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Club Paradise, Florida
Winter of 1998
More than just a trip report, this is our opinions, experiences, and tips after several week long stays at Club Paradise, a completely "clothing optional" - NUDE resort north of Tampa.
Sitting here watching the snow, with the mountains of SW Colorado shrouded in clouds, my wife and I are remembering being in Club Paradise two weeks ago, nude, sitting by the pool, working on redeeming our all over tans. Pretty soon we will go out and get into the hot tub. Regardless of the tubs at all nude resorts, hot tubs really are better if there is a couple of feet of snow on the ground, with the moon on the snow and the mountains in the background.
If you are not already aware of it, Paradise Lakes is a clothing optional community located about 30 minutes north of Tampa International Airport.
I say "community" because there are about 20 homes and 250+ comdominiums, many of them owner ocupied year round, and most used solely by their owners as second homes.
Several years ago, when we experienced our first nude experience at Hedonism, we guickly learned that a nude beach just was not enough. It was the nude experience. It became a chore to have to get dressed to eat our meals at the main dinning room. Nude recreaton ceased to be just another deversion of Hedo but rather a totally consuming activity. We have problems planning other vacations, as we really have no desire to do anything that does not have some nude activity included.
It was on the Hedo beach that we met a couple who lived at Paradise. After listening to their description, we began planing our visit on the plane back to the States.
I am not going to spend time describing Paradise in minute detail. One can find all one needs to know about rates, etc at www.paradiselakes.com. What I am going to do, however, is to answer a lot of the questions, misconceptions, and comments I have seen on the nude forums over the past few years, along with some tips on enhancing your visit.
(Let me insert that we are in our late 50s, live in the mountains, kids are gone, and we have always enjoyed our sensuality over the past 37 years of our marriage.)
Paradise is one of only a few, like Cypress Cove and Desert Shadows that are on the upscale side, and have the amenities that we want in a vacation resort. This is one of the reasons we first visited Paradise and continue to go back.
Secondly, Paradise is a destination resort. Cypress Cove advertised that they are close to all of the activities of the Orlando area, and Desert Shadows is right in the midst of Palm srpings with all of its 100 golf courses, casino, etc. Thus, these seem to be nice nude accomodations while enjoying other activites in the area.
Paradise, on the other hand, is a place that we can stay for a week or more, completely relax, giving us time to read the books neither of us has time to read (as we own our own business - or rather it owns us!) We rarely go off premises, thus my attire for the eight days this time was sport sandals! My wife added two "wraps" ( this is a girl thing)that are just very large scarves that tie over or under her breasts.
It also has 6000 local and out of state members, which means it is doing something right.
There are two main pools. The original at the south end next to the restaurant and Pub bar along with a large hot tub, three sand volleyball courts and four tennis courts). It tends to be much less crowded and quiet.
The newer main pool complex is near the front gate. It includes the offices, reception area, a small jewelry store (privately owned and managed), a clothing and accessory boutique, and Club Fred - the disco and night club. ( They are planning a new restaurant included within the Club Fred complex which may be the same type of dinner/dancing place that Hedo has.)
The pool area includes a large shaped pool, two water volleyball pools, a small lap pool that can be enclosed in the chilly winter, a round hot tub and a huge jet converstion pool. In the middle is the Key West bar. It also serves breakfast,lunch and, when the main restaurant is closed, dinner ( Monday & Tuesday).
If you might plan to visit, we would suggest joining AANR before you go. This gives you a $10 per couple discount which thus pays for itself in the seven days, plus the savings at Paradise for future visits that year and other AANR resorts. In addition, the membership includes the monthly newsletter that has the huge condo rental section for condos for rent at Paradise. but more on that in a minute.
If you can only visit for a two or three days, you may want to get one of the sixty motel type rooms that surround the main pool area. As described in a HSX100 Naturist message (CompuServe forum - GO HSX100), they are just a step up from a Motel Six. No food or beverages purchased off premises is allowed. But, you can roll out of bed and be within two steps of a deck chair at pool side.
For $15 more per night, you can get a vacation condo w/full kitchen (these are like large efficiency motel rooms) or can get a one bedroom condo when renting from a private owner. It is usually much cheaper than renting one of them from the Resort.
