Whether you hate tan lines and sand in your swim trunks, or just love the feeling of sunbathing au naturel, you're in luck -- as many resorts have instituted clothing-optional areas so the only suit you have to wear is your birthday suit. From full nudist-friendly hotels to properties that have designated clothing-free pools, here are 11 spots you don't need to pack a bikini for.
Desire Resort & Spa Riviera Maya
Desire Resort & Spa is an all-inclusive, couples-only, clothing-optional resort that attracts a range of guests, from older married couples to young nudists to swingers. The resort has an explicit, frisky atmosphere as sex is allowed in some public spaces, including the whirlpool area and the Sin Room. There is a nice pool with ocean views, a well-equipped fitness center, a small spa offering treatments for two, four restaurants, and a clothing-optional nightclub. Rooms are a little smaller than those at other similarly billed hotels, but they're contemporary.
Terra Cotta Inn, Palm Springs
The 17-room budget Terra Cotta Inn is an adults-only, clothing-optional resort and spa where the major activity is sunbathing in the buff at the pool or hot tub. Note that the hotel only accepts couples and accompanying female friends, no single men. The property was built in 1960 and has retained a retro vibe. Rooms are spacious and colorful, but furnishings are somewhat dated.
Island House, Key West
Located in historic Key West, Island House is a 34-room boutique designed exclusively for gay men. Many restaurants and tourist attractions along Duval Street are located within easy walking distance. Rooms are stylish, if small, and some have showers with multiple shower heads. The outdoor pool and hot tub is surrounded by lounge chairs and lush foliage. The entire hotel (except the gym) is clothing-optional and the staff plans on- and off-site activities, like snorkeling and sailing trips.
Desire Pearl Resort & Spa Riviera Maya
Like its sister property, the Desire Pearl is a couples-only, clothing-optional, all-inclusive resort on a beautiful white-sand beach right outside quiet Puerto Morelos. It draws a range of young and middle-aged couples (strictly heterosexual) looking for some adult fun in the sun. It is racy, but somewhat quieter and younger than the Desire Resort & Spa Riviera Maya. The huge pool overlooks the ocean and the sex-friendly hot tub has a swim-up bar. Rooms are large and airy, with cute country-influenced decor (plaid bed runners, blue pastel fabrics), balconies or patios, and modern amenities, such as flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, and free Wi-Fi.
Hedonism II, Jamaica
Designed for adventurous couples who want to add a bit of spice to their vacation, the all-inclusive Hedonism II is a popular mid-range nudist resort tucked into a quiet, private section of Negril’s Seven Mile Beach. With a wide variety of activities and entertainment, this adults-only resort encourages guests to explore their wild side and indulge themselves. There are both “prude” and “nude” sections of the resort to accommodate different comfort levels, and property highlights include the nude beach, water slide, and a variety of pools and whirlpools on both sides. Guests who want to explore the area are close to a variety of restaurants, bars, and shops in downtown Negril.
Ventana Inn & Spa, Big Sur
Situated on more than 200 acres of picturesque oceanfront land, The Ventana Inn & Spa looks like a rustic cabin nestled in the woods -- yet it features 62 luxurious, streamlined rooms with wooden accents, refreshing pops of color, and modern amenities such as flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, and free Wi-Fi. Not a place for families, the hotel aims to create a zen, holistic retreat with such offerings as yoga classes, discovery walks, afternoon wine and cheese, Japanese baths, and two pools (one of which is clothing-optional).
Couples Tower Isle, Jamaica
One of the island’s first resorts and a former playground for 1950s Hollywood A-listers, this 226-room, 19-acre, all-inclusive Couples Tower Isle is still a sophisticated option. Public areas are chic and modern, but the rooms fall a bit short by comparison. The resort’s namesake island, a small rocky refuge about a one-minute boat ride away from the mainland, has a small pool, a little bit of beach, and a swim-up bar -- but guests must be willing to bare it all to experience it. The gorgeous spa, robust all-inclusive offerings (excursions and top-shelf booze are covered), beachfront location, and mellow vibe are all highlights here.
Temptation Resort Spa Cancun
The Temptation Resort Spa Cancun is an adults-only, topless-optional property that caters to 21 and over, uninhibited guests. There is never a dull moment at this all-inclusive resort, which features themed swimming pools and nightly risqué live shows. The color scheme throughout the resort is soothing white and passionate red, and the 384 spacious rooms exude a romantic atmosphere. While the beach area is small and lackluster compared to the beaches at other resorts, the shaded sun beds are nice spots to relax and unwind.
Grand Lido Negril, Jamaica
The Grand Lido's great liquor, decent food, 24-hour room service, intimate setting, and naked hot-tub parties bring a little grown-up indulgence to the more traditional, family-focused all-inclusive resort scene. In addition to the hot tub, there are two pools: an 8-foot-deep circular pool outside the buffet, overlooking the beach, and a smaller, nudist-packed pool, which is the place to be after midnight. However, the guest rooms are showing considerable wear for the high price tag.
Couples Sans Souci, Jamaica
This 35-acre, 148-room all-inclusive, adults-only, couples-only resort has a lush natural setting filled with waterfalls, grottos, beaches, lakes, and jungles. The Couples Sans Souci still has the features of a megaresort -- three restaurants, four pools, two beaches, four bars, a spa, and tons of free activities -- but it's one of the few large-scale resorts that manages to feel crowd-free and even intimate. One of its beaches is a nude beach from morning until evening and has a pool that goes right up to the sand -- something that would have been a lovely addition to the main beach. Still, guests are warned that this “au naturel” beach is not simply “clothing optional” but rather prohibits clothing altogether.
Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa, Bermuda
Th 96-room, 30-acre Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa trumps almost every other resort in Bermuda as far as style and sophistication are concerned. Of course, you’ll pay some of the island’s highest rates to enjoy it. But with its two stunning pools, expansive spa, four private beaches, three restaurants, and some of the most beautifully landscaped grounds around, the hotel is considered by many to be a worthwhile investment in a wonderful experience. It's adults-only for most of the year and includes a clothing-optional sun deck overlooking the pool and beach.
Update: Since we published this article, the Grand Lido Negril closed for renovations and plans to reopen as the Royalton Negril in the fall of 2016. The Temptation Resort Spa Cancun is undergoing renovations as well. The resort will close in September 2016 and is rescheduled to open in fall 2017.
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