"Revealing" Poll Results

A recent poll on www.Hideaways.com asked 271 high-end travelers if they are likely to shed their inhibitions — and their clothing — while on vacation. For 81 percent, the answer is yes: 61 percent say they’ll join right in at a clothes-optional beach, and 20 percent say they’ll work on an all-over tan in private.

Some 15 percent say they’ll go to a clothes-optional beach but won’t be seen in the buff themselves, and only 4 percent say they avoid clothes-optional beaches and won’t even skinny-dip in private. Of the travelers who responded, 73 percent were male and 27 percent were female.

Hideaways.com conducted a similar poll in 2004. At that time, 79 percent of high-end travelers said they’d shed their clothing while on vacation, while 21 percent said they’d never reveal it all when they travel.

"Slightly more people seem to have lost their inhibitions in the past five years," says Mike Thiel, president and founder of Hideaways International, Inc. For an explanation, Thiel jokes, "Perhaps the health message that we all need more Vitamin D is catching on, or people have even more incentive to travel light, what with the airlines charging for checked baggage."

For those looking for a vacation that combines in the buff with in the lap of luxury, Thiel reveals his top take-it-all-off destinations and lodging options:

St. Barth
: All beaches on the island are topless, and two — Gouverneur and Grande Saline — are unofficially clothes optional. Guests can also skinny-dip in the private pool of their luxurious cottage at Hotel Le Toiny.

French St. Martin: This island has a split personality. Its Dutch side is rather puritanical, but on the French side all beaches are topless, and Orient Beach is clothes optional. Guests can also take it all off on the private deck or skinny-dip in the private pool of their sumptuous villa or suite at La Samanna.

Isla Mujeres, Mexico: Even though Mexico as a whole is fairly conservative, the island’s North Beach is pretty relaxed about toplessness. Guests can get an all-over tan while on the private terrace — complete with outdoor Jacuzzi —  on the top level of the ultra-luxe, tri-level Presidential Suite at Hotel Villa Rolandi.

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