The Bahamas is Home to the World’s First Plus-Size Resort

NASSAU, Bahamas: With 40% of the world’s population being plus sized, James King owner of “The Resort” in Eleuthera, Bahamas decided to build a hotel that would be a safe haven for them, free from body shamers and humiliation.

The first of its kind in the world, the idea came to James 15 years ago while working as a managing director in a popular hotel in Grenada. It was his first day on the job and he had just arrived at the resort. He decided to get a coffee and while stirring his coffee, he glanced outside and witnessed a young lady, attempting to sit on a chair but falling through with her legs flailing up; she was red with embarrassment while the other guests were laughing. The following day, while James was meeting his co-workers, he heard screaming at the front desk, the same lady that had fallen out of the chair was now being charged $150 for the destruction of hotel property and she wasn’t pleased. There wasn’t much he could do but it was here that he began to put his plan in motion.

While working in Grenada, James spent most of his time trying to get the property he worked on and other properties to accommodate people who were plus-sized.

“I spent 3 years trying to get that property and other properties to accommodate people who were off plus size and I got nowhere, a matter of fact I got laughed at,” he said. Reflecting on his choices, James admitted he didn’t know much about ownership. When he couldn’t get anyone to sign onto his dream, he decided to do it himself.

Twelve years ago, his plan took motion and his first challenge was finding a property suitable for what he had in mind.

“I was very blessed that a friend of a friend of a friend introduced me to another friend and we developed a friendship and a partnership and have put this together and the world is starting to see the results of it now.”

After the property had been secured, James realized that finding furniture to accommodate guests would be the real challenge as they would have to be fully customized.

“Everything had to be custom done then I had to find a property that was accessible to an airport but remote enough to be private so that people of size that had never felt comfortable on a holiday could go actually go someplace and not only not worry about facilities but have the privacy to go the beach without being stared at and people making jokes.”

Double shower heads, lower bathtubs, beds that were built to handle 15000 lbs without breaking, pool chairs that could sufficiently hold without breaking are just some of the items that had to be custom made to ensure that guests were all accommodated.

The resort which was over 12 years in the making finally opened in 2015 and James says the reaction has been phenomenal. It is located on Unique Village, which is near Palmetto Point. The hotel is surrounded by beautiful turquoise beaches with a freshwater pool on property and it offers snorkeling to its guests. The option to paddle board is also offered on the other side of the island but according to James 90 per cent of guests never leave the property.

Although few amenities are offered, James believes he offers something more valuable than amenities and that is a peace of mind.

“I’m trying to do something positive, no body shamers and no humiliation. We ask them to take their watches off, they’re not allowed to use WIFI outside of the rooms and cell phones aren’t allowed in the dining room. This is a place of serenity, a safe haven, this is for you to just be yourself for a change and guests love it, they don’t go off the property, at all.”

Booking is easy as the whole property is offered at the price of $16,400 for groups with a minimum of two persons and a maximum of 24 people can book for six days. Drinks and gratuity are priced on the honors system. The rate per person depends solely on the number in your group. For more information, visit The Resort on Facebook.

MEDIA CONTACT Dawn Demeritte Senior Executive, Communications Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation

This Resort In The Bahamas Was Created Especially For Plus-Size Travelers

Warm weather holidays are a time for rest and relaxation. But for some, the anxiety of wearing a swimsuit in public, or the fear that they will be fat-shamed when they hit up the breakfast buffet, can ruin a vacation.

Enter The Resort, the first all-inclusive hotel that caters specifically to overweight and obese people. Entrepreneur James King founded the luxury property, located on Eleuthera/Harbour Island in the Bahamas.

“I Decided I Had To Do Something”

The businessman told People that he came up with the idea many years ago when he noticed full-figured people running into awkward and even humiliating situations at other hotels.

“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 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.”

At The Resort, King makes sure that these types of problems don’t exist, thanks to reinforced furniture (beds included) and extra-wide doors. The sun loungers, made from strong wood, can hold up to 560 pounds.

Here are some more special features at The Resort:

Guests Are Able To Feel Like Themselves

“Being able to feel ‘normal,’ even for a little while, was beyond a gift,” one guest, a 375-pound woman from Texas, told the New York Post. “Can you imagine how it feels to walk down a beach and hear people refer to you as a beached whale?”

At The Resort, she donned a swimsuit without fear.

“I wore a bikini, and never felt uncomfortable, and I was noticed for my beauty, not my size,” she said. “Living as a plus-size person in a judgmental world is stressful.”

