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Hedonism II 
 

 

Top Nine Adult Resorts Reviews

Our Top Nine Adult-only Resorts in the Caribbean for Reconnecting

By Sue McGarvie and Blaik Spratt

Clinical Relationship Therapists, Romance Travel Writers

January in Canada means hockey, snow, and day-dreaming about a romantic holiday to the Caribbean. You may think such a holiday is a self-indulgent luxury, but the new research by Dr. Terri Orbuch at Oakland University in Michigan finds that taking an adult vacation is an essential part of great marriages. She spent the last 22 years researching more than 350 married couples and found that  couples who take time to get away together, and have unencumbered time  (time when nothing is planned, nothing is programmed) have the strongest bonds. It is the single best thing you can do for your marriage.

So where are the best places to go to get the couples-only adult vacation you are fantasizing about? In keeping with this new research, we’ve come up with the top nine of our most recommended adult-only destinations (from tame to spicy).  Prices for these destinations vary from $1,000 - $10,000 per person per week (air fare included). There are various travel groups that go to some of these destinations in large numbers and get great deals. We recommend you research the destination and use the links to the travel groups that frequent them.

Jade Mountain, St. Lucia

Jade Mountain is a one-of -a-kind resort on the west side of St. Lucia, near Soufriere, the site of the World Heritage Piton Mountains. Partnered with its sister resort Anse Chastanet, we discovered that it’s all about beauty, nature, modern art, and a blending of architecture into jaw dropping scenery. All this with truly exceptional gourmet food and service, Jade Mountain propels relaxation to the highest level in an adult only resort.

The rooms (or sanctuaries as they are called) are self contained units that come with everything you need to relax (no television, phone or radio). The sanctuary does have its own tranquil infinity pool in the three sided rooms which means you have the best of living both inside and outside for your entire stay. (authors note: The sanctuaries are rectangular with no outside wall. That means open air in all the rooms, dining and common areas. It is a very different concept, and one of the few places in the world that has limited bugs, very few mountainous creepy or slithering things, warm weather, offers reasonable shelter from hurricanes and tropical storms and is relatively crime-free and difficult to access along the mountain-side. Think tropical camping with decadent comfort and push of a button service. The sanctuaries really do have to be seen to be believed.)

As therapists, we’ve long believed that adventure leads to connection within a relationship. Anything that gets your adrenaline pumping together will bond you as a couple. One of the driving reasons to visit Jade Mountain is the duality it offers. At Jade Mountain there is the aforementioned complete tranquility of the sanctuaries, as well as the opportunity to take in couple adventures off the resort. We went zip lining, and during that tour had a quick lesson in the growing of bananas, bay leaves and cinnamon. We checked out the historic town of Soufriere. Other adventure couples took in the whale watching, rum tours, volcano hiking, and ocean kayaking.

With all of these amenities, Jade Mountain firmly falls into the highest end romance resort destination and may be the place to try this year.

 

 

Couples, Jamaica

 

Couples Swept Away is a spectacular all-inclusive resort in the middle of Negril’s famous 7-mile beach, and is one of the four Couples resorts in Jamaica. They are all adult only resorts, and are known for their emphasis on magical, romantic vacations. Couples is a mixture of wellness and decadence set on some of the best beaches in all the Caribbean. Complete with the requisite white sand, turquoise water, hot weather and starry nights.

 

Couples is traditional but open-minded. Three of the Couples locations have private nude beaches on property- or in the case of the Couples resort at Ocho Rios – a completely nude island. Couples Swept Away doesn’t have a nude section, but the Negril beach has been known since the 60’s for tolerance to being topless.

 

The Couples resorts seem to have a mandate to emphasize romance in all forms, and they work hard to convince you to fall in love, propose, get married, honeymoon and spend your anniversaries there. They take romance seriously. Their goal is to make you feel all that eye-gazing, pit of the stomach stuff that lovers rarely get a chance to experience between the kids, laundry and work deadlines. Think rose petals on the beds, chocolate fountains, and spectacular sunsets.

