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Review of Club Fantastic, Orient Bay, French St. Martin. The land of the bare bums.

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Orient
Club Fantastico, St. Martin – So you want to get naked?

If you would like to try a safe, fun and slightly exotic walk on the wilder side of life, Club Fantastico may be right for you. Club Fantastico is the perfect spot to visit if you are looking to take your clothes off in public for the first time. So many people are curious about social nudity, but are intimidated about going to a big clothing optional resort. Club Fantastico is the right size for a gentle foray into an au naturel vacation. With an outstanding view of the Caribbean Sea and the neighboring islands, a large hot tub, pool, and space to lounge outside of your room, it calls itself “the home away from home for travelling nudists”.

Located on the French side of the half French – half Dutch island of St. Martin, it is a quaint little villa-style hotel that allows you to be clothes free all the time. Club Fantastico is small, but unique and is located inside the upscale Orient Village. It is also a quick ten minute walk from Orient beach, one of the largest and best known nude beaches anywhere.  Away from home is the best place to start shedding your inhibitions and fears about body image. Trying a clothing optional experience is a great first step.  And like with any nude place we’ve ever been to, nudity is encouraged but far from mandatory. However experiencing the feel of the warm Caribbean wind blowing across the entire length of your body is one of life’s great sensuous pleasures. Club Fantastico has a cozy, friendly and secluded environment that lends itself to casual acceptance. You can start disrobing in stages (or simply drop the laundry) and no one will think anything of it.

 

What makes Club Fantastico such an accepting place is the amazing management team. The happily married Mike and Peggy have been running Club Fantastico for the last three years after being involved with nude resorts all over the world. The welcome when we arrived was warm and heartfelt. It was very much the feeling of coming home. We had a hug and a cold drink from our hosts, despite having never met Mike and Peggy before, and an enthusiastic wiggle from the small house dog, a Yorkie named Mr. Bones. Given the social aspect of the spacious inn, you find yourself sitting and chatting with other guests in the comfortable rattan chairs. Nudists are a friendly lot. We also got to know our fellow guests through soaks in the hot tub and shared delicious French breakfast sitting around the pool. Breakfast, all drinks, and snacks are included with your stay. Every week, Mike and Peggy organize a group dinner outing to the nearby village of Grand Case. Grand Case is a small French village that is world renowned for its string of spectacular French restaurants along the beach. Grand Case is known as the “culinary capital of the Caribbean”.  As locals, Mike and Peggy arranged dishes to be brought in from a number of neighbouring restaurants and a party, (with exceptional food) broke out. There are also weekly group dinners with all the guests at Club Fantastico. Everyone pitches in for groceries, and you have a real chance to connect in small groups and enjoy unparalleled hospitality. Mike and Peggy are so much an essence of the Club Fantasico experience that we recommend you only visit for the nine months they are in residence.

Besides the home like atmosphere and the safe nudity, Club Fantasico also allows a “honeymoon atmosphere” if you are looking for a romantic get away holiday. The premier rooms have their own wrap around porches with a great view of the ocean. Complete with outdoor showers, they are private enough to block out the world, while open enough not to feel like you are spending the week inside.

It is easy to stay on the property and enjoy the pool or you can venture to nearby Orient Beach and blend into the multitude of naked bodies all lounging on miles of white sand. If you go the beach route, chairs and umbrellas are available on site at Club Orient for a nominal day fee.

Did we mention the food already? Even the food served at the many beach-side restaurants will have your mouth watering. For the more romantic, any one of the many local corner stores will have fresh baguette, cheese , fruit and a fine bottle of French wine for sale rather inexpensively if you want to picnic on the beach. Most people rent a car on St. Martin, and the island is safe to drive around so you can be adventurous. Other things to do on St. Martin include a farmers market, a new zipline on the mountain at Pic Paradis, or ferries to the neighbouring islands of St. Barth’s and Anguilla. The Dutch side of the island features many casinos or specialty shopping for those so inclined. Club Fantastico offers a nude boat cruise around the island, with stops at secluded beaches and non stop activities. As Peggy explains, ‘the cruises are fun and slightly naughty (you may moon a few passing boats) but sure to bring a huge smile to your face.” Once you try the Orient Bay area of St. Martin, you become hooked for life. Either way, you are anonymous, away from home and can either tell your friends that you actually did it or simply keep it as a secret between you.

We’ve been to many beautiful spots in the Caribbean. Club Fantastico, while not the most luxurious or with the most amenities has become a favourite of ours. The quaintness of the inn gave us the opportunity to make friends, be nude all day long, and have experiences that only a local host can provide. The laugh out loud fun of being in a like minded group, along with the ability to have intimate alone time was the perfect balance. Throw in a world class beach within walking distance, fabulous food, perfect weather, and a safe interesting island and the combination moved it near the top of our favourite places list.