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 [the Resort’s] 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.
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.