An Unusual Place to Stay

Jules' undersea lodge

When I was in college, I took a class in scuba diving.  It was a great class that ignited a lifetime hobby of mine.  I’ve been on several scuba diving expeditions over the years.  I’ve been to the Coral Reef off of Australia, Costa Rica, and Brazil.  On my last scuba trip, I explored the waters off of the Florida Keys.

On another trip that I took to the Florida Keys a few years ago, I explored the Christ of the Deep at John Pennekamp State Park.  This time I decided to explore the western shores of Florida because I discovered an amazing place to stay while I was there.

The Jules’ Undersea Lodge is one of the few underwater hotels in the world.  There are a handful of underwater hotels across the globe.  Some are newer and more luxurious than this one, but I picked this one because it is in the U.S. and it has a neat history.  The only way to get to this hotel is to scuba dive to it.

I’m so glad I decided to ask my lifelong friend John to go with me on this trip!  It was nice to have a friend to split the $800.00 per night stay at Jules’ Lodge.  We each had our own room, as the entire lodge consists of two bedrooms, one bathroom, and one common area.  The lodge originally began as a research laboratory and was located near Puerto Rico.  I think it is so neat that they transformed this older lab into an underwater lodge. 

When we first entered Jules’ Lodge, which is located 30 feet under water, we found ourselves in a “wet room”, which is where we took off our scuba gear then took a nice hot shower before putting on our regular clothes.  We had already arranged for the “mer-chef” to join us in a couple of hours to make us a gourmet dinner.  While we waited for dinner, we explored the small lodge.  The visibility outside the large windows was pretty awesome!  We saw a school of angelfish, several jellyfish, and even a manatee.  It was quite amazing because I

have never seen a manatee that close, except at the aquarium at Epcot, in DisneyWorld.  They really do look like large “sea-cows”.

Dinner was delicious!  The “mer-chef”, Julie, made salmon with scrambled eggs, seasoned potatoes, maple-bacon scones, and coffee granitas, which are kind of like a coffee slushy.  It was such a nice way to end the evening.  We were pretty tired from scuba diving during the day and we were looking forward to a peaceful rest at the underwater hotel.

It was remarkable to wake up to schools of fish swimming right beside my head.  I must have stayed in bed for half an hour as I watched the sea life outside.  The funniest thing I saw was this funny little octopus clinging to the window of the lodge.  It was almost like it was trying to figure out what kind of “creature” I was on the other side of his window.

I’m so glad we took that trip!  It certainly isn’t every day that you get the chance to wake up underwater, in a safe, comfortable lodge.  I think I may look into the other underwater hotels around the world and see if I can visit some others in the future.

JP