Ask Oyster: Need Help Finding a Nude Hotel

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Welcome to our new series, Ask Oyster! Have a burning travel question you'd like answered? Contact us and put "Ask Oyster" in the subject line.

Dear Oyster,

My husband and I have always wondered what it would be like to try the nude lifestyle on vacation, but I have no idea what kind of resorts might offer this. (And I would be a bit embarrassed to call up a hotel and ask!) What are my options?

--Uses Lots of Sunscreen

Dear Sunscreen,

We're so glad you asked. The types of resorts that allow nude sunbathing are more varied than one might initially expect, ranging from raunchy and swinger-friendly to sophisticated and luxurious. The permitted locales within the resorts vary widely as well -- some resorts have dedicated nude beaches, pools, or sun decks, while others allow nakedness pretty much everywhere and anywhere. For truly dedicated nudists, there are even resorts offering nude weddings, such as the Firefly Beach Cottages.

To make planning easier, we've revealed (exposed? bared? uncovered? Okay, we're done) some of the main types of nude-friendly vacations.

The Hedonistic Nude Vacation: If you're looking not only to get naked, but to engage in, uh, naked activities, there are resorts that cater to that. Among the most famous of these are the Hedonism resorts in Jamaica, which are known for their loyal, uninhibited customer base and themed parties (such as "Pajamas and Pasties" and "Fetish Fantasy.")

Desire Resort & Spa Riveira is a topless-optional property with raunchy activities.

The Raunchy Nude Vacation: If you're not quite open to an all-naked, all-the-time experience, but still enjoy a little raunchy fun, there are clothing-optional and top-less optional resorts where dressing down really is optional. You can bare some skin when you want, but no one will look at you askance if you don't, and provocative games and contests provide risque fun. The topless-optional Temptation resorts (including the Temptation Resort Spa Cancun) and clothing-optional Desire Resorts (the Desire Resort & Spa Los Cabos and the Desire Resort & Spa Riviera Maya) fall in this category.

Breezes Grand Resort & Spa in Negril has a nude side and a prude side.

The Nude Side and the Prude Side: If you want to to be sure you'll be surrounded by like-minded guests on your trip, consider staying at a resort that has both a nude side and a prude side, such as the Breezes Grand Resort & Spa Negril. Unlike clothing-optional properties where some guests may be clothed and others unclothed, there's a clear division at these resorts, which may allow each category of guest to feel more comfortable.

Couples Tower Isle's small, rocky island is clothing prohibited, not clothing optional.

Resorts with "Clothing Prohibited" Nude Sections: For guests who want to be clothed on their vacation most of the time, but want to feel accepted when they do strip down, some resorts have sections that are not clothing optional but clothing prohibited. Most of the Couples resorts in Jamaica have sections where clothing is not allowed: a small rocky island at Couples Tower Isle; a beach and pool at Couples Sans Souci; and a beach at Couples Negril.

Ventana Inn & Spa is a luxury resort with a clothing-optional pool.

The Buttoned-Up Nude Vacation: Yes, okay, we know this is a contradiction in terms. But if you're looking for a sophisticated, buttoned-up luxury resort that lets you button down, you're in luck. Several posh options have clothing optional areas, such as the Ventana Inn & Spa in Big Sur, with a clothing-optional pool, and Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa in Bermuda, with a clothing-optional Sky Deck overlooking the pool.

Happy tanning!

Love, Oyster

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