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Magical underwater playground

Following the rave reviews of its world-first underwater nightclub, Subsix, Per Aquum has turned the venue into an underwater playground, a space which can be transformed into whatever guests imagine it to be – from private Champagne breakfasts to lunchtime celebrations to midnight proposals.

Subsix, which is located at Per Aquum Niyama in the Maldives, opened in 2012. The recent redesign by Poole Associates draws inspiration from the aquatic surroundings and sets a very surreal stage for guests to dive beneath the surface and explore their desires.

Guests reach Subsix via speedboat, skipping over the reef to its 500-metre offshore location. Upon arrival guests descend a three-tier staircase. Overhead, Italian-designed abstract chandeliers illuminate the descent. Brancusi cabinetry and mirrors line the path.

In the depths of Subsix, bespoke chairs invite with bizarre textured design. Above, thousands of strands of capiz shells drape from the ceiling like an undersea kelp forest. Piercing the shells’ waves, coral-like chandeliers hang over wedding brunches and late-night celebrations. Silver-panelled columns throughout the venue draw their inspiration from the ribbed gills of manta rays.

In the centre of the room, a huge clam-inspired bar strikes an imposing form, glowing with Subsix’s mood lighting that shifts throughout the day from pure white mornings to a lavender dinner setting to late-night blues.

In addition to the seating in the clam’s swooping curves, tables and chairs dot the space, with the most coveted seats by the floor-to-ceiling glass windows. More than 90 coral reef species ply the waters, attracted by the specially designed reef structures that integrate into the natural reef and enrich the habitat with surfaces for coral and hiding spots for the more reclusive denizens.

Parrotfish swim past shoals of Moorish Idols. Moray eels slide through the lagoon. Groupers make goliath appearances amidst the rainbow of butterfly fish and damselfish, while the resident Hawksbill turtle makes occasional visits at the cleaning station for a nibbled spa treatment by the small cleaning fish.

Among the many activities hosted by Subsix, marine biologist-led immersions into aquatic life give guests an expert’s insight into the rich environment and its secrets. Other activities in the restyled venue include subaquatic lunches, gourmet dinners, weddings, hosted events, wine tastings, a weekly Glow Party and DJ nights carrying on the tradition of its birth as a pioneer-of-the-deep club.

In the words of Per Aquum Niyama’s General Manager Dietmar Koegerl, “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.”

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