The world's first and only underwater inn is the Jules' Undersea Lodge in Key Largo, Fla. Guests scuba dive about 20 feet to enter the inn, which is a converted naval station. You enter through a pool and an air lock; once inside, you breathe and walk around normally. At night, escaping air creates a soothing, bubbling sound that is supposed to encourage your body to have an astonishingly restful sleep.
Typical rate is $375 a night, per person. As a rule, only certified divers can visit. But, for a fee, you can learn enough about diving to qualify to float down to the entrance. And for an extra charge, you can get an advanced diving certification during your stay. Breakfast and dinner are served at set times. The lodge typically hosts two couples. (jul.com)
Multi-room underwater hotels may be on the way. Four companies claim that they will open hotels underwater within the next few years in Fiji, Istanbul, Korea, and Dubai....
HotelChatter has been tracking many of these announcements and doesn't believe a word of them. Even if the hotels do materialize, they won't be for budget travelers. Room rates will start at about $1,500 a night.
Here's some info on these proposed hotels...[UPDATE Apr. 10: This post originally showed images of these underwater hotels.]
What: An underwater, seven-story hotel in Istanbul. Not yet officially named.
Where: Beneath the city center.[CORRECTION 3/25: This blog post mistakenly said Istanbul is the capital of Turkey. I regret the error.] Every room will have views of the ocean.
Rate: $1,500 a night, and up
What: 24 rooms, about 40 feet below the surface of a lagoon. Designs keep shifting; according to a recent layout, the site will include a lagoon, an airstrip, and an elevator that will descend from the surface, beachfront bungalows to the underwater suites.
Where: Off the coast of Fiji
When: 2009 (supposedly)
Rate about $2,100 a night, but you'll probably have to book a package, such as $30,000 for a couple sharing a room for two nights, plus a five-night stay at a related resort above water.
What: Designed and built in Germany, it will be taken apart, moved to the waters off Dubai, and then rebuilt underwater into two parts: one part on the sea ground, and the other floating in the sea.
Where: 27 acres of seabed in Dubai
When: 2009, supposedly
Rate: Expected to be more than $1,000 a night. Not yet announced.
Name: To be announced, once it receives government approval
What: A luxury hotel 65 feet under the sea surface, with 200 suites.
Where: Gyeongju, South Korea, about 500 miles southeast of Seoul
Rate: To be announced.