Lonely Planet Writer

Underwater hotel gets go-ahead in Florida

Those in search of sea views need look no further, as plans to build an underwater hotel in Key West, Florida have been approved and are set to go ahead. The Planet Ocean Underwater Hotel will be built in Florida and then transported on a barge to an undecided location.

An artist's rendition of what the hotel might look like
An artist’s rendition of what the hotel might look like Image by Planet Ocean Underwater Hotel

The hotel would be classified as a vessel, given that it would move thanks to electromechanical propulsion and would be able to change direction in the sea. Access to the hotel would be via a system of elevators, and each room would have Wifi, air-conditioning, and breathtaking views of the surrounding marine life.

The project, which is patented and approved, is set to cost in the region of $20 million and is being funded by venture capitalist Tony Webb who has funded an array of space travel related projects including sponsoring the Synergy Moon project, participating in the Google Lunar X Prize, which is a race to land a robot on the moon. In this case Webb has turned to domestic ‘earth’ tourism.

Aside from the spectacular elements of the underwater hotel, there is also a conservationist commitment to improve the world’s coral reefs. The team building the Planet Ocean Underwater Hotel are dedicated to combating coral bleaching, a phenomenon that has seen waters stripped of coral due to increased temperatures. The team will be using a technique known as Biorock which involves passing an electric current through seawater to build the hotel. This process causes minerals in the water to crystallize and form white limestone structures which corals can then attach to and live off.

Coral Reef around the world are being attacked by the chemical oxybenzone which is contained in most sunscreens
Coral Reef at Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge Image by USFWS – Pacific Region / CC BY 2.0

Countries are currently being asked to express interest in hosting the Planet Ocean Underwater Hotel and a date has not yet been set for its completion.