The Resort is a luxury destination with five miles of private sand and three buffet meals a day. However, it comes at a hefty cost. The property only takes group reservations for up to 24 people. If you can round up 23 of your BFFs to join you, a six-day stay comes out to be $684 a person (or $16,400 total).

Apparently, The Resort has been successful enough that the company wants to expand to a second location.

It’s great to see that this resort is helping people feel comfortable in their own skin — no matter their size. No one should ever be made to feel bad about themselves, and especially not on vacation.

— — For plus-size travelers, there are vacation stressors that average-size people would never even consider.

Take a lounge chair, for example. For most, the biggest concern is how close it is to the pool. For a plus-size person, the concern is that it won’t be able to hold their weight.

It was this exact scenario that — eventually — led Jim King, the owner of the Resort, a boutique hotel on the Bahamian island of Eleuthera, to open what is believed to be the world’s only resort that caters to plus-size travelers.

It was 15 years ago, he told ABC News, that he was working at a hotel in Grenada when he saw a plus-size person sit on a lounge chair that then gave out from underneath him. “The guy got up in tears and everyone on the beach was laughing,” King said. To add insult to injury, the hotel then charged the guest $150 for the destruction of property, King said.

Though he was involved in a project in Cancun geared toward plus-size people years ago, the resort didn’t take off. “It was too big,” he said, “and too far from the airport.” The Resort, which has been open for two years, is a much smaller operation, welcoming groups of two to 24 only.

For the price of $16,400 for a six-night stay, guests get the run of the resort. All meals are included, while alcohol is “on the honor system,” King said, and it’s worked out perfectly.

Beds are built to hold up to 1,500 pounds. Lounge chairs can hold hundreds of pounds too. But aside from the furnishings — all designed to look exactly like their non-specialized counterparts would — what the Resort offers that’s just as important is a sense of emotional safety.

“A man might, for the first time in his life, take off his shirt to go in the pool. For a woman, it could be her first time in a bikini,” King, who is not plus-size himself, said. “Within a day or two, inevitable there will be a cannonball contest at the pool. It’s beautiful to see.”

And while the Resort caters to plus-size guests, it doesn’t discriminate against the average-size traveler. Because the resort has to be rented out to groups, there’s often a mix of people. For example, a recent family reunion group included just three people who were significantly overweight.

The Resort is proving popular with guests. In its first year of operation, it had a 65 percent occupancy rate, King said. This year, it is projected to have a 90 percent occupancy rate.

And while he does have plans to open another resort for plus-size travelers on the nearby Cat Island, King told ABC News his goal isn’t 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.”

Wearing a bathing suit in front of strangers can be a stressful experience for anyone, but that anxiety is often heightened when you’re overweight or obese. James King saw the turmoil it can cause firsthand while working at a resort in Grenada, where he watched a mortified woman fall through a lounge chair.

Instead of laughing or looking the other way, like most beachgoers did, he created “The Resort,” a secluded vacation spot available exclusively to plus-size guests. Located on Eleuthera Island in the Bahamas, The Resort has five miles of private beach for guests to lounge on in peace, without worrying about harsh looks or side-eye from the public. In fact, one of the resort’s foremost rules is to be respectful of your fellow guests.

“Our goal is to have a special place where you can relax, unwind and spend some quality time just being yourself,” The Resort’s Facebook page reads. “We know that when you return home you will not feel like you need a vacation to recover from your vacation.”

Given the experience that led to the resort’s creation, King made sure it was not only a safe space emotionally, but also physically. In a promo for a reality show filmed at the resort, King says of the beach chairs, “you could literally jump on that furniture and nothing it going to happen.” He also notes that the toilets are reinforced.

King told PEOPLE he had to create much of the furniture himself, including beds that can hold up to 1,500 pounds, since no one was manufacturing what he needed. He told the magazine, “The response has been phenomenal,” and many visitors have already booked a second stay.

Guests can come to the resort in groups of two to 24, but have to book out the entire space at once. The flat rate is $16,400, which breaks down to just under $700 per person if you have 24 people – a pretty decent rate for a six-day vacation. All meals are included, with drinks and gratuity available “on the honor system.”

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Madison Flager Freelance News Writer Madison Flager is an Assistant Editor at Delish.com.

Inside the world’s first resort for obese holidaymakers

Holiday resorts are all about capturing a certain market. There are adults-only resorts, health retreats, spa hotels… and there’s also a Caribbean resort catering specifically to overweight people.

