Dave Johnson, 60.

Dallas, Texas
Joined Mar 2017
54 Followers 55 Following
    Diabloblanco reviewed Warm Sands Villas
    Over a year ago

    Awful experience

    My recent experience staying at the Warm Sands Villas was a bewildering and deeply disappointing experience. Edit: Here's the TV news coverage of the incident: http://www.kmir.com/story/34798048/one-less-clothing-optional-resort-in-the-nude-capitol-of-the-world We booked FIVE rooms for a friend's 50th bday weekend. AFTER check-in we were informed that usual "clothing-optional" policy was suspended for the weekend due to the presence of straight couples they had booked, and we needed to put our suits back on. This, despite "clothing optional, gay men's resort" was explicit on my reservation confirmation email, their own marketing materials, and about any travel website on the internet. Asked for some sort of recompense for being denied one of the main reasons we selected WSV, the new (straight) owner, Frank (over the phone, through his desk clerk) flatly refused ANY accommodation. We complied for the rest of the day, but told the clerk that in light of this, we would be "clothing optional", the following day. Frank immediately called to protest, but I affirmed that we were not getting the experience we paid for, and in light of no discount or accommodation, some of us may be swimming the following day without our suits. Discussion got heated, but Frank agreed we could do so, if we agreed to respect the sensitivities of the straight couples should they be in the pool area. We agreed we would, of course. First thing the following morning, we were told that if we swam nude, we would be evicted, a reversal from the night before. By the pool, we discussed this with the other guests at length, who we found out had their OWN heated discussions with Frank regarding this very issue during the weekend. One gay couple even checked out as a result. In fact, we mentioned our quandary to one of the straight ladies, who was very sympathetic, and thought the situation completely outlandish. About 1pm, I was called from the pool area to the office, and 6 policemen were there with the desk clerk. They told me Frank wanted my group evicted immediately. I asked the clerk why, and, I kid you not, he said it was because "we were discussing the issue with the other guests, and he wants you gone." I was in complete disbelief, and reviewed my rights with the PS officers (who were very helpful, respectful, and great, by the way). I was told that Frank was within his rights to evict anyone at any time, so we didn't have a leg to stand on. I asked if we could be refunded the remaining money of our stay, and the message came back, "take it up with your card company". Frank did finally agree to evict just my suite (4 of us, including the birthday boy), a small mercy. We left the resort as soon as we could pack. One by one, other guests went to the office to express their outrage on the situation. I watched as even the straight woman made the desk clerk call Frank and she told him off over the phone. This whole situation could have been averted had Frank mentioned the suspension of "clothing optional" BEFORE we checked in, during the many times we spoke in arranging the room block. I can't imagine we wouldn't have complied, had we had been able to make an informed choice. This was at best, terrible communication, and at worst, a capricious "bait and switch". In fact, both desk staff members we spoke with complained bitterly that this happened often, and they were constantly put in the middle: Frank booking gay and straight guests, not making the other aware of the policies and resulting awkwardness that could ensue. I will definitely own that I was assertive and confrontational. We were denied a major component of our vacation experience, and NO effort was made to make up for it. In fact, we were humiliated and punished for standing up as consumers. For this, I encourage gay travelers to look elsewhere in Palm Springs (and straight travelers, too...). (Update: We've since found out Frank had bought another gay clothing-optional resort next door, but failed in the attempt to convert to a straight clientele. He had to lease it to All Worlds, and had Warm Sands Villas up for sale).