A glamorous dive by Poole Associates

May 22, 2015

Why not ditch the cab and take a speedboat to dinner? A new underwater event space at the Per Aquum Niyama resort in the Maldives, lies six meters below the surface of the Indian Ocean.

Above image courtesy of Poole Associates.

The hospitality industry often trades on the novelty or exclusivity of the dining experience, with gimmicks such as Dining in the Dark or Dinner in the Sky fuelled by the public’s fascination for Instagram-worthy foodie experiences.

Subsix is a new underwater event space at the Per Aquum Niyama resort in the Maldives, lying six meters below the surface of the Indian Ocean. Located 500 meters offshore, guests arrive at the unique venue by speedboat.

Subsix from the surface

Subsix from the surface. Image courtesy


Previously opened as the world’s first underwater nightclub in 2012, Subsix recently underwent extensive renovations by Poole Associates, who transformed it into a multi-purpose creative space that accommodates private Champagne breakfasts, lunchtime celebrations and midnight proposals.

The redesign by Poole Associates draws inspiration from the venue’s aquatic surroundings.  Hanging overhead are suspended custom-made chandeliers. Designed in Italy, the chandeliers are made from thousands of capiz shells, and mimic gentle ocean waves. Silver-panelled columns throughout the venue recall the shimmering ribbed gills of manta rays, and Brancusi cabinetry and mirrors line the walkway.

While enjoying the contemporary cuisine on offer, guests can sit on bespoke ‘anemone’ textured chairs crafted from soft tubing, while enjoying the view from floor-to-ceiling glass windows.


The fluid bar counter. Image courtesy Poole Associates


The structure of the event space itself was built entirely on land before being submerged underwater. Niyama resort’s resident marine biologist, Luke Gordon, then implemented a coral regeneration program to promoting coral growth and recolonisation around the structure.

Per Aquum Niyama’s General Manager Dietmar Koegerl said: “Subsix is the closest you can get to the reef without a mask or a wetsuit.  Guests fell so in love with the setting from the start that we knew we had hit on something special and had to take it to the next level.”

Per Aquum Hotels & Resorts is a global hospitality group that supports innovation in design, services and experiences.  The group operates several hotels in the Maldives, Dubai, and Tanzania.

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