We arrived February 12 and brought the sun and warm temperatures with us! Beautiful—not too hot, due to the trade winds; never went below 23° at night.
This was our group’s third annual winter trip to Caliente Caribe in the Dominican Republic. The grounds were as immaculate as we remembered. They’ve put money into the hotel:
Fresh paint, new railings to replace the rusted ones. They’ve also constructed a new seawall past the sand volleyball court, have taken out a wide band of sod, and are making more beach/sunning areas. Based on our requests, they’re now planning on putting in a bocce court!
Some of the staff has turned over, but most have remained. Always smiling, joking with us…very pleasant.
The resort has a new chef. We all thought the food was excellent last year; it was even better this year! All still à la carte for breakfast and dinner. Dinner has 14 different menus with four entrees to choose from each night. And the desserts! Serious weight gain.
One small change is the buffet format at the beach bar for lunch. Far better idea! The kitchen there is small, and there are so many folks wanting to eat at the same time. The change really sped things up with no sacrifice of quality.
The Sunward Travel Group idea has really “taken off.” The group has grown from 12 the first year, to 43 the second year, to 76 in 2009. By May 20, 2009, xxxxx people had already booked for 2010! We may well have over a hundred by next February’s trip. We’re even looking at doing a one-week group tour there this November, after the hurricane season. Why not, with the super price we get.
The group is becoming a big family. We all seem to have similar values, ordinary nudists as opposed to “lifestylers” (swingers). We’re folks from our 40s to 70s, friendly, fun-loving. Some party more than others, but no one pushes one way or another. Drinkers, yes, but normally not to extremes. We do have some smokers, but fewer each time; and those who did smoke stayed outside.
People have made good friends at Caribe, friends they now interact with the rest of the year. Hey, another guest and I even discussed Canadian politics yet never got mad at each other. (He couldn’t get mad at me, ’cause he was wrong.) We’ve even picked up Americans who want to become honorary Canadians for next year’s visit simply because of all the fun they had with us this year.
Water volleyball, “testicle toss,” coconut bowling, water aerobics, shuffle board…There were always lots of players. Others played cards, read, sunned, went skinny-dipping. This year the sea kayaks were back and used frequently. A number of people went snorkelling on the reef, off the small beach at the end of the sand wall.
The resort is officially clothing optional. Some newbies arrived, not sure what they were going to find, stayed dressed or partially dressed at first, then realized what was going on and fully joined in the fun and fellowship in short order. They claimed it was easy, because people made them feel so welcome. “Why haven’t we done this before?!”
Whales! We saw more whales this year than we did the previous two years combined. And what a performance they put on for us! Many times we saw them jumping: the smaller ones clean out of the water, the larger ones all but their tails in the air. The splashes were huge. Next year, several of us will take the whale-watching cruise to get closer to them.
The hotel has been so impressed with the Sunward Travel Group that we now get an even better discount: 45% off rack rate if booked before May 31 (now past, sorry about that), and 40% off if booked between June 1 and December 16 for our February 2010 travel. This must be the best value for the nudist dollar of any of the Caribbean resorts, with very little of the garbage that goes on at other resorts such as Hedonism and Desire.
We’re now a large enough group that, if we did see any untoward sexual activity, management would listen to our complaints and make sure it didn’t happen again. Although it’s hard to keep the swingers, exhibitionists, photographers, etc. out, management is certainly prepared to keep us happy, jumping on problems immediately if they occur. There was one incident with a photographer, who’d been there for weekends several times before…Bingo, he was gone, his camera confiscated. I was very impressed.
The hotel does accept bookings from “lifestyle” groups. They block off the hotel when they have these groups there. Understandable. There are as many of them as us, maybe more. No resort can succeed catering to just one group or the other.
I know some people have a big problem with this. I don’t, and it appears the majority of our group doesn’t. Live and let live…just don’t “do your thing” when we’re there.
Because of the increased number of vacationers, some in groups, Caribe made money last year for the first time since Caliente Resorts took it over. That’s great, because we certainly want to see this wonderful resort keep operating for years to come.
If we get sufficient numbers, we could actually get the whole hotel for just our group. I’m working on it.
The group’s 2010 travel dates are February 11 to March 12. Members of the Sunward Travel Group may enjoy their holiday for between 7 days and the whole period. Once the schedules are finalized, there will be a group rate available on WestJet Airlines.For more information about joining the Sunward Travel Group (no cost),
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The Federation of Canadian Naturists (FCN) and the Fédération québécoise de naturisme (FQN) share the Canadian membership in the International Naturist Federation (INF), which has its world headquarters in Antwerp, Belgium.