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This story was published before Summer 2021, when we launched our new digital experience.

You Can Now Read Underwater At Two Key West Hotels

Waterproof books might be a necessity at every tropical hotel.


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Is there anything better than laying beach or poolside with a good book? Well, what if you could actually be in the water with a literary masterpiece? Seems impossible given the whole books-are-made-of-paper problem. Luckily, two Key West hotels found a solution: create a “fully immersed” underwater library.

Located in New Town, Key West, The Gates Hotel Key West and 24° North Hotel house five waterproof books including Shakespeare’s Macbeth, W. B. Yeats’ Cloths of Heaven, a selection of Mark Twain short stories and more that guests can casually pick up (at no cost) at the pool tiki from inside a fish tank. Yes, the books are bopping inside a fish tank day and night in their natural in-water habitat.

The waterproof books make it, so you don’t have to put down your page-turner if you want to take a dip in the pool, float in the ocean, or even bring back to your hotel room for a bathtub soak. Plus, you won’t have to worry if you spill a little piña colada, too.

This genius waterproof book idea is courtesy of Bibliobath, Kickstarter-funded company that creates the tear-proof and waterproof books. “We worked on finding the right materials and suppliers, settling on synthetic paper made from polypropylene,” reads the website. “It is fully waterproof and tear-resistant but still feels like real paper. After testing our prototypes at various water temperatures and soap types we presented the first series of four books...in July 2015.”

While these classic reads are included with your stay at the Florida properties, you can also purchase one through the company’s website starting around $21. That way you can bring Shakespeare, Sun Zi and more on your next lake or tropical getaway.

Meanwhile, The Gates Key West is also offering another unique amenity: on-demand flip flops: As Key West’s unofficial ambassador, Jimmy Buffet once sang, it’s common for vacationers to “blow out their flip flop.” In response, the property partnered with Kinos Sandals, a world-famous sandal factory in Key West, to launch “Flip Flops within the Hour.” Guests can customize handmade leather sandals and get delivered to their pool chair within an hour.


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