MYSTERIOUS UNDERWATER HOTEL UNDER WAY IN FIJI

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SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Feb. 6, 2008) - Mystery surrounds a multi million dollar undersea resort, being constructed in Fiji, in more ways than one.

Called the Poseidon Mystery Island, the project on an unnamed island in Fiji is being built at an estimated cost of US$105 million.

The Poseidon website says, "The exact location of Poseidon Resort’s Mystery Island is still, well, a mystery."

Fiji’s trade and investment promotion body, the Fiji Islands Trade and Investment Bureau, does not appear to know anything about this project at all. A questionnaire sent by fijilive.com last year to FTIB said the bureau was unaware of this project. But it appears the resort is on the verge of finishing with September this year given as the completion date.

The project is being developed by Poseidon Resorts, whose president, Bruce Jones has a background that includes 20 years of work in submarine sea technology. Jones and his team of engineers have been designing the hotel since 2001, with the help of a hotel management team.

"Accessible by elevator and nestled in the crystal clear waters of a 5,000 acre Fiji lagoon, the Poseidon Undersea Resort is the world’s first seafloor resort and the only place that visitors can spend the night 40 feet underwater in incomparable luxury," the website proclaims.

[PIR editor’s note: According to a December 2006 story in Popular Science, the hotel is to be submerged in 40 feet of water in a 5,000-acre coral lagoon near the coast of a narrow, 225-acre private island located in northeastern Fiji. The story says a Frisbee-shaped module at one end of the resort will house a kitchen, reception lounge and 3,000-square-foot rotating restaurant and bar. A second saucer will enclose a library, a conference room, a wedding chapel, a spa and the largest underwater accommodation in the world, the 1,200-square-foot Nautilus suite, priced at $15,000 a night. ]

According to the website, the Poseidon Mystery Island comprises about 225 acres and is about a mile long. It boasts pristine waters that range to 90 feet (27.4 meters) in depth replete with abundant sea life. Just outside the lagoon, the reef plunges into an abyss, providing virgin territory to explore with the resort’s submersibles.

The website says the island and its lagoon are within a coral atoll, the remnants of a long inactive volcano. At one time, the island housed a thriving copra plantation.

Beginning in early 2009, a select group of the world’s adventure travelers and undersea enthusiasts will have the opportunity to stay on the island for weeklong visits, enjoying two nights underwater and four nights in beachfront and over-water bungalows.

The website also encourages corporate companies to stay here, saying it is an unforgettable way to celebrate their successful managers and staff or great customers.

An elevator will transport guests 40 feet (12 meters) under the sea where they will find 24 suites and one luxury apartment with all the comforts expected from a top rated hotel.

Measuring 33 feet by 17 feet (10 meters by 5.1 meters) the 24 standard undersea hotel suites comprise 550 sq ft (51 meters) of floor space. The suites are built as detachable stand-alone modules that can be placed underwater when neutrally buoyant and mated to the main corridor assembly.

About 70 percent of the room is enveloped in 4 inch (100 millimeter) thick clear acrylic allowing spectacular sights of individual coral gardens and the ocean beyond.

There are also 48 bungalows (locally known as ‘bures’) on the island, 24 beachfront (boasting their own enclosed courtyards) and 24 additional bungalows are suspended above the waters of the tropical lagoon.

The website says that today only two sea floor underwater habitats are operating, both in the Florida Keys: The US Aquarius, a private NOAA-sponsored scientific research habitat in 50 feet (15 meters) of water and Jules Undersea Lodge, a successful three-room underwater motel accessible only to trained divers.

However, other projects are also underway and include Hydropolis, a 220-suite hotel in Dubai, and the Shanghai Shimao Wonderland in Shanghai. Both also plan to open in 2009.

Anyone wanting to stay at Poseidon (which will also have a couple of submarines for guests) will have to sink US$15,000 into the underwater experience (US$30,000 for a couple sharing a room).

The package includes private plane transport from a Fiji airport to the resort. The cost for exclusive use of Poseidon Mystery Island is US$3,000,000 for seven days and six nights.

For reservations, interested people have been asked to contact Poseidon’s specially trained reservations staff after March 17, 2008.

Jones is quoted in the New York Times as saying that they have already had tens of thousands of inquiries from people saving up. He is hoping to open other underwater resorts in the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean.

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