Florida’s Unique Hotels
From underwater lodging to treetop comfort, unusual hotel rooms welcome travelers
Adventure tourism is a rapidly growing trend, but you don’t necessarily have to leave the state to check off your bucket-list items. Florida is brimming with a variety of experiences, including plenty of unusual hotels to make your next getaway unique.
JULES’ UNDERSEA LODGE
Tucked into a flourishing mangrove cove just off the coast of idyllic Key Largo sits a former underwater laboratory that has been brilliantly preserved and transformed into an underwater hotel. Designed with futuristic décor, Jules’ Undersea Lodge offers guests every modern convenience in the cozy twobedroom dwelling. The staff remains on hand 24 hours a day to attend to any request.
The prime focus of the small, submerged dwelling is the 42-inch round window in each room where guests can observe curious parrotfish, shimmering barracuda, friendly snapper and brightly colored angelfish swimming by. Divers can also take advantage of the lodge’s supply of scuba tanks to explore the artificial reef that provides a home to many more marine animals.
“Marine life is actually enhanced by the presence of an underwater structure,” explains Ian Koblick, owner and codeveloper of Jules’. “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.”
The lodge has enjoyed a little notoriety in the media as well. Rock star Steven Tyler of Aerosmith has popped in for a visit, and in 2011 the structure played host to the final leg of the popular CBS television show, The Amazing Race.
SUNRISE OASIS YURT
Nestled peacefully among the thick green oaks that line the Santa Fe River near High Springs is a tree house like no other. Inspired by the indigenous Mongolian dwellings, this 20-sided yurt was built in 2004 and includes some modern c onveniences most campers would consider to be upgrades. Enjoy a propane stove, fresh water, cooking gear, outhouse and comfortable
Jules’ Undersea Lodge
Sunrise Oasis Yurt