Jules' Undersea Lodge, named after Jules Verne (author of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea), is located in Key Largo, Florida. The lodge was originally built as a research laboratory to explore the continental shelf. The world's first underwater hotel, Jules' Undersea Lodge is also the first underwater research lab to be made available to average people.
To get to Jules' Undersea Lodge, visitors must dive 21 feet below the surface of the sea and enter through the floor in the inn's wet room. "Entering through an opening in the bottom of the habitat, the feeling is much like discovering a secret underwater clubhouse," according to the lodge's Web site.
If you're not a certified scuba diver, Jules' offers a package of different diving classes. You can learn just enough to get you safely into the inn, or you can go all out and get an open water certification, or even an advanced certification.
The 600-square-foot building includes air conditioning, hot showers, and a well-stocked kitchen. The 42-inch round windows in the bedrooms and the common room provide a good view of the surrounding sea life.
Two 8-by-10 bedrooms each have a double bed.
The multipurpose common room is 8 by 20, with a microwave, refrigerator, sink, dining area, telephone, intercom, television, VCR, DVD player, and stereo sound system. The sofa converts into two single beds for larger groups.
Ordinarily, the lodge hosts two couples. A single group of up to six can fit, using the two double beds and the converted sofa in the common room.
Guests have a limitless air supply from 100-foot-long "hookah" lines. The air pressure keeps the water from rising and flooding the rooms. An enclosed shower and toilet are located off the wet room.
The lodge's presence underwater actually enhances marine life, providing an artificial reef to give animals shelter. Among the marine creatures guests are likely to see during a stay at Jules' Undersea Lodge are angelfish, parrotfish, barracuda and snappers. The inn is covered by anemones, sponges, oysters and feather duster worms.
Bed and Breakfast
Because of its small size, Jules' Undersea Lodge very much resembles a bed and breakfast. Although breakfast is not served by an innkeeper, the common room includes a fully stocked kitchen. Some available packages include a "mer-chef" who dives down to the hotel and prepares a gourmet dinner; some also include breakfast.