Jules’ Undersea Lodge, is not just a submerged recreational hotel, and not only a facility that has hosted more than 10,000 overnight guests including Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, actor Tim Allen and two rock stars: Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler and Phish drummer Jon Fishman. Jules’ Undersea Lodge is the only place in the United States, for aspirant Aquanauts.
The lodge, whose entrance is 21 feet beneath the surface, has two bedrooms, a shower and head, and can comfortably host a maximum of six scuba-certified guests. Divers deliver supplies such as linens through an underwater opening called a moon pool.
Guests can order fresh local pizza in an original box or choose gourmet meal options of filet and Florida lobster, baked potato, roll and homemade Key lime pie. Food is delivered in a weighted waterproof case.
A dockside compressor pushes scrubbed and filtered air into the lodge. Land-based dive operators closely monitor the air and safety of underwater guests during activities such as venturing out for a dive.
Jules’ overnight experience also offers what the lodge bills as the world’s only Recreational Aquanaut specialty scuba diving recognition. Its MarineLab educational programs teach about 5,000 students each year.
The lodge initially was the bright orange La Chalupa research laboratory, one of the most technologically advanced habitats of its kind. It conducted sea floor studies and saturation dive currents. First based in Vieques, Puerto Rico, La Chalupa was immersed in 100 feet of water, then moved to Miami and later to Key Largo to the park’s lagoon.
A Tennessee college professor and instructor stayed in the lodge for a record-breaking 73 days in 2014 during a “Classroom Under the Sea” underwater living mission. The stay is cited in the Guinness Book of World Records as the “longest time spent living in an underwater fixed habitat.”
The lodge’s current name was inspired by novelist Jules Verne’s “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.” Opened in 1986, it celebrated 30 years underwater in November 2016. Jules’ Undersea Lodge is located at Key Largo Undersea Park, 51 Shoreland Drive.