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  more about nudist resorts 
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More About Nudist Resorts and Other Nudist Venues

Places to Stay Symbols and Color Codes
      Tent
      Hotel
      Yellow  (family-friendly naturism)
      Blue  (naturist, not catering to children)
      Green  (not specifically naturist)
      Aqua  (catering to a gay and lesbian clientele)
      Red  (adults only, not suitable for minors)
Other Symbols
      Commercial Soaking Establishments
      Boat Trips
      Other Establishments
Naturist Retreats—Things to Know Before You Go
      Nudity Requirements
      Day Use
      Drop-In Visits
      Membership Requirements & Exclusivity
      Single Men & Same-Sex Couples
      Body Jewelry
Reviews of Places to Stay & Other Businesses

Places to Stay Symbols and Color Codes

Tent               
The tent symbol—very generally speaking—is the symbol for a campground and/or RV park (more likely called a caravan park in Europe). Many of these establishments also function as private day-use parks as well, and many also have other accommodations that are available. The unifying feature is that these are places where the majority of guests supply their own overnight lodging (in a RV, camper or tent). All other types of accommodations have a hotel symbol instead

Hotel               
The hotel symbol is for hotels, small resorts, large resorts, guesthouses, bed & breakfasts, bungalow complexes and all other types of accommodations that are not better categorized as campgrounds or RV parks.

Yellow         family-friendly naturism
The color yellow indicates three things:

♦  The establishment is specifically advertised as nudist or naturist.

♦  It most likely adheres to some variation of a "nude when possible, clothed when practical" clothing policy.

♦  The atmosphere is family oriented and suitable for all ages.

Blue         naturist, not catering to children
The color blue indicates three things:

♦  The establishment is specifically advertised as nudist or naturist.

♦  It most likely adheres to some variation of a "nude when possible, clothed when practical" clothing policy.

♦  The establishment is adult oriented and does not cater to families with children.

Notes: Blue does not necessarily mean the establishment expressly prohibits children (some do, some don't). It simply means that children are not catered for. Furthermore, "adult oriented" in this case does NOT have any suggestive implications. The point is NOT that the atmosphere is unsuitable for children. The point is that the establishment is not children oriented.

Green         not specifically naturist
The color green is for establishments with clothing-optional possibilities that are not full-fledged naturist facilities. This category is a bit of a hodgepodge, but a particular establishment categorized as green generally has one or more of the following characteristics:

♦  Clothing is optional, but nudity is not compulsory.

♦  The areas where nudity is allowed are more restricted than what is typical at a full-fledged naturist establishment.

♦  Nudity is not the main theme of the establishment.

♦  Visitors are more likely to encounter fellow patrons who do not participate in nudity.

♦  The establishment is very low key or discreet in promoting the clothing-optional feature(s).

Aqua         catering to a gay and lesbian clientele
The color aqua is for gay establishments with clothing optional possibilities. Some of these establishments advertise to men only while others advertise to gay men and lesbians, but most tend to be overwhelmingly male. (There do not seem to be any lesbian-oriented establishments that promote themselves as nudist or clothing optional.) These places tend to be gay first and clothing optional second. In other words, few would describe themselves as naturist entities per se, but in all-gay environments swimsuits are often viewed as superfluous and nudity is a perfectly acceptable option. Some promote nudity more than others, but none of these are places where nudity is compulsory.

It is worth noting that many of the establishments coded in green are gay owned and very gay friendly although they advertise to a general clientele.

Red         adults only, not suitable for minors
The color red indicates that the establishment is for adults only and that the atmosphere may be sexually charged. Most of these places promote themselves as nude or clothing-optional venues for naughty adult fun. Any establishment that has links to swinger websites is automatically coded red, regardless of how it promotes itself.


Other Symbols

Commercial Soaking Establishments   
The purple soaking pool placemark is for a variety of commercial soaking establishments that run the gamut. Some are hot springs spas that channel natural thermal waters into developed soaking pools. Most of them have facilities for soaking in hot water and taking sauna and/or steam baths. Some have characteristics of days spas. Some are always swimsuits optional. Others have restricted days and times for nudity. Some are co-ed. Some are segregated by gender. A few are naturist entities per se, but most are not. Nudity is usually restricted to bathing areas. Most have overnight accommodations, but with just a few exceptions the lodging parts of these establishments are textile.

Boat Trips   
The sailboat placemark is for a variety of clothing-optional boat excursions.

Other Establishments               
The pushpin placemark is for commercial establishments, non-profit entities and sometimes even events that are not easily categorized and are few in number compared to other types of listings in this guide. Some, for example, have characteristics and facilities of naturist resorts but do not provide any overnight lodging options. Color codes for pushpin placemarks are the same as those described above for tent and hotel placemarks.


Naturist Retreats—Things to Know Before You Go

The quintessential naturist retreat is described by the yellow tent symbol. To generalize, these are family-oriented establishments where nudity is regarded as wholesome, natural, non-sexual and appropriate for children, and body acceptance is promoted as a core value. Some of places, particularly the ones in sunnier climates, are best described as naturist vacation centers and are operated like other commercial resorts. However, many naturist retreats (including most of the ones in the U.S., Canada and the U.K) are associated with private membership clubs and are places where members form cohesive and long-term naturist communities. Most of these tend to serve local populations of naturists, but some have provisions for vacationers and other infrequent guests who are not in the market for a full membership. Most naturist retreats are somewhat similar in character to campgrounds or RV parks, with most overnight guests lodged in their own campers, and some retreats even have year-round residents.

