Has your size ever affected your stay at a hotel?
Have you ever felt too embarrassed to hit the beach in your bikini?
Have you ever struggled to fit into a hotel chair?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then I may have just discovered the best place in the world for you to visit!
The Resort is a secluded hotel located on Eleuthera Island in the stunning Bahamas. The hotel boasts 5 miles of private beach, a natural water pool, and fabulous fresh local food; but what makes this Bahamian sanctuary stand out from the rest is this hotel claims to be “the world’s only plus size friendly resort”. Their Facebook page states that it was created as a “safe haven for plus size individuals to be able to just be themselves without fear of outside judgement.”
James King is the owner and has over 30 years of private resort experience. Mr King opened The Resort two years ago and says that is was, “designed as a place to get away from the real world, relax and just be yourself.” Whilst there aren’t any minimum size restrictions on guests wanting to visit, Mr King explains that the property has been designed specifically “to accommodate the plus size individual.” This sentiment is reiterated by one of The Resort’s guests, 44-year-old Andrea Kelley, who explains that “beds are modified to accommodate weight, toilets are reinforced, tubs and showers are modified, lounge chairs and poolside chairs are modified, pool rails to get in and out of the pool are modified. Everything!”
Ms Kelley, an Occupational Therapist from the U.S state of Indiana, works alongside friends to organise plus size travel for “individuals that have never really felt comfortable enough to get out because they feel that their size matters.” She goes on to say, “The Resort accommodates plus size people more than other hotels. There is no hotel chain of its kind, hotels do not accommodate the curvy. At least I haven’t run into one. This is truly one of a kind!”
Here in the UK, the specialist booking agency Spa Seekers have noted the fact that the average British woman is now a UK size 16; and as a result they have cleverly collated a list of plus size friendly spas and hotels. The company’s director Jason Goldberg told me that they added this specialised list of hotels to their website after they began to receive a lot of enquiries from plus size customers who were looking for a more comfortable spa experience.
Mr Goldberg explains, “Typically plus size guests found towel robes embarrassingly small and they also felt unstable on treatment couches (too narrow) so we pulled together a list of spas that catered for the larger ladies!” The plus size spa page on their website lists nearly 100 hotels in the UK and states that these venues generally provide, amongst other things, “wider massage beds, super-size bath sheets, bigger shower cubicles, and private changing facilities.” Mr Goldberg adds that these additional features should make “the relaxing experience just as enjoyable and comfortable for plus size guests.”
It would appear that the interest in size friendly hotels and holidays is set to grow even more in 2017. Currently there is a casting call for plus sized individuals to take part in a brand new ITV documentary which will centre around a “plus size only hotel in the beautiful Bahamas” (Yes, you guessed it – it’s The Resort). The casting advert asks “Are you plus sized? Has your size ever stopped you going on holiday or affected your holiday experience? Do you wish there was a holiday resort just for people like you? Well, time to stop dreaming. Spun Gold TV & ITV want to take you there.” If this appeals to you or anyone you know, then you can submit your application to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, we would love to hear your stories! Has your size ever affected your hotel or spa visit?