The warm and sunny season is here yet again, and what perfect way to spend the summer holidays than on a relaxing beach escapade?
But not everyone – people of size in particular – is as enthusiastic for a getaway especially going to the beach. They would love to go on vacation, of course, but concerns about being shamed for their weight is something that they can’t easily put behind. Thankfully, a private resort located on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas was built especially to banish these worries.
The Resort, founded by James King, is a luxury resort that was made specifically to accommodate overweight people. It is believed to be “the world’s only plus-size friendly resort”.
“On my first day working at a resort in Grenada, a young woman sat down in one of the loungers, and she went right through it, and everybody on the beach was laughing,” he said.
The next day, that woman was charged with $150 for damaging hotel property. To him, the policy was “insane”, so he tried to convince the owners to look for more sturdy furniture other than the flimsy plastic ones that they had, but they didn’t heed his advice. Thus, he decided that he had to do something about it.
That something came into fruition about a decade later, when he and his wife opened The Resort in 2015. However, the biggest challenge wasn’t in finding a suitable property, but rather, in finding proper fixtures on the market that was made for overweight people.
“Finding all the fixtures and fittings was the toughest part. Anything that could be adapted and put into a resort to accommodate plus-size people — it just didn’t exist.”, he said.
With this, King had to create and prototype every piece of furniture. This required a lot of work, but it ensured that accidental damage of property won’t be a problem with the installation of reinforced furniture – including beds – throughout the whole resort.
Their sun loungers that are made from strong wood were also designed to accommodate people who weighed up to 560 pounds. All doorways have also been widened.
Food is provided three times a day through a buffet, where guests can satisfy their palates with a mixture of Caribbean cuisine and American comfort food.
The property, which boasts of five miles of private beach and 24 rooms, only offer group bookings for up to 24 people. As expected, hotels with special accommodations such as this come with a hefty price tag: a six-day stay would cost $16,400, including food.
Other activities that can be enjoyed in the property include windsurfing, diving, boating, fishing, and swimming and kayaking on a nearby lagoon.
Although the resort caters to plus-size people, anyone above the age of 18 is welcome to stay there, as long as they are in good physical condition.
King says that when people arrive at The Resort, they become instant friends even though they were initially strangers to each other.
“They bond in a commonality,” he says. “It’s people who have lived similar lives with the same issues, and all of a sudden most of the stigmas are gone, because nobody’s staring at them. They just feel like they can identify. A lot of people who come have never met, but after just the first night it’s like they’ve known each other for years.”
Over the years, the business has been strong that he is already planning to build a second property in nearby Cat Island for plus-size couples and singles.
However, in an interview with ABC News, King says that his goal is not to run a bunch of hotels.
“I’d prefer that mainstream properties — the Hiltons, the Sheratons — become plus-size friendly. I’ve proved it works. This is a huge segment of the market and I know there’s a business traveler who has to go to Manhattan and would love to stay in a hotel where he doesn’t have to worry about breaking the bed.”
Check out this video featuring guests having a splendid stay at The Resort!
All photos were taken from The Resort’s Facebook page.