Above is a view of one of the 24 suites now available in the Poseidon Underwater Hotel located on the island of Fiji. When guests arrive, they are taken 40 feet underwater by elevator and introduced to their luxury accommodations. Made mostly of steel and plexi-glass, the rooms offer uninhibited views of the surrounding sea. And – get this – you can even feed the fish in the nearby (human-made?) coral reefs with the touch of a button on your “central console.”
I know that any construction project impacts the environment – heck, my 50-mile-a-day-commute doesn’t help, either. But marine ecosystems are some of the most fragile on the planet, and introducing the huge impact of underwater construction and building maintenance isn’t beneficial. I wasn’t able to discern whether the adjacent coral reefs are naturally-occurring or created purely for the guests’ viewing pleasure, but either way it’s an issue. Interfering with natural ecosystems and creating our own are equally problematic.
I think ecotourism is great (it can give a fresh focus to family or personal travel and increase awareness) but only if it’s simultaneously respectful of the environments it’s showcasing. Beautiful as a stay at the Poseidon Underwater Hotel may be, if the resort’s presence is causing undue stress to the native, fragile flora and fauna, it’s not worth even the most luxurious of accommodations.