The Truth About The World's Biggest All-Glass Undersea Restaurant

If you loved The Little Mermaid growing up or never outgrew it, a part of you may wonder if it's really better down where it's wetter: under the sea. If that part of you happens to be your stomach, you might want to get a taste of what life is like down there. Well, it just so happens that a gigantic glass restaurant will give you an "Ariel" view of sorts. Situated 5.8 meters, or about 19 feet, under the sea (via CNN), the 5.8 Undersea Restaurant at the Hurawalhi luxury resort in the Maldives leaves as little to the imagination as its name.

The structure was constructed in New Zealand and transported to the resort in one piece during a two-year endeavor. This was no small feat. Built with glass that's 15 centimeters (roughly six inches) thick, 5.8 measures around 969 square feet and tips the scales at 400 metric tons, making it the largest restaurant of its kind on the planet. Hurawalhi debuted the eatery in 2016. It touts a coral landscape designed to attract sea life. So it's almost like a culinary aquarium that turns the tables, placing humans in the glass enclosure while aquatic visitors gawk and make fish faces.

Do you wish you could be part of that world? It won't be easy. 5.8 only seats 20 people at a time, so it's a small world after all. Unfortunately, it requires a big wallet.

A restaurant where seafood sees you

At 5.8, your meal will be under the sea, but your bill will be over a C-note – quite a bit over. Business Insider contributor Jimmy Im paid a visit, which costs customers $280 apiece. For those who plan on pairing their food with hand-picked Champagnes or wines, it's an additional $99. If you're able and willing to foot that bill, you'll have to do it without shoes. In order to enter the place, you must be barefoot. But first, you must cross a bridge over the troublingly expensive water to get the restaurant foyer. There, you unshoe yourself and descend a spiral staircase.

The menu is mainly seafood, which might feel uncomfortable to someone who was replaying Little Mermaid tunes their head up to that point. But if Sebastian the crab goes from singing to sobbing, at least you won't see his salty tears under the sea. 5.8 supplies patrons with a guide so that they can identify fish, turtles, and other creatures that may be swimming about. When it gets dark, the surrounding coral is illuminated, enabling you to keep enjoying the view.

Im indulged in a three-hour multi-course meal, whose ornately arranged plates included poached lobster with truffle caviar and lobster claw emulsion beurre blanc, Wagyu tenderloin with Wagyu cheek confit, and mango cheesecake. Forget Ariel – that food is its own siren song. Even if it wrecks your wallet, everything you spend under the sea is a sunk cost.