The Resort – which opened two years ago on Eleuthera in the Bahamas – has been built specifically with obesity in mind. Although at first glance it looks like any other beach resort, this is – or so the owner says – the only one around that’s been especially built for guests weighing over 30 stone.

Everything on the resort has been customised: doorways are wide, chairs are made from particularly sturdy wood, beds have been reinforced with two-inch steel bars, and metre-wide loungers can withstand up to 40 stone.

The buffet – open for breakfast, lunch and dinner – caters to those with fuller appetites. Owner James King calls it a “sanctuary”.

“It’s a place where you can come and have a good holiday without any judgement whatsoever,” he says.

King told The Independent that he got the idea for the resort about 14 years ago. “I was MD of a hotel in Grenada and saw a guest go through a beach chair,” he said. “As per hotel policy, she was charged $150 for destruction of property.”

But there’s a more serious side to The Resort, too. The activity programme includes group therapy, and activities have been chosen to “force the guests to re-evaluate their bodies.”

It’s right on the water, guaranteeing privacy (The Resort)

Privacy is guaranteed. The private beach is five miles long, and the resort is only open to private groups of up to 24 people.

The Resort features in ITV’s The 18-30 Stone Holiday, airing tonight, in which eight overweight members of the public were flown to the Bahamas.

Husband and wife Adam and Ami Flahery were part of the group. Ami, who weighs 24st, and says embarrassment about her weight ruined her honeymoon in Egypt, told The Sun: “I could jump in the pool and not worry about how big a splash I made. Or I could lie on a sun lounger which was made from strong Brazilian wood, so I didn’t have to worry about breaking it.

“In the past I’ve broken plastic loungers and although I’ve always laughed it off at the time, I was left mortified and wanted the world to swallow me up.

“But when you know a hotel has been specially made for plus-sized people, you don’t have to worry about breaking any furniture or not fitting into anything because you can relax and just go for it.”

Interested? You’ll need a heavy wallet, too. The flat rate is $16,400 for six days, although that includes all meals and airport transfers. The price includes up to 24 people.

5 Summer Fat-Friendly Vacation Destinations

It’s almost summer vacation season.

Temperatures are rising, days are getting longer, and you’re ready to take a break from work and responsibility to finally get some much needed personal time.

But do you really want to go to the beach like everyone else?

Sure, lounging under an umbrella with a cold drink in hand sounds kind of nice, but the beach also means soaring temperatures, sand in uncomfortable places, and sweaty strolls down crowded boardwalks in desperate search of someplace with air conditioning.

There’s a better way for big guys to vacation.

Instead of spending a sweat-drenched week working on your skin cancer…uhm, we mean tan…head to one of these plus-size friendly destinations for a comfortable, relaxing summer vacation.

Montreal, Quebec

While everyone else is flying south for the summer, take a cue from every migratory animal in this hemisphere and head north.

With average summer temperatures in the 70s (around 21 degrees Celsius since they’re not on Team Fahrenheit) in their hottest month, July, you’ll be cool and comfortable as you take in the sights.

Montreal is French-Canadian, but while French is the primary language, you won’t have any trouble if you only speak English.

Make sure you indulge in as much luscious French cuisine as you can while you’re there, because you’ll miss it when you get back home and have to settle for Costco croissants.

The Finger Lakes

If you appreciate good wine, or if you just kind of know what Riesling is and don’t mind drinking it, consider spending your summer vacation this year around New York’s Finger Lakes.

It’s not all wineries, though.

The area is also packed with breweries, hard-cider factories, and…well, lakes.

We’re unclear as to whether or not the area is also known for fingers, though we suspect the name has something to do with the shape of the lakes, rather than their contents.

At least, we hope.

Basically, The Finger Lakes is the perfect place to spend a week doing nothing but drinking beer and fishing.

If you have a family who objects to endless hours of inebriated angling, you can also check out some of the area’s natural waterfalls, do some shopping, or head into Syracuse for a day.

Then again, you could also send your loved ones on any of those activities while you stay out on the water with a fishing pole.

It’s your vacation too, after all.

Las Vegas, Nevada

You might have your doubts about spending your summer vacation in a city located conveniently in the middle of a sweltering desert, and you’d be right in assuming that it’s going to be stupidly hot, but hear us out.

If you do Las Vegas right, you’ll almost never have to leave the air conditioning.

Every hotel along the strip is like a little self-contained city, so you can gamble, catch at least two different shows, and dine in a different restaurant every night without ever leaving your hotel.

