If your curves have ever made you feel self-conscious in a bathing suit, then you’ll appreciate this Bahamian resort that encourages plus-sized people to strut their stuff without fear of judgment.
Owner James King opened The Resort in Eleuthera, Bahamas two years ago to help folks feel totally at ease on vacation, and to solve some practical problems heavier guests might face at typical resorts.
In an interview with People, King shared the impetus behind his groundbreaking idea.
“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. The next day I was in my office, and I hear screaming and yelling, and she was having a fit because the owner’s policy was that she was charged $150 for destruction of hotel property. And I thought that it was insane.
“I tried to convince the owners that we needed furniture other than this plastic flimsy stuff, and they didn’t care. I decided that I had to do something.
It took about 10 years for King to make his dream a reality, with one of the biggest challenges being finding sturdy furniture.
“The biggest issue was that no one manufactures for plus-size people,” King told People. “We needed beds that are able to hold up to 1,500 lbs., we needed lounge furniture and beach furniture that doesn’t break. And it just doesn’t exist. So everything that we have there I had to create and prototype.”
King’s patience paid off: The Resort has experienced quite a bit of success since it’s opening.
“I’ve been booked all year and about 10 percent of that is repeat customers, which is amazing when you’ve only been open for two years,” King said.
And guests seem to feel an instant bond with one another. “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,” says King.
The only possible downsides we see? Size and price. The Resort only books small groups between two and 24 people for exclusive use of the entire property (24 is the maximum amount of guests that can stay at a time) for a six-day stay. The flat rate is $16,400—the rate per person depends on the number of people in your group.
Since this can be a bit out of reach for some, we’re hoping that this is the start of a brand new movement in the hospitality biz.