“Would You Sleep Here?“, asks the caption beneath this astonishing photo I just came across on Facebook (via Linda Franzen Zelnio), adding,
“This suite at the Maldives Rangali Islands resort promises an unforgettable night below the Indian ocean, complete with champagne breakfast and aquatic entertainment!”
Oh yeah!! Doesn’t sound half bad, does it? Imagine falling asleep counting the little fish (hope there aren’t any big sharks up there…) and waking up with the sun filtering in through the blue sea… one can dream! Wouldn’t you love to accept the invitation, and sleep there, for one unforgettable night?
Sadly, the invitation may no longer be open, because this was a special (limited time?) honeymoon suite offer to mark the fancy hotel’s (part of the Conrad Hilton group) 5th anniversary, although the space is actually a restaurant where you can presumably still go and enjoy some seafood. Unless, of course, the hotel was really thinking ahead and using this as a market test to prepare for the inevitable. Maybe they’re converting all of their suites into aquaria!
Because, you see, there is this small problem with any long-term business plan in the Maldives. The entire country may soon be underwater what with sea levels rising and our leaders continuing to fiddle. The country’s president became a poster boy in the fight to convince the world’s leaders to do something about climate change, because his entire nation faces a real existential threat. He even held a cabinet meeting under water (although not in the above hotel suite/restaurant which is probably beyond the price range for most Maldivians) to highlight their plight. Then he got ousted in a coup, but continues to fight the good fight.
But maybe he’s been fighting the wrong fight. Perhaps, instead of trying to put villages on stilts, or move the country’s entire population to Australia, they really should invite the tropical resort industry to invest in putting the whole country under an aquarium dome like the above honeymoon suite! Think about it!
Well, not entire islands, perhaps (don’t be absurd, I hear you say), but how about at least the houses of all the people now wondering where they might have a long-term future? Tourism is a big part of the local economy after all, so why not make the most of your soon-to-be-entirely-underwater real estate? Why not make lemonade when facing all this rising saltwater that the rest of the world refuses to do anything about? Turn the country into Atlantis, the tourist resort!
One unforgettable night? Pshaw! How about spending the rest of your lifetime sleeping with the fishes underwater?