Of course, we recommend that you check out all the sights and sounds, but you don’t have to go out during the daylight hours to do that.

Vegas is all about nightlife, and the temperatures are much more reasonable after the sun goes down.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Aside from being hard to spell, Milwaukee is known for having festivals all summer long. Seriously.

There are festivals for just about everything, from kites to Polish heritage to summer itself.

Milwaukee just really likes to celebrate stuff.

If you’re the cultured type, we’re told there are some excellent museums and historical exhibits available for your perusal.

However, if you’re more the beer-and-chili-dog type, you should stay in the hotel that was once a Pabst beer brewery, the BrewHouse Inn and Suites.

And if you can’t have a summer vacation without spending some time beside a big ass body of water, you’ll be right on the shore of Lake Michigan. Basically,

Milwaukee is a city, built around beer and baseball, where there’s always a party.

What’s not to like?

Take a cruise…in Alaska

Did you even know that Alaskan summer cruises were a thing?

While everyone else is baking in the summer heat, you’ll be checking out glaciers and ice formations in the wild north.

There aren’t many places left where you can observe real wilderness, and there are even fewer places where you can observe raw wilderness from the deck of a luxury ocean liner with an all-you-can-eat buffet.

Some cruises take you inland for activities like a ride in a glass-topped train through the mountains, and if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can even book a helicopter ride to an even more remote location to commune with mother nature.

If that’s your thing, go right ahead. We’ll be back at the boat communing with a loaded chili dog and a cold beer.

Plus Size Vacation Destinations:
Just say no to normal summer vacation plans.

Don’t let peer pressure trick you into a vacation that’s hot, sweaty, and uncomfortable.

Vacations are supposed to be fun and relaxing!

While you’re making your travel plans, make sure to check out these tips from The Travel Channel for easing your transportation arrangements.

They try to be nice and call us weight-challenged, but forgive them for their political correctness.

Lots of people are afraid to say “fat.”

Are Vacations Fat Friendly?

As a woman who treks to the crowded train platform every morning for work, I am acutely aware of how much space I take up. I eyeball the recently vacated seat and do some quick mental math to see if my hips can fit into that limited space. Traveling for me is about continually stacking myself up against the confined space and hoping that I won’t stick out.

A few weeks ago I was excited to book my first snorkeling experience with a cruise line until the operator asked me if I was under a specific weight. I struggled to remember the last time I was weighed and if it was possible to be over the maximum. My stomach and hips felt like weights dragging me down, and a small part of me wondered if I could rush diet my way into safer waters. I felt embarrassed and ashamed to even think about it when my friends all easily answered the question. Then I thought of the people who were heavier than the maximum. Where they denied the opportunity to cross something off their bucket list?

Were all my trips destined to make me worry about how much space I’d take up?

We all know that the discussion of plus-sized traveling starts at the airport. With hashtags like #flyingwhilefat and an extreme case of a woman having the cops called on her for brushing arms with her neighbor, it isn’t a secret that people have to choose whether the convenience of flying is worth the potential for fatphobic comments, the side eye while you scoot down the aisle, or general seat discomfort. It’s getting worse too.

In recent years, airline seats have been shrinking. The average seat width has shrunk from 18 inches to 17 or under, widening the gap between people who can travel comfortably and the rest of us who don’t want to be squished into our neighbors.

Thankfully, there are many tips and tricks on the internet to help plus-sized people navigate the already stressful experience of flying.

For some, like writer Jes Baker, it is all about comfort and body positivity. She suggests wearing a comfortable shirt with a body positive message on it.

Another tip is asking for a seatbelt extender. For many, requesting this tool can be difficult and depending on the discretion of the flight attendant downright embarrassing. No one wants a bright orange or red seat belt extender dangled in front of their face. Some can ask for a seatbelt extender to be added to their designated seat before boarding.

If seating is first come, first served, another option is to bring your own. Amazon and other online vendors have a few options for purchase. Either way, it’s time to stop blaming the people who need them and start questioning who gets to decide what is an acceptable seat size. Here’s a hint — it certainly isn’t the airplane industry.

You Might Also Like: When You’ve Been Fat-Shamed By Your Doctor

But I also wonder what happens after you get off your cozy six-hour flight. The stress of traveling while plus sized doesn’t end when you leave the terminal. It can rear its ugly head in the small and limited accommodations of hotels, the specific place you decide to travel, and in the things you choose to do.

I once had a conversation with a coworker about skydiving, and she confessed how she hurt herself skydiving because of the ill-fitting harness that was “one size fits all.” She said she would try it again but only after she invested in personal equipment.

