I travel on business often, frugally when able, so while I consider price first, location and amenities usually can be equally as important. If the lodging is near my intended purpose, I can save on gas or even a rental by catching a cab; if there is a gym (with minimally dumbbells for strength training) and a heated pool, entertainment is free; and if the is a refrigerator in the room, I can save on eats. So on my recent trip to Miami, where I also had business in Pompano Beach, Hollywood seemed to be the right midway locale.
Searching, I came upon arguably the best choice for my criteria: economical with fridge, microwave, stove and heated saltwater poolThe hotel was the Rooftop Resort, advertised as "nudist" catering to "swingers. Definitely not a swinger and Catholic-Shy of public nudity (although I had the opportunity to feel uncomfortable with my wife at Black's Beach in San Diego), I admit trepidation when I made the reservation (by phone - their website is lacking) but figured it a YOLO experience and with the price/location, reasoned that I would not actually be at the hotel long enough to feel too uneasy.
I arrived Sunday afternoon and check-in was pleasant and uneventful. Robert (?) was efficient, affable, helpful, explained their policies (nudity not required; key to outer door provided for re entry after 6pm after the office closed; free breakfast, wireless, etc.) and apparently, either he or someone else had upgraded my room. It was a corner on the fifth floor (#535) and while a bit dated (think Dexter's apartment) was perfect and well-appointed.
After I unpacked, I assessed my surroundings. Unless you are into it, on first passing, the second floor looked ominous. Red and black decor, dancer pole, a room with swings (not the kiddie type lol) and another with a big round bed (not for sleeping) and "observation" seating. The 6 story hotel is set-up where it is open - no roof - from the 2nd to the roof where is the pool and sunning. Save for the conspicuous picture windows with drapes drawn on all floors and the second floor in its entirety, the hotel was "normal."
So vowing to stay away from the 2nd floor, I unpacked and went up to the pool in my Speedo. Wow - was I over dressed! Being a Sunday where they offer free BBQ and day passes, it was busy with people of all shapes, sizes, ages and colors. Beautiful people they were not - as neither am I. I admit that I felt self-conscious on disrobing but would have felt worse had I not and after seeing everyone else in their glory, fit in with the top 10%. Obesity is endemic throughout the US but these people did not care. I had often commented to my wife on observation that larger people probably should not wear stretch pants. This confirmed my assertion. However, they were comfortable in their skin so judging would be inappropriate.
I picked the lounger farthest from the crowd which was ripped (they need to replace these) and was able to clandestinely observe through my Ray-Bans the goings on. Essentially, this was in no way a bacchanalian feast but simply a bunch of locals that were mainly normal people that wanted to sunbathe nude. While some were clearly and simply nudists, which in retrospect now with experience, was actually okay - it just seemed the right thing to do at the time - there were some who strutted like they were all of that: a few women in (uncommonly gold colored) uncomfortable stilettos and a few guys with manscaping that should just be outlawed. In general though, overweight older people - average age of sixty (? - I am guessing). The newcomers were those with the tan lines.
So I laid out for a few hours, ate some BBQ (burgers were good), swam a bit a struck up conversations in the pool with people that were just in general friendly - not sleazy, obnoxious or for the most part, self-centered. It was not uncomfortable.
After the pool, I had dinner with a business associate and when I returned, the hotel for the most part was empty. The was some mulling about on the 2nd floor that I could observe from my room but nothing of note - no swinging, innocuous sex or activity for that matter. I drew my curtains (as apparently did anyone else that was staying there) and went to bed.
Up at 6, swim in an empty pool, free breakfast (simple:breads, cheese, cereal, fruit, milk, Juice, coffee) and then meetings all day, I returned at 8pm to an empty hotel - literally. There was only one couple staying the night that I spied but they left the following morning - leaving me as the only guest in the hotel. Really.
So if you can get past the idea of a nude pool area (you could just not swim), for the price, locale, amenities and service, while not a 5-star, comparable and with the wireless and printers, definitely business friendly.
It's definitely not for families (I believe 21 is the age limit) or the feint at heart but I will certainly include this on the short list whenever in the area.
A few final thoughts: stay away from Joe's Tiki Bar across the street (I do not understand how you can screw up sashimi) but Pachamamma Peruvian is right around the corner and whatever you do, Think sunscreen. There are just some areas of your body that should not be exposed to direct sunlight - ouch!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Adult only clothing optional Hotel featuring a heated rooftop pool, free wifi, premium tv channels, weekend nightclub, recent renovation of several rooms and common areas 1 block from Hollywood Beach and Boardwalk.15 Minute drive from Ft Lauderdale International Airport and Port Everglades. ... more less