Hotels around the world each have their own fair share of grandiose features. One of the most impressive, though, is a giant aquarium. Expectedly enough, you’ll find some of the best looking ones in places which are located close to beaches or the ocean. Amazingly, though, there are also surprising gems to be found as well. If giant aquariums make your vacations complete, you don’t want to miss out on these hotel highlights.
Radisson Blu Hotel in Berlin, Germany
While most giant tanks are quadratic, the Radisson Blu’s aquarium is a graceful cylindrical structure and it’s considered to be the largest cylindrical aquarium in the world. It stands at 82 feet tall and has a generous 40 feet diameter. The aquarium also holds 264,172 gallons of water. This aquarium is called the AquaDom and could be found at the lobby of the hotel.
Currently, the aquarium has 1,500 tropical fishes. The species spread includes the blue mackerel, the trigger fish, the surgeon fish, the silver moonfish, and the humphear wrasse. Guests are encouraged to view this giant aquarium while enjoying cocktails at the Atrium Lobby and Lounge Bar. You may also take an elevator ride to view all three stories of the aquarium up close.
The Atlantis in the Palm, Dubai
Not only does this aquarium hold more than 11 million gallons of water—it’s also located the most prominent landmark in Dubai—the Palm. A must-see is the Ambassador Lagoon which is unquestionably the biggest water habitat of the Atlantis. It holds three million gallons of water and showcases sharks, sting rays, wrasse, guitar fishes and other interesting species.
As a whole, the Atlantis at the Palm holds about 250 different species of marine life. Much like its Bahamas counterpart, the Palm’s Atlantis is home to around 65,000 animals. It’s certainly a marine haven. Aside from the Ambassador Lagoon, you may also enjoy the Dolphin Bay wherein you can interact with these smart marine creatures. You can also go for the Ultimate Dive Experience which is a guided diving tour through the facility’s largest lagoons.
The Lost Chambers is also an attraction that’s worthy of a visit. Here, you’ll get to experience the wild marine life without getting your clothes wet. These are underground glass walled halls which lets you be among the Atlantis’ marine creatures even if you’re not confident enough to go scuba diving amongst them. It’s a good activity to choose especially if you’re traveling with children.
Hotel H20 in Manila Philippines
If the first thing you want to see when you wake up in the morning is an aquarium, you might want to book yourself a stay at the H20 Hotel in Manila Philippines. This hotel has about 65 rooms with 65 aquariums built on the wall. The hotel also connects to the Manila Ocean Park which showcases over 10,000 marine specimens. This includes sharks, sting rays, eels, and jellyfish.
The hotel’s aquariums, connected to the “Oceanarium” at the Manila Ocean Park, when combined are considered to be the largest viewing tunnel for marine life in Asia. The Oceanarium alone holds 5,000 marine creatures, runs for about 80 feet long. You can also view this marine wildlife through a glass bottomed boat, or wear special helmets which would allow you to walk through the reefs through the Aquanaut Voyage. The fish foot spa is also a painless but unique experience if you’re tired of the conventional way of artificially exfoliating your feet.
The Mirage in Las Vegas
If you enter the lobby of the Mirage in Las Vegas, you’ll come face-to-face with one of the most technologically-updated aquariums around the world. This is also quite a large exhibit tank which runs for about 53 feet and could hold 20,000 gallons of salt water. This aquarium stands tall too at 8 feet. There are about 400 coral reef marine animals and over 85 species of marine creatures living in this giant aquarium. Most of them were originally from Hawaii, the Sea of Cortez, the Caribbean, Tonga, Australia, the Marshall Islands and the Red Sea.
Aside from the Aquarium, the hotel also has a Dolphin Habitat and a Secret Garden. Staying here would surely be a treat for people who not only like to get up close and personal with marine wildlife but also mammals like white lions, leopards and white tigers. The Dolphin Habitat is a special treat for those traveling with children because guests are allowed to be trainer for a day. Children are also invited to pet and interact with these intelligent sea creatures.
