Cutting-edge modern day style and barefoot luxury make the Rangali Island the place to be for style connoisseurs. But what sets the restaurant apart is its underwater restaurant. Other hotels are catching up, but Ithaa remains one of the most iconic underwater restaurants in the world.
The structure was constructed in Singapore and shipped to the Maldives as one. It was a 275 tone piece and has its own capacity for a 300t-capacity crane on board. The whole thing was lowered, stabilized with sand ballast and fixed into position near Condrad’s Sunset Grill Restaurant which is five meters below sea level.
Mesmerising food and 270° panoramic view
Dine at Ithaa; you will get an experience you will not forget. The curved transparent acrylic walls and roof gives it an eccentric window into the blue Maldivian Waters, gleaming with sharks, fish, and turtles. While the breathtaking view steals the show, the food is a treat that you will remember. They’ve got a varied menu which is a blend of international and Maldivian Cuisine. You will find dishes such as sumac dipping sauce and yellowfin tuna with lemongrass, kingfish with kataifi langoustines or Angus beef with truffles.
Their dessert menu is also indulgent. Typical delights include the chocolate fig dariole, macaroons stuffed with mangoes and berries, mascarpone infused with lemongrass espuma cream or a lime and limoncello custard.
The resort has 12 restaurants and bars. Considering its isolation, it does an admirable job of importing high-quality cuisine such as Japanese wagyu beef to Russian caviar. The most in-demand tables are at Ithaa Undersea restaurant, where you can watch shoals of fish dart by as you dine.
Take delight in a glass of Champaign in the afternoon
Ithaa is popular yet relatively small. It hosts only 14 people at a time. It would be nice to book for dinner, weeks or months well in advance. However, it’s much easier to make an afternoon visit for a glass of wine. With your bubbly in hand, gaze at the phenomenon view of the coral gardens and the inhabitants on the other side of the plexiglass walls.
Apart from being the first underwater restaurant, it is known for its other innovative aspects which include the first swimming pool in the Maldives to be suspended directly over the ocean, complete with a three-person submarine.
Its restaurant has excellent facilities, including a gym, two spas, tennis courts and a dive center that loans guests free snorkeling gear (you can even get prescription masks). There is a variety of activities on offer, from pedalo excursions to the honeymooners’ favorite ‘The Sandbar Picnic’ – a day-trip on a yacht, with a drop-off on a deserted island where you can enjoy a romantic dish on the beach.
The large island is mainly home to beach villas – bright and airy glass-walled sanctuaries, with private courtyards, whirlpool tubs, and sunken baths. Across the bridge, you will see the quieter water villas; traditional wooden structures on stilts, with steps leading straight into the warm Indian ocean. Each villa has been carefully designed for maximum privacy, with thoughtful touches such as candles in the bathroom and a handy beach bag to throw your sun cream in before you head down to the sea.
Villas are sleek and contemporary but with nods to traditional Maldivian architecture, such as thatched roofs and wooden interiors. The effect is luxurious, but in an understated way – even in the most upmarket restaurants, your sandals will usually be resting on the sand. There’s no denying that staying here is expensive, and excursions can be particularly pricey, with an hour-and-a-half dolphin cruise. But you will be happy with the quality of service, food, and accommodation as it is nothing short of being in an underwater haven.