Don’t Forget the Sunscreen at Tampa’s Clothing-Optional Resort

Don't forget the sun screen at the clothing-optional Caliente Spa and Resort near Tampa and in the Dominican Republic.

Don’t forget the sun screen at the clothing-optional Caliente Spa and Resort near Tampa and in the Dominican Republic.

Caliente Spa and Resort, near Tampa, is one destination where travelers don’t mind so much if the airline loses their luggage. That’s because Caliente is a “clothing optional” resort.

“Caliente translates to hot,” says Deb Bowen, public relations manager for the property, which, indeed, basks its’ glistening guests in the Florida sunshine. “Bring your sun screen but be sure to remember to apply it everywhere.”

Caliente claims it’s the “hottest party on the planet,” and while it’s own website depicts frolicking, nubile nudes, Bowen says today’s society projects a “too perfect” image of what our bodies should look like, leaving men and women to feel self-conscious. Caliente’s goal is to help people, age 21 and over, to be more natural and healthy and to help guests embrace the natural forms of themselves and others. But not a literal embrace. The overly affectionate will be sent to their rooms.

“It’s not as easy men might think for them to ‘jump up and say hello’ in a crowded room, anyway,” says Bowen, who has been in the business for more than 12 years and has, presumably, seen it all.

Don’t lay eyes on another guest for too long, either.

“If anybody is overtly gawking, we send them up to Tampa, which seems to have more strip clubs than any other city in Florida,” says Bowen.

Is everyone nude all the time?

“You can be nude if you want to, but you don’t have to. Women can wear a wrap or bottoms if they don’t want to be completely naked while walking around. Some wear only a netted covering. You can dress to your own comfort level,” according to Bowen, and, for sanitary reasons, staffers make sure no one sits naked on anything without a towel between them and a chaise lounge or dining room chair.

Now that we know the no-no’s, what can guests do at Caliente?

“You can have the same fun you’d have at any other resort, but just more of it here,” says Bowen. “We have theme parties, sports, nude volleyball on sand or in water, nude tennis, swimming, kayaking, Zumba and yoga.”

Nude yoga? Wouldn’t the “downward dog” pose be a little awkward in a room full of naked people?

“Well, 99-percent of the people do wear clothes for yoga,” she admits.

For more information on clothing-optional resorts near Tampa or in the Dominican Republic, visit

Michigan-based travel writer Michael Patrick Shiels may be contacted at or via

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