 

Ladera, St. Lucia

 

Ladera Resort in St. Lucia is one of the best rated in the Caribbean for overall romance. It is ranked on Caribbean travel and Life’s top ten most romantic resort lists, and was the #1 hotel in the world in 2005 as reported by Conde Nast traveler magazine. The resort is located in Soufriere, one of the most picturesque parts of St. Lucia, and maybe of the Caribbean. Similar to that of Jade Mountain, Ladera is known for their open-aired rooms, complete with their own individual splash pools in the rooms. Ladera also has two and three room villas that friends can share to bring down the costs. Ladera is closest to the famed volcanic hot springs and mineral baths, originally built in 1785 and rumoured to have been used by Napoleon’s Empress Josephine. The baths are reputed to cure everything from arthritis to digestive afflictions. Ladera has it’s own small mineral baths adjoining their spa, and given the peaceful rooms and emphasis on health, Ladera is a great choice for relaxation and bonding. 

 

Coconut Bay, St. Lucia

Coconut Bay describes itself as “two world’s in one”. It is a dual resort – a family resort on one side, and a huge, private, adult-only area called Harmony on the other.  Harmony was designed for couples seeking romance and relaxation as there are intimate cabana beds, hammocks, a very social pool bar, and lots and lots of beach to spread out and find solitude on. It is also home to the Kai Mer Spa, one of the biggest full service spas we’ve found anywhere in the Caribbean. With outdoor (but private) showers for two, secluded couples massages, and well trained estheticians (body snatched from the destination spas in the north part of the island), the spa was terrific and well worth trying. Coconut Bay also emphasizes the adventure side of couples get-aways. There is a new paintball course and go-cart track (currently under construction), mountain biking, scuba diving, ziplining, and parasailing nearby. All of this is available for couples who want the duality of relaxing quietly with a well attended pool bar and then stepping out of their comfort zones with exciting adventures

Breezes Grand Negril, Jamaica

There are nine Breezes resorts as part of the Superclubs group. We liked the Grand Negril resort best as it is on one of the top beaches in the world. The resort reminded us of a stereotypical grand southern lady; well appointed, gracious, classic, and understated. It is a more traditional resort. Think quiet refinement of the grounds, sumptuous food, and sophistication of the other guests.

Given the polish that is Breezes Grand Negril,  (classic and elegance really are the words we would use to describe it) what’s really interesting about Breezes is its slightly flirty feel. Between the oversized drinks, the activity staff that greet you with a wink and a smile, and the fact that some of the beach is clothing optional, Breezes feels decidedly grown up. Many guests we met had started on the huge regular beach, and had migrated to taking off their wet, sandy and uncomfortable suits over the years. We often say that taking your bathing suit off is the second hardest thing you’ll do on vacation. The hardest thing is putting it back on. The resort didn’t have a sexual feel, just a relaxed openness about it that was nonchalant and accepting. Many had made great friends there over the years as clothing optional bars, pools and hot tubs lend themselves well to starting conversations with strangers. Nudity really does lend itself to openness.

Breezes Grand Negril is set on a spectacular coastline. The turquoise water that stays shallow for a good distance offers world-class snorkeling right off the beach, which can be hard to find at a resort of Breezes quality. We saw hundreds of multi-colored fish, rays, beautiful fan coral, and even an octopus within sight of the resort. Elegant, with a spectacular beach, and serene would best describe the Breezes Grand Negril.

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Temptations, Los Cabos Mexico, Cancun, Mexico

Like their names, both of the Temptations resorts are the riskier, saucier version of the larger, more family oriented resorts along the infamous strip in Cancun and the tourist area of Los Cabos, Mexico. They are flirty places, but they maintain a sense of decorum in a fun way. Temptations is known for it’s raucous activity staff, who are always looking to engage guests in fun and energetic beach and pool parties. Typical events such as beach volleyball, water polo and salsa dancing lessons were popular. So were the water balloon fights and sensuous fitness, where women learn the basics of pole, chair and lap dancing. They have a game of tequila pool volleyball  where whomever flubs the ball takes a swig right out of the bottle. The Friday game we saw had everyone hang their bathing suits on the net and it left the entire pool filled with naked bodies. Finally, evening entertainment includes live bands, lingerie shows, sexy Latin dancing, and body shots before the busses take guests still raring to go up the road to Coco Bongos (Cancun) for more late night revelry. The activities are only slightly risque and stop before that invisible comfort line is crossed. They could be easily avoided if that isn’t your thing. Everyone has a choice as to whether they participate.  Empty nesters gone wild are the best words to describe Temptations.