The Flatiron Hotel in New York
This is literally the only place you can go to in New York if you’re looking for a giant aquarium. In the concrete jungle that is the Big Apple, it’s certainly surprising that something like the Flatiron Hotel can exist. It’s about two stories tall and while it only holds 3,500 gallons of water (a fraction of what the Atlantis aquariums have to offer), it still attracts droves of New Yorkers and tourists who are seeking for some sort of escape from New York’s urbanity. Before the facility opened last August 2011, locals had to travel all the way to Coney Island just to experience the sea. Now, no matter how cold it gets in New York City, this colorful aquarium is sure to remind anyone of the warm Caribbean Islands.
The Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas
Las Vegas has always been known for putting a spunky spin on almost everything it gets its hands on. Now, this included giant aquariums. Not only is the aquarium in the Mandalay Bay huge, holding 1.6 million gallons of water, it is also home to 30 live sharks of 11 different species. So far, this is the only predator-based aquarium in North America, and it never fails to drive droves of tourists all-year-round.
Among its 14 tanks, the Shipwreck Exhibit is probably the most impressive because it’s the largest. You can view this tank through a tunnel and it holds an awesome 1.3 million gallons of salt water. This aquarium is home to blacktip reef sharks, the sandtiger and the sandbar. It also has endangered marine creatures like the Green Sea Turtle, Komodo dragons, the arapaima, and the saw fish. If you’re a bit more daring, the facility also has certified scuba diving guides who can accompany you so you can swim amongst these predators. If you’re traveling with kids, you might want to opt for the Touch Pool. Here, you can “pet” horseshoe crabs and stingrays.
The Gansevoort in Miami Beach
Miami has always been identified with its long beach strips and wild party scene. What people don’t know is that it’s also home to the longest aquarium along the East Coast. The Gansevoort Aquariumstands 50 feet long, and holds about 40,000 gallons of water. The hotel aquarium also gracefully curves around the lobby so guests are always welcomed by this awesome sight. Rest assured that you won’t just be booking your stay here for just the aquarium. The Gansevoort is one of the most highly praised hotels in Miami Beach.
The Atlantis in Paradise Island, Bahamas
It’s not surprising that the best hotel aquarium could be found in the Bahamas. Even without the mystery of finding such a hotel feature in this destination, though, this large marine mammal rehabilitation center is still bound to produce a “wow” effect on you. The aquarium holds about eight million gallons of sea water in a total of fourteen lagoons. The facility does not just impress by numbers, though. Your kids are also bound to love the interactive exhibits.
Don’t miss out on the gigantic Ruins Lagoon which is home to some 20,000 coral reefs and small fishes. You will have to snorkel here to truly appreciate the view, though. The Stingray Lagoon and the Dolphin Cay are also large aquariums which allow you to feed and pet these truly awesome animals. The Atlantis holds about 50,000 marine animals. These animals represent 250 different species.
Pacific Beach Hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii
This is one of the largest giant aquariums in the world and it’s not surprising because it’s also located in Hawaii. The giant hotel aquarium stands three stories tall and holds a generous 280,000 gallons of water. While this was built way back in 1979, it still never fails to wow guests. There are more than 400 fishes swimming about the giant aquarium, representing well over 70 species of Indo-Pacific marine animals.
You must try their Snuba—a combination of scuba diving and snorkeling. Guests get to swim 20 feet deep with these sea creatures while breathing through a long mouthpiece. There is no diver’s certification needed for this activity because it’s considered extremely safe. If you’re more comfortable experiencing the marine life outside the tank, you may also do so. There is an Oceanarium restaurant which would allow you to enjoy the best seafood dishes while watching live ones from this giant aquarium.
Now you may wonder why the odd number on our list? We are actually hoping the tenth entry will come from you? Have you been to a hotel with an amazing aquarium? We love to hear from our readers. Come on, share your travel stories.
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