leads divers straight into the ocean. For deep-sea divers, the dive centre also includes a decompression chamber.

Other water activities include three-passenger submersibles for deep-sea exploration, motor boats, water-skiing, jet skis and underwater scooters.

Plans are also afoot to build a similar project in Dubai. No details are available on when the hotel is scheduled to open.

Meanwhile, the spectacular marine world of the Maldives is the setting for another luxury underwater restaurant and hotel. Set 5m below the surface of the sea, the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island hotel features 180-degree views of the coral gardens.

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