When one first explores the Poseidon Mystery Island website, it seems like an absolutely enchanting and unique underwater luxury resort. It becomes clear after a bit more perusal of the site that a lot of the images offered are computer generated.
Upon signing up to view the press kit in hopes of finding current photos, no further information is offered. Further web searches are confusing—for example, it’s ranked “No. 11 in the World” on Trip Advisor and is profiled on CNN, but again, there are no actual guest photos or personal reviews offered. Is this Fiji resort so elite that it’s also very secretive and well hidden?
Here’s some of the delights and specs the website offers on this five-star resort for “elite vacationers,” with an impenetrable façade and mysterious identity:
Poseidon Mystery Island is described as located on a 225 acre, ~ one-mile long island in Fiji, which is an inactive volcano and was once a coconut plantation. You can arrive there by the resort’s twin-engine aircraft or by boat in the nearly eight-square-mile lagoon, where a marina and moorings “will be available.” The resort is unique in that it offers a one–atmosphere environment. This means that the entire interior remains at surface pressure and so prevents the occupants from experiencing the “physiological effects of hydrostatic pressure,” which come with ambient pressure habitats (such as the U.S. Aquarius research habitat and Jules Undersea Lodge, a small, functioning Floridian undersea hotel).
Poseidon Mystery Island guests are promised a wide variety of amenities, facilities, and recreational delights, including:
marine-focused spa treatments…sip[ping] cocktails aboard Poseidon’s 16-passenger Triton luxury submarine…deep reef excursions, explore the abyss, scuba diving, sea trek on the sea floor, water sports, para–sailing, ultralight flight, cave exploration, sea the stars, cavort, driving and walking tours, lectures/workshops, dining, fitness center, library , conference room/wedding room, dive shop boutique.
I especially love the “cavort” option. The local natural environment has a rich ecosystem with coconut crabs, birds, sea turtles, clams, dolphins, and more. The Poseidon Coral Reef Sanctuary Project, “conceived as a non-profit program” will offer young and old, professional scientist and avid ocean-lover, opportunities to experience “conservation, education, and research programs.”
During their stay, guests can choose from either underwater or above-ground restaurants or rooms and will have access to all parts of the resort. The lodgings are described as suites, villas, and bungalows also known as “bures.” The above ground accommodations boast king-sized beds with excellent linens, Wi-Fi, offices, flat-screens, refrigerators, and marble bathrooms with Jacuzzis and “marine-influenced body products.” The air-conditioned bures, the site explains, have their own pool, courtyards, and dining areas. The undersea suites offer extensive underwater views–70% of the surface area is transparent for ocean viewing and is kept consistently clear with automated cleaning systems. These walls are made of 2.4-inch thick acrylic panels of polyethyl methacrylate, a common material for both aquarium and submersible usage in the last two decades. The see-through walls can be made private with adjustable LCD screens. There are one-inch thick steel walls. These rooms also offer fish-feeding technology, coral gardens, and underwater lights.
Each submerged unit is 40 feet underwater and is a connected but stand-alone model that can be removed from the complex and the water if need be. They have carbon-fiber doors which maintain integrity and safety domes which divers can enter. A Wikipedia entry explains that L. Bruce Jones, president of U.S. Submarines, conceived this resort, which would explain the site’s statement that it was “designed by U.S. Submarines to meet the structural requirements applicable to a submarine pressure hull,” and was built to “meet American Society of Mechanical Engineers Code for Pressure Vessels for Human Occupancy” as well.
Here’s the thing, though—it doesn’t appear to have been built at all. Smarty India tells us in a 2014 article called, “Top 10 Must See Marine Places in the World” that a one-week couples’ fee is $15,000, but, again, offers no actual photos. Metro.co.uk shares that, “building work on the project began in 2001 and it was meant to open in 2008.” Alux, a site for “luxury enthusiasts,” identifies the Poseidon Island as Katafinga Island in Fiji and calls it part of a “proposed series of underwater 5 star resorts.”
The Poseidon resort site offers a registration sign-up option where interested guests can opt to be informed when they start taking reservations. They also explain that they are already looking into building a Poseidon II, since,
over 150,000 people have registered to be notified when we begin taking reservations and the Fiji Resort will only be able to take 7,200 reservations per year.
Site visitors are also encouraged to buy Poseidon gear, including this “Poseidon Resorts Edition Reactor 1000-m Titanium Poseidon Dive Watch with Mechanical Automatic Movement,” for $1,500.
You can also follow them on twitter, but the last tweet was in January of 2014. Here’s what may be the final nail in the coffin, or the burial at sea, for this resort; in 2014, the Fiji Times shared that Fiji Ministry of Tourism Permanent Secretary Elizabeth Powell said the resort was “definitely not in operation.”
I think Poseidon Mystery Island will be wonderful when and if it is ever finished. I’m sorry to say that at this point, it seems to be mainly an internet mirage cycling through sensational top-travel-list articles that, upon closer examination, leaves ocean-dreamers disappointed.