Envision yourself in an underwater hotel in Florida on an adventure that includes scuba diving to your destination. Whether you are a seasoned diver looking for a 24-hour Padi Aquanaut certification or a family of four hoping to share an underwater adventure, you’ll find the following quick guide helpful for your stay in the undersea lodge in Key Largo.
Seeing this underwater hotel in person, you’ll experience delightful glimpses of the barracuda and sea horses that call the Largo Sound home. Peek through a 42 inch round window or arrange a guided dive to explore further.
We discuss the best things to do during your visit to Jules’ Undersea Lodge.
Jules’ Undersea Lodge
Table of Contents
Key Largo, Florida
In one of the world’s most popular dive locations, the Key Largo undersea park is a great PADI dive resort. It offers a 30-foot depth dive, an anchor, a natural nursery, mangrove and marine life in a small secluded area. Operating since 1986, the site has continued to share the experience of diving in Key Largo year-round.
Perhaps you have built up your confidence by snorkelling in Key West and would like to try your hand at scuba diving in a safe environment. Jules’ Underwater Lodge is located in a lagoon and is the ideal location to learn to dive.
While overwater villas are a growing trend, Jules’ Undersea Lodge was the first underwater hotel and inspired many divers and non-divers to embrace this unique accommodation style. Snorkel or dive to the natural nursery area during a guided tour around Jules’ Lagoon, where you’ll see barracuda, blue tangs, eels, manatee, sea horses, and marine life.
The marine life is enhanced by the presence of the underwater lodge. It acts as an artificial reef while the airflow adds oxygen to the entire body of water. Entering the undersea world will give you a view of the oysters, sponges, anemones, and feather duster worms.
The dive site is on Shoreland Drive in Key Largo and is bordered by the Largo Sound. Arrange an airport shuttle or start a self-drive tour along the Overseas Highway from Key West or travel from Miami to Key Largo.
Key Largo’s most famous dive visits the USS Spiegel Grove shipwreck located five nautical miles offshore. If you and your family feel more comfortable above the water, you can peek at the coral reefs and fishes during a glass-bottom boat adventure.
Style and Character
The underwater hotel was formerly the La Chalupa Research Laboratory used in the ’70s to explore the continental shelf off of the coast of Puerto Rico.
The sense of history is inescapable when spending time in this underwater habitat. While the lodge features comfortable and futuristic decor, it doesn’t detract from its authenticity as the first underwater suite.
The lodge was named in honour of Jules Verne, the author of ‘Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.’ Watch a film in the evening or simply peek through the large round window found in each room.
Services and Facilities
Once you have made your reservation, the staff will make sure you feel comfortable during your stay. A member remains available during your entire underwater experience. You can check-in from 1:30 pm, ready to dive and check-out at 9 am the following day.
During your underwater stay you will have access to:
- Intercom to the staff
- Free wifi
- TV & Stereo
- Amazon fire stick
- Bathroom with a toilet
Don your scuba mask and dive to the lodge’s moon pool to enter the wetroom, where you will change into your dry clothes. Your items will be safely transferred and waiting for you here. Step into either an underwater bedroom for privacy or socialize in the common room. Each bedroom and the common room have 42-inch round windows to the outside world.
The 600 square foot guest house is only accessible via the wet-room hatch. Rest assured, everything is safely secured with all the necessary connections for oxygen supply and communication.
If you are a family member prone to feeling claustrophobic, you can book yourself a luxury all inclusive stay at the nearby Key Largo Bay Marriott Beach Resort.
Food and Drink
Dive into a delicious pizza for dinner! You can arrange a prepared meal or request for a chef to dive down to prepare and serve you a gourmet dinner. Special occasions, such as a birthday or anniversary, can be celebrated with a cake and flowers upon prior arrangement.
Avoid drinking alcohol eight hours before diving. There is a generous supply of water, soda, and tea.
Value for Money
You’ll pay around $900 for one night stay per person. The value for money improves when booking for four guests. It is well-priced, as far as accommodation underwater is concerned.
As a diver, you’ll be glad to hear there is no limit on oxygen available to you. You can explore the area and maximize your diving experience. Add an underwater pizza delivery, and it feels like a dream to be sleeping underwater in a lodge.
Make the most of your time inside this unique accommodation and stay connected many feet below the surface. Send friends and family a message or stream from your favorite website. The living area is a relaxing room with amenities for dining.
The aquanauts and celebrity guests to have visited the lodge include former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Steven Tyler of the band ‘Aerosmith’ and Jon Fishman of ‘Phish’. When you meet the staff, remember to ask them about their greatest stories for an exciting insight into this one-of-a-kind underwater structure.
The last entry into the lagoon for day visitors is 1:30 pm.
Things to Do Nearby
Once you’ve explored the emerald lagoon, you’ll likely want to explore nearby waters within a similarly protected environment. Below is a great location to visit for first-time or novice divers.
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
Dive at the country’s first undersea park covering an impressive 70 nautical square miles. Head to the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park for a relaxing snorkel to the Christ of the Abyss statue or colourful coral reefs.
Enjoy spectacular views of the park while hiking, paddling, snorkelling, scuba diving, or picnicking. You can subscribe to the Friends of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park newsletter to get the full details of events taking place sent to your inbox.
Note: Please use reef-safe sunscreens during your visit to avoid disturbing the natural habitat operations.
FAQ – Common Questions About Underwater Hotels
We tackled the following commonly asked questions in the hope it will be of help to you.
Where Is the Nearest Airport to Jules’ Undersea Lodge?
While the Ocean Reef Club Airport is the nearest, Key West International airport is the preferred choice for commercial flights. Either travel from Key West to Key Largo or fly into Miami International airport before a 58 mile trip to Jules’ Undersea Lodge.
Is There Free WiFi at Jules’ Undersea Lodge?
Yes, there is Wi-Fi, and you will be able to send your devices down safely with your luggage.
Does Jules’ Undersea Lodge Offer Breakfast?
Yes, breakfast is served to the guests in the underwater habitat.
Is There Access for Guests With Disabilities?
Yes, there is access to the water, and the lead instructor, Daniel, is a handicap scuba association instructor. Make contact before your trip, and the staff will be happy to help you make the dives of your dreams a reality.
Is Jules’ Undersea Lodge Family-Friendly?
Yes, all ages can enjoy the waters here. However, if you wish to do more than snorkel in the lagoon, you will require a scuba certification or be older than ten years old to participate in a diving accreditation on-site.
Having Fun in Florida’s Underwater Hotel
Having led the way as the first underwater accommodation only accessible by diving, Jules’ Undersea Lodge offers you a unique experience. While less luxurious than the alternatives found in Australia and the Maldives, this is an icon worth exploring.
Have you spent a luxurious evening in an underwater hotel? Share your experience below.