After a year of sheltering in place, we finally got up the nerve to double mask. pay for premium seats, and fly to Curaçao to check out a place I’ve been dying to visit for years. The Natural is a small, clothing-optional resort with a variety of accommodations, all of which are mostly self-catering. (See below) From our perspective, this is the perfect venue for the naturism curious, or even an avowed naturist with a reluctant partner, as you have the option to simply hang out in the privacy of your own veranda. I believe they even allow swimsuits in the pool, but the vibe is so chill there, that it would be an excellent place for a first try at skinny dipping. The resort is perched on a mountainside, which means it will likely be windy – bad for candles, but good for scaring away mosquitos. Sadly, Curaçao is not a great place for locating nude beaches, though the truly devoted can find a couple options. That said, the Santa Maria beach just down the hill, while textile, was truly a living postcard. Our main disappointment was the lack of guests on the property at a time when they would typically be completely sold out. (Thanks COVID!) About 70% of their clientele is European, and we love chatting with folks from that part of the world. On the other hand, we had the run of the place, and the managers were welcoming and delightful.
WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO GET THERE? Well… seems you’re gonna fly! There are daily flights from the US and Europe, though there are some quirky things, like the fact that United only – at least currently – offers one flight per week, which makes planning a bit tricky when The Natural is running a full capacity. You will most definitely want to rent a car – perhaps a high clearance vehicle if you plan to go looking for nude beaches, which involves bumpy, deeply rutted roads. We loved exploring the island, especially Boka State Park, (where I may have found a place to get naked!) and the charming town of Willemstad. Hard to imagine what that all might look like when cruise ships are operating after the pandemic. Of all the Caribbean islands we’ve visited, (and there are several,) we felt safer here than on most, whether walking or driving. And the restaurants! We’re foodies, and we thought we were in heaven, pretty much all of which offer open air dining.
WHAT’S THE FAMILY VIBE? The place is really set up to cater to couples, though the managers did mention a couple clients who have brought kids along. I think they would feel comfortable and welcome, but could easily succumb to boredom unless you’re inclined to get out for hiking and exploring. The website is explicit that this is not a swingers place, and those looking for such should look elsewhere. That aligns well with their typically European clientele, which doesn’t seem to have the problem most Americans do separating nudity from sex. By the way, most of those Europeans are from The Netherlands, which means they will likely be more fluent in English than most people from “English speaking countries.” Oh! How I envy the multi-lingual.
HOW ARE THE ACCOMMODATIONS? They’ve used the extra down time during the pandemic to repaint the interior of the bungalows while doubling down on the landscaping, so we thought the place looked great. The mostly self-catering comment refers to the kitchen with a stove top, an aging microwave, but no oven. (My wife thinks the microwave is actually a convection oven – show’s what I know!) And if you think you’re going to have a gourmet cooking vacation, you’ll probably find the utensils to be a bit sparse. The bed was a single mattress of the European, vacation cabin variety. – fine, but certainly not a Temper-Pedic form fitting bed. Do lots of hiking, drink lots of wine, and you’ll sleep like a baby!
ANYTHING ELSE WE SHOULD KNOW? Of all the places we’ve stayed in the Caribbean, this is certainly one of the nicest, just in terms of ambiance and space, especially if you take those All-Inclusive super-expensive resorts out of the mix. (You can stay here for less than a third of the cost!) That said, even when the place is running at full-tilt, you’re not likely to encounter trivia games and scavenger hunts at the poolside bar. This is a very chill-lax kind of place, which again, is great if you just want to hang out naked on the porch and watch the sky change colors. They have developed a loyal clientele that will certainly book the place up once international travel is more accessible again. If you’re thinking about going next season, you might want to start planning sooner than later.