Florida’s Unique Ho­tels

From un­der­wa­ter lodg­ing to tree­top comfort, un­usual ho­tel rooms wel­come trav­el­ers

Bonita & Estero Magazine - - YOUR FLORIDA - BY RENEÉ NO VELLE

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

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