Below is a list of topics that are particularly relevant to naturists retreats. Keep in mind that these topics are not necessarily applicable to every single lodging establishment listed in this guide. They pertain mostly to places symbolized by the YELLOW TENT and the BLUE TENT icons.

Nudity Requirements
Most entities that describe themselves as nudist or naturist tend to adhere to a general "nude when possible, clothed when practical" principle. Requiring nudity, at least in certain contexts, is a means both of ensuring that no one feels inhibited and of preventing an influx of curious onlookers who have no genuine interest in naturism. The "clothed when practical" part of the principle means that visitors can cover up for warmth when necessary and that women may wear bottoms when nature dictates that it is appropriate. There are many variations to this generality. Some retreats mandate nudity only in wet areas and make clothing optional elsewhere. Some require clothing in certain parts of the property like on-site restaurants. Just a few are purely clothing optional, with no requirements one way or the other about nudity or dress.

Day Use
Most naturist retreats are not exclusively overnight establishments. Many also function as day-use parks, where members and often visitors can visit to enjoy the pool and other amenities for the day.

Drop-In Visits
Some naturist retreats allow unannounced visits, some do not. Unless an establishment's official website states very clearly that advance notice is not required, never drop in unannounced. Always assume that you need to make arrangements in advance.

Membership Requirements & Exclusivity
Most naturist retreats offer memberships, and many require it. If you intend to visit a particular retreat regularly, purchasing a membership will probably save you money. Some retreats have a set number of guest visits that are allowed (often three) before a membership is required, while at others you can visit as a non-member indefinitely. Naturists retreats likewise vary in how open they are to the public. Some are quite open, while a few are quite guarded about letting in newcomers, usually requiring sponsorship by a current member.

Single Men & Same-Sex Couples
One of the oldest and most contentious issues pertaining to naturist retreats is the admission of single men—that is, men unaccompanied by a female partner. Historically, many retreats have expressly prohibited single men. Based on the notions that men are drawn to nudists venues more so than women and that women feel inhibited when there is a distinct gender imbalance, the fear at play is that an open-door policy toward unaccompanied men would lead to a snowball effect that would erode the mixed-gender, family-friendly atmosphere to which most naturist retreats aspire. Over the past decade or so, the trend has been toward the relaxing of restrictions, and in general the naturist entities in Europe are far less restrictive than those in North America.

These days relatively few places have an unyielding "no single men" policy, and quite a few advertise their openness to everyone. Most places fall somewhere in between those two extremes. A good number of retreats maintain a certain gender ratio requirement; a maximum of 60% men is common. Others regulate through fees, effectively charging a "single-male" tax through their pricing. Some restrict single men and single women equally while others invite single women while restricting single men. Some are open to singles only on certain days or at certain times. Sometimes there is a waiting list. Single men will often be asked to present a membership card from a major naturist organization (like the ones associated with INF) as evidence of a genuine interest in naturism. If you are a man intending to visit a naturist retreat by yourself, we highly recommend that you call in advance to verify the retreat's admission policy, even if a singles-friendly policy is stated on their website on in their literature. Let them know you are coming. Get reassurance that you will be allowed in.

The issue of same-sex couples is partially interwoven with the singles issue. Depending on how a particular establishment's admission policy is worded, male couples and sometimes even female couples may be restricted in ways that heterosexual couples are not. Again, there is a movement toward broader inclusion and acceptance. The issue of recognizing the validity of same-sex partnerships is one that is gradually emerging in naturist circles, as it is in society at large. So far a handful of naturists retreats have adopted non-discrimination policies that treats all couples the same, but this is a nascent trend. Furthermore, while plenty of naturist establishments will admit two men or two women who arrive together, another issue altogether is whether those two men or two women are admitted as a couple (which usually entails a significant discount) or as two singles. Unfortunately, at this point in time few naturist entities publicize how they define a couple. We recommend that you call to verify.

Body Jewelry
A large number of naturist retreats have restrictions on body ornamentation, particularly on jewelry displayed on the nipples and genitals. The idea is that it is contrary to naturist values to purposefully draw attention to those body parts. So, if you have a great big ol' silver ring dangling from your... whatever, you should find out in advance it that is acceptable or else be prepared to remove it. Whether or not you agree with such policies or the arguments behind them, just be aware that they exist.


Reviews of Places to Stay & Other Businesses

We do not provide subjective information about the naturist and clothing-optional places to stay that we list in this guide. However, many hotels and other accommodations, even those that are oriented toward naturists, have reviews posted online. The best known online review site is Trip Advisor. Additionally, be aware that Google Maps is a good gateway to accessing reviews from multiple sources, including Trip Advisor and sites like City Search and Insider Pages. When you go to Google Maps, just type in the name of the establishment, the location and the street address if you know it. For example, "Hypothetical Hotel, Paris, France" or "Fictitious Guesthouse, 123 Cactus Way, Phoenix, AZ." Camping establishments are far less likely than hotel-type establishments to have reviews posted on major review sites.

Remember it is always best to approach reviews a bit skeptically. A one-star review among a dozen four- and five-star reviews could just be someone with an ax to grind. On the other hand, an impossibly glowing review among a dozen middle-of-the-road reviews could be a shill. And if there are just a few reviews, that's probably just not enough information.