If looking in the AANR newletter, condos in Bldg. A thru H are in the older section. The even numbers are ground floor units and include screens lanais ( screened in porch for you northerners) while the odd numbers are on the second floor, no porch but vaulted ceilings which give a feeling of more space.
There are a few rentals in Bldg. 100, 200, 300, and 400 and these are the best in the resort. I say "few" because most of these are owner occupied.
We like a one bedroom unit in Bldg 500. This is at the north end of the resort and for eight days we paid $575. It also included a full kitchen and we eat about 75% of our meals in.
When we started, we would rent a car at the Airport, hit the Publix (supermarket) and liquor store ( the one next door has good prices) in Land 0 Lakes before we checked in. But we soon found that this $150 machine just sat there all week. So now we call Laker Limo at 813-949-3832. Mr. Towns will pick you up at the airport, deliver to Paradise ( or will even drop you off at the grocery store and pick you up in an hour) and return you to the airport for $60 a couple.
Our day usually starts about 7:30 with a nude walk up to the office to get a USA TODAY and a Tampa Tribune. The joggers and walkers and even rollerbladers are starting to appear for their morning workout. A Bloody Mary ( it's "vacation", remember?) and breakfast on the lanai.
We then take our morning "power walk". The sidewalk around the perimeter is about a mile long, and gives a nice walk to get your heart going. But the nice part is that one may be completely nude while doing it.
Then it is to the pool and , with a break for lunch. simply vegetate there until about 4:30, working on the tan, reading and napping.
(Question - does anyone have any tips on how to get rid of "smiles"?)
During the week, there are perhaps about 100 - 200 people around the main pool area. On the weekends, with 6000 members, it can get kind of "full", but never really what you might consider crowded.
With all of this nude humanity, one sees every size and shape of person know to mankind ( an you may take that any what you want and all definitions will be correct). Contrary to stuff I have read in the forums, we have never seen anything that might be construed as inaproprite behavior, much less any "excited" males. No swinging ( but more singles than you would guess), mostly couples, average age in mid 40's but ranging from early 20's to more then a few in their seventies (a lot of retirees).
As with all people, even nudes like to look good. The women and some men sport a lot of gold, some pierced parts ( radical piercing is not permitted), 20 to 40 % smoothies ( more woman than men), and lots of small butt, ankle and breast tattoos. Even old farts like us have them (if anyone else was there a few weeks ago, I am the one with the Kokopelli in the smooth area).
At 4:30 or 5, depending on the sun, and how pink we might be, its back to the condo for a shower, and a before dinner drink(s). We may eat in and watch the tube after dinner, or go up to the restaurant for dinner.
The restaurant is OK, not great, but acceptable. The best thing is the roast beef special on Wenesdays. Being this close to good seafood, it could be better. On Monday and Tuesday, the dinner specials at the Key West bar are good, and reasonable.
At nine or so, we may go back up to the Key West bar for an after dinner drink, enjoying same in the hot tub or the conversation pool.
Club Fred starts cranking up about 9:00 for those who want a more active night life. (So here let me interject, that Club Paradise is pretty mild between 7:00AM and 11:00 PM.
At Club Fred a sample of the evenings activites might be country or ball room/swing dancing on Sunday night, Monday night football, Karaoke on Tues, "Bare as you Dare" dance on Weds., Ladies Night Out dance Party on Thurs., Lingerie Fantasy dance on Friday, and Saturday Night Fever disco on Sat. Really not much different than one might find in the textile world on a given night. ( But I have never really understood walking around wearing only a bra, panties, garterbelt, stockings and high heels at a nudist resort?)
Swinging? Wild Sex parties? I wouldn't know as we are rarely up that late and we have never heard wild and crazy parties that kept us up. Nor have we have ever heard a lot of snickering at the pool. If it does get wild and crazy at Paradise, it probably might just also be going on in other condos in our building here in Colorado. Simply put, just because it is a nude resort does not mean that it may be any more or less wild then society as a whole. And after all, it is vacation for many, or a good time on Saturday night for the locals. Differnt stokes for different folks! After all, no one ever said that nudity did not also involve some sexualaty and/or sensual feelings.
We are going to try Desert Shadows next spring as part of a business trip to San Diego and perhaps another trip to Diamond Loreto on the Baja - or perhaps back to Paradise.
If you have further questions regarding Paradise, drop me a line.
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