Of course, there will be instances were limitations are based on legitimate safety reasons. I’m not about to complain if I’m not allowed to ride a pony because I’m too heavy. But we need to start having a more open discussion about whether a limitation is valid or if it is influenced by fatphobic thinking. Does a restaurant need to have nothing but cramped booths and chairs with arms in your restaurant? Would it be possible to have one or two designated areas for larger individuals?

A plus-sized person’s right to go out or enjoy themselves should not be dictated on one narrow depiction of what the perfect body is.

While we pause to consider our country’s portrayal and treatment of plus-sized people we should also address traveling internationally and how different cultures can react to a plus-sized form. Barring the cruise that spurned this entire article, I have never had the opportunity to travel abroad, and so I can only draw my facts from sources and the experiences of others. Like everything in this world, no two experiences are the same. They are influenced by things like economic privilege, gender, sexuality, and skin color. In Annette Richmond’s article Traveling While Fat & Black she discusses her personal experiences about traveling both in America and overseas as a black plus sized woman.

However, there is a silver lining to this constant bombardment of travel limitations and stigma for plus sized people. The more the issue is broached and discussed, the more likely people are to act.

It can be tiring for plus-sized people to continually have to prove that they are worthy of excitement and adventure.

The website Abundant Travel does an excellent job of showing that is possible to go on vacation and be plus sized — a have your cake and eat it to analogy that I am happy to get behind. This website specializes in travel accommodations for tropical destinations like Mexico and the Caribbean for plus sized people. This can include flight and hotel reservations to the excursions you might want to partake in while there. Just think of it — no invasive questions, no gear that might damage you, and most importantly a place that treats you like a person. Because the next time you see friends, family, and people you used to know posting about their latest travels, don’t think about what the world thinks you should do. Take that trip, go snorkeling or skydiving. It’ll be worth it.

Related:

  • Take The Cake: Medical Fatphobia Almost Killed My Friend

  • If You Want To Talk About Physical Health, We’re Probably Going To Talk About Mental Health First

  • Having My Body Issues Stripped Bare Among European Sunbathers

This ‘Plus-Size-Friendly’ Resort Is Here for Anyone Who’s Ever Felt Ashamed in a Bikini

Hundreds of overweight vacationers are rejoicing over their stay at The Resort — the world’s only plus-size-friendly destination specifically approved for hefty travelers. The Resort is on the Bahamian island of Eleuthera, and it’s as luxurious and lavish as any other getaway in the islands. The only difference is its specific requirement that all who stay there weigh over 280 pounds.

“Things like having a private beach, it just means that no one is going to come down and make you feel inferior,” said Alice Young, resort attendee and stay-at-home mom of two adorable twins.

The surroundings are thoughtful, including three-foot-wide lounge chairs, widened doorways, and beds bolstered with steel bars. In a world where fat bodies are rarely accommodated, visitors describe their stays here as a much-needed relief from the discriminatory reality of their day-to-day lives.

“Being able to feel ‘normal,’ even for a little while, was beyond a gift,” recalled Shawn-Marie Riley, a benefits administrator who told the New York Post about her stay. “What’s so great is recognition that people of size have insecurities and challenges that the general public never considers. Will they have chairs I can sit on? Will the bed hold my weight? Will I fit in the tub?”

Not only are overweight vacationers physically uncomfortable in surroundings designed for smaller bodies, but they also encounter some loud vocal outcries of weight stigma and discrimination.

“Can you imagine how it feels to walk down a beach and hear people refer to you as a beached whale?” Riley proposed.

At The Resort, however, she was free to wear a bikini without judgment. “I was noticed for my beauty, not my size,” she said.

Courtesy of The Resort

60 percent of The Resort’s clientele is American, hailing from a nation where weight stigma is likely some of the worst. Other temporary residents come from across the globe, even from as far as the United Kingdom and Spain.

“I would love to go back,” Young continued. “I think it’s the perfect place to go if you have got body issues or self-esteem issues. You are accepted there.”

In fact, the conversations that go on between visitors of The Resort get surprisingly deep.

Staying at The Resort “helped me to understand myself better,” Alice Young described. “It’s certainly brought some things to light that have made me think a lot better.”

“All of the issues we had were to do with mental health rather than overeating,” she said.

Her stay was recalled as being immensely therapeutic. For plus-size vacationers, a stay at The Resort is more valuable than even the cheapest all-inclusive vacation venues.

Plus size resort bahamas

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