 

Club Fantastico, St. Martin

If you would like to try a safe, fun and slightly exotic walk on the wilder side of life, Club Fantastico may be right for you. Located on the French side of the half French – half Dutch island of St. Martin, it is a quaint little villa-style hotel that allows you to be clothes free all the time. It is cozy, friendly and easy to enjoy. You can stay on the property and enjoy the pools and bars (all au natural) or you can venture to nearby Orient Beach and blend into the multitude of naked bodies all lounging on miles of white sand. If you go the beach route, the hotel will provide towels, chairs and unbrellas for you to take. They will even pack you a lunch! Either way, you are anonymous, away from home and can either tell your friends that you actually did it or simply keep it as a secret between you. The food in St. Martin is worth the trip all by itself. The nearby village of Grand Case is renowed for its fine cuisine and the island is safe to drive around so you can be adventurous. Even the food served at the many beach-side restaurants will have your mouth watering. For the more romantic, any one of the many local corner stores will have fresh baguette, cheese , fruit and a fine bottle of French wine for sale rather inexpensively. This makes a memorable meal on its own. The Dutch side of the island features many Casinos for those so inclined. Club Fantastico also offers weekly nude cruises to nearby islands. Just slightly naughty but sure to bring a huge smile to your face. Once you try the Orient Bay area of St. Martin, you become hooked for life.

 

Hedonism, Jamaica

Forget what you’ve read about Hedo in Playboy, or the myth of it being a sexually aggressive place. The words we would use to describe the two Hedonism resorts are silly, zany, relaxing, casual, outrageous, sensual, saucy and friendly. Clearly, some of the legends are no more than wishful thinking. Nobody jumps you, and it isnt a place to go trolling for sex. You would probably have more luck at a nightclub. However, Hedonism is still home for an open-minded and adventurous crowd who are very comfortable in their own skins (with or without clothes). And in the wee hours of the morning at the nude pool, there is social interaction for those seeking it. It should also be noted that different groups (including lifestyle groups) take over large portions of the resort during set weeks of the year. You should check online to see who will be there before you book.

There are two large resorts, the 28 year old Hedo ll in Negril (we were there during their anniversary week the end of October), and the newer, nine year old Hedo lll in Runaway Bay, about three hours drive apart from each other. They have almost the same amenities, and similar cliental. They both have a 40% return of guests (unheard of loyalty for a resort, so those who love it, love it again and again), but if you have guests returning for over 28 years, they tend to now be in the 45 to 65 age group. Going to Hedonism was the closest thing we’ve experienced as an adult to re-creating that community feel of laugh-out-loud fun of camp. Only instead of mystery meat in the dining hall, and outhouses with flashlights, Hedonism offers spectacular sunsets, unlimited perfect banana daiquiri’s, hot tubs, cabaret shows, and sensuous spa massages.

 

Desire Resort, Riveria Maya, Mexico

 

Described as an elegant and exclusive, clothing-optional, couples-only resort, Desire is an adult-only, 114 room secluded resort somewhat off the beaten path. It’s what we call sensuously open, but more upscale than the party atmosphere of Hedonism. The resort is situated on a strip of Mexicos typically breathtaking beach, complete with white sand and warm, turquoise water. The beach area includes 40 canopied beach beds (complete with drink-providing waitresses and cabana boys) situated along the edge of the water. These beds are the ultimate in decadent beach relaxation.

Desire is clothing optional, as opposed to nude meaning that bathing suits are seen, but the majority of the couples were either nude or topless throughout the day. They had typical resort games such as water polo and beach volleyball taking place, (nude volleyball is always an interesting eyeful) along with far more sexual ones such as the chocolate eating contest (where two couples compete to see who can drizzle and eat the most chocolate and whipped cream off their partners). Nobody was pressured to participate. The tone was entertaining and playful during the day, rather than sexual, and the evening theme was more erotic, rather than smacking of blatant sex. The activity staff was relaxed, but enthusiastic and did their best to be inclusive of everyone interested in participating, and respectful of those who wanted to read quietly, or simply lounge on the beach,

But it is one of the very few places that tolerate what we call upscale sexual encounters done with taste.

On the whole Desire really is what you make it. Elegant, upscale, quietly naked and romantic, or with late night happenings, disco dancing, and hut tubbing along with 50 new friends and sexual adventures under the stars.

Sue