updated 6/6/2008 11:26:53 AM ET 2008-06-06T15:26:53

Book by: ASAP
Travel by: Various through 2009

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The deal
Imagine sleeping under the surface of the water, with exotic fish peering through the windows of your room. It may sound fantastical but you can actually do that at several underwater properties around the world, from $250/night — from a sub-aquatic station in Florida to a cozy inn under the surface of a Swedish lake. You can also book a stay at a five-star resort in the Maldives, which features an underwater spa. Or book a suite at one of two luxury underwater properties currently in the works and slated to open next year, one in Fiji and another in Dubai.

Jules’ Undersea Lodge, Florida
To spend a night at Jules’ Undersea Lodge in Florida’s Key Largo, one must dive 21 feet beneath the sea surface through a tropical mangrove lagoon. Once inside this underwater hotel that originally started as a research laboratory in Puerto Rico in the 1970s, 42-inch round windows let you spy on tropical angelfish, barracuda, and snappers in their natural habitat. The building features all the creature comforts — hot showers, a/c, a kitchen, books, and DVD players. Rates start at $375/night per person, with a three-hour diving crash course to get you undersea, plus a light breakfast and dinner. Certified divers get unlimited diving; or get certified for $150.

Utter Inn, Sweden
For an underwater experience in Sweden, book a sojourn at charming Utter Inn. Guests of this one-room inn arrive at the port of Västerås near Stockholm and are taken out on Lake Mälaren with an inflatable boat. Artist and sculptor Mikael Genberg who owns the property gives all the instructions and leaves you to enjoy the panoramic lake vistas and the views of the fish peering through your bedroom windows downstairs. You can also arrange for your dinner to be delivered by boat. Activities include swimming, sunbathing or kayaking to an uninhabited island that lies nearby. Rates at this delightful little red house start at $250/night.

Huvafen Fushi Resort, Maldives
While this luxurious resort in the Maldives doesn’t offer underwater overnights, it does showcase the world’s first underwater spa. At Lime Spa, you can enjoy an ancient rock massage or a pearl and kelp body mud wrap (just two of many exotic treatments on the spa menu) in one of two underwater treatment rooms that offer soothing vistas of the surrounding sea life. The top-rated resort is located on a small island in North Malé Atoll, with 43 chic bungalows, each complete with a private pool, and several restaurants and bars. Rack rates start at $880/night, with breakfast included.

Underwater properties in the works
One of the underwater properties currently being built is the Poseidon in Fiji, slated to open in 2009. When completed, this five-star resort accessible by an elevator will offer guests a chance to stay 40 feet underwater. Seventy percent of the suites will be enveloped in acrylic walls, providing spectacular ocean vistas. You’ll even be able to feed the fish with a push of the button; plus you’ll get a personal submarine to explore the lagoon at your own leisure. Rumor has it rates will start at $1,500/night. The Crescent Hydropolis in Dubai is another underwater hotel under construction. This $550-million project will feature a 27-acre luxury resort 66 feet below the surface of the Persian Gulf.

The dollars
See above for details about rates. The underwater stays don’t come cheap but their unique nature makes the splurge worth the pretty penny.

The catch
Sleeping under the water’s surface may seem like science fiction but you better get used to the idea before dipping.

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