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Underwater hotel repair and maintenance

Polish building workers have earned a reputation for being real grafters, and a story in last week’s daily newspapers reminds us that Poland retains a highly active and innovative engineering and construction industry of its own.

Your blogger is grateful to Paul Robbens for a story which explained how Deep Ocean Technology is planning to build an undersea hotel, probably in international waters, though there is still a lot of work to be done on the legal details of such an unusual project, as well as the physical challenges.

According to Robert Bursiewicz, a project manager at Polish based Deep Ocean Technology: “The idea of sleeping with the fish some distance beneath the waves may sound dangerous, but the technology needed to build underwater rooms is well-established and proven.”

Already named the Water Discuss, the 22 bedroom facility would be built on land like an oil rig, then towed out to its permanent location and anchored to supports on the sea bed.

While the guest bedrooms, with their rather different “sea views”, would be some 20 feet down, the dining room, bar and other facilities would be contained within another disc on the surface.

It might sound like something out of a James Bond film, but in fact there are already a couple of sub-aqua B&Bs in existence.

The Jules Undersea Lodge started life as a marine research laboratory off the coast of Puerto Rico and now provides two guest bedrooms beneath Florida’s sometimes stormy seas. Unlike Deep Ocean Technology’s concept, however, the lodge, which has been taking paying guests since 1986, can only be reached by diving down in a scuba suit.  Three hours training is provided before you take the plunge!

The world’s newest submarine spa is to be found at the Manta Resort in Tanzania, though it is suspended beneath a floating mother ship or rig.

Mikael Genberg, its designer, explains that the reason for this was safety, saying: “Off Pemba Island there are 4m (13ft) tides. That means there are currents, and there would be endless wear and tear on a structure attached to the sea floor.

“For a hotel room, the danger would be quite extreme and sooner or later something would break. That is why we have built something that is attached to the surface.”

Aside from the mechanics of keeping the structure watertight and secure from strong tides, hotel repair and maintenance and the day to day logistics of a submarine hotel will inevitably also be more onerous.

Tabitha Aldrich-Smith of the British Hospitality Association commented: “It would be very exciting to have an underwater hotel here, but perhaps our cold and tidal seas are better for surfing and sailing. From a hotel management point of view, the simple things like cleaning and changing bed linen could be challenging, since the lodge is submerged in sea water. ”

What we can be certain about is that like any hotel, the fixtures and fittings are going to take a lot of wear and tear, which will present some different challenges for the Water Discuss’ facilities management team. Though with our already extensive experience of working in hotels on dry land, not to mention several floating ones – in the shape of the world’s largest cruise liners – Plastic Surgeon is ready to respond.

Research and Development Manager, Andy Keenagh and a number of our Finishers have already learned to cope with seasickness and having to improvise in tight situations when there’s no chance to “pop back to the depot” if they need some extra kit.

So a sub-sea hotel refurbishment contract should not be too much of a problem. And if the client wants the outside of the hull repairing, at least Andy and the team won’t have to worry about keeping the dust under control.

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