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“A good place for check out dives”

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Jules Undersea Lodge
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“A good place for check out dives”
Reviewed September 15, 2013

I went here for my dry suit certification dives. It's not, as other reviewers have pointed out, the prettiest place to dive in Key Largo. The bottom is mucky and visibility was 10-15 feet after a large rescue diver certification class came through. On the other hand, for someone like me, hoping to learn to dive in less than ideal conditions, in a dry suit, it was perfect for learning the necessary skills. The diving is shallow and there are well-maintained platforms to work from. Access is easy, either giant striding off the surrounding wall or going down wide, well-maintained stairs into the water.
The underwater habitat is cool. We actually poked our heads up into the wet room to have a look and you can look in through the windows at other rooms. There are critters, though it certainly isn't as busy a place as the reefs around the island. Since I wasn't there to sightsee, that wasn't a problem for me.
Divers can take advantage of hot showers, which seem to be a rarity not only in Key Largo. There is a diner next door that serves pretty good food in large portions. The two women I met in the gift shop were perfectly nice and very helpful.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RJHinPDX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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29 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
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English first
Lafayette, Louisiana
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed July 18, 2013

Wow, steer clear of the dragon lady! She clearly leads a miserable life and doenst hesitate to spew her hatred of a pulse on her customers. While filling out the liability forms(which she repeatedly got mixed up between the 2 classes), my son saw a tv behind the counter with a neat scene of what I'm assuming is one of the underwater hotel rooms. My son asked her, with the wonder of a child enjoying the keys for the first time, "wow, what's that on the tv?".

"Something YOU won't be seeing", came the reply, with a snarl.

Being ex-military that takes no crap off anyone, especially when it's unwarranted and toward my son, I was about to reply, "the NICE way to say that is that that's one of our underwater hotel rooms. Theyre cleaning it now, so you unfortunately won't be able to see it today, but maybe you guys can come stay there one day". However, I bit my tongue, as I just wanted this woman out of our life asap, and we needed this place for my son's checkout dives due to bad weather, otherwise we would have never made it past the front desk. She also told me twice that I had to fill out the top of my liability form - as I'm busy filling out my son's. Tired of the holier than thou attitude, I replied, "I realize that, I can only do one thing at a time", with a smile.

On to the viz. The algae covering the bottom of the lagoon is as green and dark as the front desk lady's heart. Even in about 17 fsw, you can't see the bottom until you get a good ways down. I'd say it was about 10 feet of viz... but with the dark bottom, it seems much worse. My son, excited to get certified, called the dive - it was a bit scary even for me, an AOW diver with 100 dives and several night dives under my belt.

The whole reason I brought my son to Key Largo to get certified was because of the great viz and easy diving I've experienced over years of coming here. He will not have his first "ocean" experience ruined by bad viz and worse attitudes. If I wanted that, I could have taken him to Panama City for a lot less traveling than we did to get here(but at least the staff are friendly there). I'd rather he just finish his pool dives and finish his checkouts in the real ocean next year(it's been raining mercilessly our entire trip), where they should be done. No kid/new diver should be subject to having to "enjoy" their first "real" dives at this place.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
25 Thank Beck2222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cheyenne, Wyoming
Level Contributor
51 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2013

We came here for our last two open water dives to obtain our PADI cert with Rainbow Reef because the water was extremely choppy due to weather. The underwater habitat was interesting and offered the salt water experience we needed, in addition to limited visibility. Our instructor, Drake, made it great, but by itself, Jules wouldn't be ideal for diving.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Location
Helpful?
6 Thank stayfrosty87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlantic Beach
Level Contributor
144 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
Reviewed April 6, 2013 via mobile

Thought I would stop by and find out more about this this place. The Lady at the gift shop was very unfriendly to my kids and other visitors. We had no food nor drinks and my kids were well behaved, just curious to look around their gift shop. Every visitor was greeted with you can't do this, don't do that. Not very friendly at all. We felt like we were a bother rather than a customer. Looked interesting but with that attitude not interested in going back.

Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
23 Thank WorldTravelers2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed March 3, 2013 via mobile

This was in my bucket list. The overall experience was awesome, the fact was that we took the manned underwater laboratory specialty program. This program requires the aquanaut specialty program, which mean we were kept busy during our 24 hour stay. I read about the La Chalupa in the past and it was great to stay in a place were so much science was done. Professional staff and great "atmosphere" to be in.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank CaptCruz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Akron, Ohio
Level Contributor
52 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed February 10, 2013

I didn't stay at the lodge, so my review is mostly for diving experience here.
Just surprised by the positive reviews, since my experience was almost the opposite -- there was just not much to see in the water here, besides a few fish and underwater lodge entrance. Very little visibility otherwise, the bottom was mostly covered by algae of some sort. Quite spooky actually.
Had to come here since the ocean was too rough that day, but I don't think I'll be back here by choice. And as another reviewer mentioned, the workers were not friendly at all either.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank localhost8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
50 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed May 2, 2012

We were looking for a hotel to stay during our visit to Key Largo and we figured we would check this out before we booked anywhere because it looked really cool! We stopped by the hotel and weren't exactly sure where to go and we ended up at the gift shop. We had never been to Key Largo and we decided to ask the worker in the gift shop some questions about the area. She was very rude to us and acted like we were idiots for some of the questions we asked. We just asked if there were any beaches/wildlife parks. We decided from this encounter that we would find somewhere else to stay, but I was disappointed because this place looked really neat. I didn't want to give them a bad review just by the gift shop worker, but just so they know they lost a customer because they weren't friendly. So, if you have the chance I would check this place out... but maybe steer clear of the gift shop.

Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
17 Thank Ash D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Jules Undersea Lodge

Property: Jules Undersea Lodge
Address: 51 Shoreland Dr, Key Largo, FL 33037-4752
Location: United States > Florida > Florida Keys > Key Largo
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 19 Specialty Lodging in Key Largo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Jules Undersea Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 1
Also Known As:
Jules Undersea Hotel Key Largo
Jules Undersea Key Largo

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