Key Largo is the largest of the Florida Keys and used to be famous for its lime plantations. Nowadays the key is popular for its beaches, snorkeling and scuba diving and its natural parks. Among the best diving spots is John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park with its living coral formations and which has been dubbed the first undersea park in the USA. Other parks worth visiting include the Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge, the Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park, the Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center and the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail. One great way to take in the underwater beauty of this area is to stay in underground hotels in Key Largo such as Jule’s Undersea Lodge.
1. Introduction to Jules' Undersea Lodge
Jules’ Undersea Lodge is located in Key Largo, Florida. The property is set under the clear water of a tropical mangrove habitat at the bottom of Emerald Lagoon. A comfortable stay is assured for guests who are already experienced scuba divers. Alternatively, visitors are welcome to take the ‘Discover SCUBA Diving’ course prior to their stay. When viewed from under the water, light glows from the 42” round windows of the lodge, offering a friendly invitation to passing divers to stay there.
2. Location and accessibility to the underwater hotel
This hotel really is underwater and getting into Jules’ Undersea Lodge involves scuba diving some 21 ft (6.4 meters) below the surface to get there. Entry is via an opening at the bottom of the undersea habitat, making the stay even more exciting. Visitors who are not trained in scuba diving can enjoy the ‘Discover SCUBA Diving’ program which will then allow them entry. The habitat is set at the bottom of tropical mangrove and is surrounded by clear water, with the marine residents swimming up to the windows on a regular basis.
3. Rooms and accommodation available at Jules' Undersea Lodge
Visitors can spend three hours at the undersea lodge and enjoy a world-famous underwater pizza lunch. However, the best experience is to stay in the habitat overnight, the rate for which includes your scuba gear. Two staterooms are available with comfortable bunk beds and a bathroom and can sleep up to six guests in a group. There is a living area in which you may relax and chat about the day.
4. Facilities and amenities on board Jules' Undersea Lodge
An overnight stay includes the famous pizza, freshly delivered by a pizza scuba guy, as well as a continental breakfast. A variety of snacks, soda and water is available during your stay and the dive gear is included in the overnight package. For an additional 80 USD per person, a more luxurious meal including filet mignon or lobster with vegetables, a salad and home-made Key lime pie can be served. The common room has a TV and DVD player and provides Wi-Fi and Amazon Fire Stick. There is also a large round window to watch passing marine life.
5. Design and safety aspects of the habitat
The habitat was originally constructed as the La Chalupa research laboratory which was used to explore the continental shelf off of Puerto Rico’s coast. It was adapted and renovated to become a tourist attraction, the only one of its kind in USA. The lodge sits on legs which stand approximately 5 feet (1.5 meters) from the bottom of the lagoon. The habitat is filled with compressed air, thus preventing water from rising into the lodge. Entry is via a five-by-seven-foot “moon pool” entrance in the habitat’s floor in the wet room, where divers will leave their gear and have a hot shower prior to entering the rest of the habitat. There is a control centre connected to the habitat by an umbilical cable, via which fresh air, power, water and communications can pass. The entire habitat is monitored 24 hours a day and has independent support systems and also redundant backup systems to ensure total safety.
6. Pricing and reservation at Jules' Undersea Lodge
Nice picture of our Common area inside Jules' Lodge. Thank you Frazier Nivens.Posted by Jules' Undersea Lodge on Saturday, 12 December 2015
Visitors can spend three hours inside the habitat or enjoy an overnight stay. The details of an overnight stay at Jules’ Undersea Lodge have been furnished here.
Jules' Undersea Lodge
Address: 51 Shoreland Dr, Key Largo, Florida, USA
Price: from 150 USD (3-hour visit); 800 USD for 2 (overnight stay)
Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 8:30am - 2:30pm; Sat - Sun: 8am - 4pm (closed on Mon)
Travelers Review: 4.3/5 Very Good (from 94 reviews)
7. Marine life that you will encounter during a stay at the lodge
This is one of John Nussbaum's photos from his latest adventure. We love manatees at Jules' Lodge. Great shot John;)Posted by Jules' Undersea Lodge on Sunday, 1 March 2015
The habitat serves as an artificial reef which attracts and provides shelter to marine animals. Also, the air flowing from the lodge constantly adds oxygen to the surrounding water. This attracts a number of marine animals, including parrotfish, sea horses, barracuda, snapper, blue tangs, sergeant majors and friendly manatees which regularly visit the habitat.
Spend a night under water
If you are an experienced scuba diver or would be interested in learning how to dive, this is the perfect lodge to experience a night under the sea. Go for the adventure of eating pizza in the depths of the sea while staying in unique underground hotels in Key Largo such as Jule’s Undersea Lodge.
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