Hedonism IIA day at Hedonism II starts at about 9:30 or 10:00 in the morning. At that hour, the entire place seems to be nursing a hang over. People are just getting up, and straggling to breakfast at the main dining room. Activity here starts late, and quietly builds momentum, working towards evening when serious partying begins. This is not a place for quiet contemplation.
This place attracts a devout following, and its not unusual to find people who have been going to Hedonism annually, or even semi-annually, for 5 or 10+ years. There is one group of people, called the Bubbly Bares, which started as a group of people who met at Hedonism 15 years ago. They have been returning every year since. There was even a convention of swingers at Hedonism. It's nice to know that at least there is some truth in Hedonism's advertising.
Officially there are two sides to Hedonism II, the nude side and the prude side. Both sides have similar amenities; both have thier own bars and grills on the beach, both have pools (though the pool on the nude side is much nicer, complete with swim-up bar service), and both (of course) have beaches. Walking on the prude side during the day, however, doesn't give the impression that Hedonism is the one resort in Jamaica with 100% occupancy year-round. It's quiet, and nearly deserted, with no more than a few people sitting around the thatched-roof bar, and even less on the beach.
Crossing the divide to the nude side, immediately you know this is where the action is. The only physical demarcation between the two sides is a modest sign on the beach. But during the day, this is where everybody is. The beach is crowded, and all the lounge chairs pool-side are occupied. If it was a boat, it would be serioulsy listing to one side.
As you might guess from its name, Hedonism II is a place where inhibitions are shed, and sexuality is flaunted. If you are a "naturalist" who thinks nudism is not intimately connected with sexuality, this is NOT the place for you. This is a place for being nude, and looking at other people who are nude. It is a place for drinking, dancing, doing some serious people watching, and meeting people. No problem, mon!
Grand Lido BracoI was standing at a bar at the Grand Lido Braco resort on Jamaica's north coast, and the amiable bar tender asked the same question nearly every one I met in Jamaica had asked me: "So, how do you like Jamaica?" This time, for the first time in the four days, I actually thought about the question. Taking a long sip of my Appleton Estate rum on ice, I answered as honestly as I could. "I don't know," I said, smiling. "I'm staying here." He smiled back, and nodded with understanding.
Don't get me wrong. Grand Lido Braco is beautiful, peaceful, and oh so luxurious. Walking its clean cobblestone streets, smiling and waving at the staff, who treated me with a remarkable amount of respect and genuine sense of wanting to help, I felt that I must have done something really right in life to be here. It was almost too perfect, like vacationing on a Hollywood-set recreation of a Jamaican village.
Fully one-third of the resort is designated "nude," or as they prefer to call it at Braco, "au naturale." Set on the west side of the resort, the "au naturale" side is really a resort within a resort, complete with its own rooms, private beach, pool, two whirlpool hot tubs, grill, and tennis courts. Vacationers at Braco were friendly. Very friendly. You will find no hesitation about jumping into the hot-tub full of naked strangers and no compulsion to speak to anyone either. There was no pressure to do anything, yet everything at Braco was possible, and everything was cool.
Braco is not cheap. At least not by most standards. An in-season stay can run between $600 and $1100 per night for 2 people, though I am certain that you can find a better deal. Which is not to say it is not worth the price. If you have the money, and you like staying in this type of resort, it is worth every penny. Like all of the resorts in the SuperClubs chain, Braco is (all-inclusive) (super-all-inclusive) meaning you have to try really hard to find something to spend your money on. Braco delivers what they promise in their slick brochure.
NegrilThis place has one of the most gorgeous, miles-long, white sand seashores in the world, Negril Jamaica isn't exactly a nude beach, but going topless is widely accepted. You can not only swim and sunbathe topless, but also order drinks, para-sail or do a little shopping wearing only bottoms.
There used to be a totally nude area which was especially popular with the men, but, alas, this year a gigantic "family" resort has arisen in that spot (called Beaches) and therefore now total nudity is not premitted.