Whereas once the top floor penthouse used to be the most exclusive room of a hotel, on the paradise of island of Pemba, located north of Zanzibar in Tanzania, the most fabulous accommodation is found below ground – or, more accurately, below sea level. A modest – cramped, even – box it might be but The Underwater Room at the Manta Resort is exactly that: a hotel room submerged amongst an idyllic coral reef with panoramic picture windows on all four sides offering views of shoals of exotic fish, octopus, squid and other rare marine life.

Check-in (or dive in) to this unique room and a traditional dhow boat transports you from the beach resort to your own private island which floats 250m from the shore. At sea level, a luxurious living area and bathroom gives access to a plush rooftop terrace. But it is below where The Underwater Room truly impresses with a simple double bedroom surrounded by those picture windows. At night, underwater spotlights not only reveal the secrets of the Indian Ocean but also work to attract a rich spectrum of marine life, from bat fish to Spanish dancers – making a vacation that is about exploration as much as it is about relaxation.

The Underwater Room at the Manta Resort costs $1,500 a night