33037 Travel Guide
Fortunately for you adventure-seekers, underwater hotels seem to be more "do-able" than Space Hotels. While Istanbul, Dubai and the Bahamas have still not opened their planned underwater hotels, we have seen an underwater suite open at the Conrad Maldives.
However, if you truly want an underwater hotel experience, the place to be under the sea remains the Jules Undersea Lodge (named after explorer Jules Verne) in Key Largo, Fla. We discovered this place way back in 2003 and it looks like not much has changed since then or since the hotel first opened (as evidenced by this photo found on their website.)
Guests still have to scuba dive 21ft down to the bottom of a lagoon before swimming into the hotel's "entrance."
As long as we're talking about beach getaways, we should mention the Florida Keys. The Coconut Bay Resort in Key Largo is just the ticket. The hotel (and its web site for that matter) aren't going to win any awards from Wallpaper*, but renovations a few years ago spruced up some rooms. Caveat emptor, though, as one guest warns:
Great place to stay as long as you get a good room. Do Not stay in unit 8 which is in need of a few repairs. Apparently it is not one of the rooms that has been renovated yet. We asked to move after the first night because of its appearance and the constant trampling of feet in the room above us during the night. I was quite surprised when we were moved to unit 11, which for the same rate was much nicer and had no one residing above us.
Coconut Bay offers up free paddleboats and kayaks to guests, and grills are available so you can cook up those epically large fish you hooked on your deep sea charter.
[Ed. Note: It was near impossible to find a decent shot of this place, hence the poolside photo. If you've been to Coconut Bay and have photographic evidence, send it our way or drop into the HotelChatter Flickr Pool]
We had it all...just like Bogie and Bacall...sailing away to Key Largo.
Though this photo looks like it was taken back in the early eighties when "Key Largo" was buring up Casey Kasem's top 40, Jules' Undersea Lodge still claims to be the only underwater lodge in the world (for now). Guests don a scuba suit and dive down to their room where their marine environment come equipped with limitless air supplied by 100 foot long hookah lines.
The Lodge began as the La Chalupa research labratory, and underwater habitat used to explore the continental shelf off the coast of Puerto Rico.
All that and co-developer Ian Koblick says, "Marine life is actually enhanced by the presence of an underwater structure, Jules' Undersea Lodge serves as an artificial reef, providing shelter and substrate for marine animals. And the flow of air to the Lodge constantly adds oxygen to the entire surrounding body of water, creating a symbiotic relationship between the technology of man and the beauty of nature."
Whoa. That is some deep theorizing Mr. Koblick. Well, it seems to have worked, as the romance of this modern day Atlantis light has attracted, yup you guessed it, underwater brides and grooms.
Sleepin' with the fishes will run you $395 a night.
Wonder how this underwater original will hold up when Hydropolis opens.