Club Orient Frequently Asked Questions
• We are interested in sunbathing completely nude, but were not sure if we’ll be comfortable being nude all of the time. Will we have to listen to comments from people if we choose when and where we are nude?
Being Clothing Free Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to FAQS
Why do you set your rates in Euros?
Club Orient is located on French St. Martin. The official currency of France is Euros. Our salaries, taxes, and bills are paid in Euros. We cannot guarantee rates in other currencies because the values of those currencies fluctuate daily.
How can I guarantee my vacation cost?
Pay your bill in Euros, as many credit cards do not charge you a commission or charge a smaller commission on dollar conversion than we pay. Or to insure your cost/rate, pre-pay your stay when the dollar is strong. You can make your reservations at anytime and then periodically check the exchange rate and give us a call or email us to pre-pay your stay and you will have achieved the benefit of a favorable rate.
How can some businesses charge in dollars or give a “1 for 1” exchange rate?
One of the great old gimmicks in tourism has been the “1 for 1” ($1 = 1E) exchange rate you see offered by some restaurants. It should be no great surprise that many businesses simply inflate their Euro rate to allow for the difference and hope you feel you are getting a special deal, when in fact it’s an inflated price.
Is Club Orient more expensive?
Not necessarily. The costs at Club Orient are only sometimes higher than other hotels. First we are a “niche” market resort and exist to serve a much smaller clientele base that limits our ability to market to the public at large. We cannot, as an example, book the conventions or group tours, which are the lifeblood of many resort properties. In addition, we actually restrict non-resort guests who wish to visit our restaurant, spa, etc. Most properties actively encourage outsiders to visit their resorts for added revenue; we are restricted because of the exclusive nature of our resort. Exclusivity has an added cost.
Secondly, St Martin is a part of France, which has very generous social benefits for its citizens (our employees). We only employ legal residents of the country and pay a generous wage and substantial social charges on these wages. We cannot compete, nor would we want to compete with other islands or resorts, which do not pay a living wage to their staff.
What forms of payment do you accept?
Club Orient accepts Visa, Master Card (Euros or US Dollars), American Express (Euros only), Cash (Euros or US Dollars), Personal Checks (Checks drawn on French Accounts Only), and Wire Transfers (by advance arrangements only).
Unfortunately, we cannot accept: Personal Checks, Third Party checks, Bank Drafts, Discover Card, Diners Club Card and Travelers’ Check.
For any other requested forms of payment, please contact us directly prior to your visit.
Does Club Orient discount its prices?
Club Orient does discount its prices. With membership in a nudist association, 10% discount is offered.
Other than the nudist association discount, we offer special promotions throughout the year. Many of these promotions involve room upgrades or spa, restaurant and water sports services. To receive current promotion information, simply subscribe to our e-newsletter.
Do you have internet service?
Club Orient provides basic internet service wirelessly throughout the resort. You will receive an access card for a unique Login name and Password that will work with only one machine for seven days. If you have two computers, please ask for a second card, they’re free. Many people expect high-speed access similar to what is available in the US, Canada or Europe. We do not have that capability on St. Martin. Broadband service on the island is limited, very expensive and not as reliable as what you may be used to.
The wireless signal we are able to provide is more than sufficient for surfing the net or answering email. Most of the problems we encounter are due to the proliferation of sling boxes, online gaming and video services such as Skype. These applications use huge amounts of bandwidth and result in slower service for everyone or worse, occasionally being bounced off the Internet.
Unfortunately, there is no way for us to prevent people from consuming huge amounts of bandwidth. We suggest you try to utilize the net during non-peak demand hours. Generally the highest internet usage is from about 7:00am until 9:00am and again from about 4:00pm until 7:00pm.
Who do we ask for assistance if we are having difficulty connecting to the internet?
If you are having problems connecting to the internet please call, the Front Desk and they will go through some basic suggested steps with you. The number one non-connection cause remains that people who have not turned their wireless switch of their computer to the “on” position. The Front Desk Staff cannot work on or repair your computer, they can only recommend steps that have worked in the past for others and confirm that the Internet signal is being broadcast in your area.
We will be happy to call a service technician for you if you still cannot connect. If the problem is of our making we will pay for the service call. If the reason for the lack of connection is your settings, equipment or any issue not related to our providing a signal, you will be responsible for the service call.
Can I bring my own drinks or food into the restaurant?
Both the Perch Bar and the Papagayo are restaurants like restaurants anywhere else. They exist by selling food and beverage to our guests. Please do not bring in your own food or beverages to the restaurants since it is embarrassing for everyone if we have to ask you to leave it outside.
The exception to this rule is if you have a bottle of special wine for an important occasion that you would like to have served. We will be happy to accommodate you. There is a modest corkage charge for this service.
Is the Papagayo more expensive than…?
Than what? We are sometimes more expensive than some of the establishments further down the beach or elsewhere on the island. We are less expensive than many other restaurants as well. Further, the Club Orient Restaurants are designed to cater to only Club Orient guests. We do not allow open access to the Papagayo from non-guests and do not promote non-guest participation, especially in the evening. We recognize our responsibility to keep you free from unwanted visitors and gawkers.
Also, we are one of the few restaurants, which provide high quality live entertainment most nights without a cover charge.
Are gratuities included in the menu price?
No, unlike many restaurants in France neither the Papagayo nor the Perch have gratuities included in the price of the food or drinks. Tipping is at your discretion.
Why do I have to sit on a towel?
Because to not do so is very poor etiquette and it is not sanitary to sit on anything without a towel. This also includes sitting on the edge of a table because someone’s bread or silverware will likely be placed there at some point. Simply put, bare bottoms don’t belong on any horizontal surface without a towel underneath.
What are the “PDA” rules?
In the old days PDA stood for, Public Display of Affection. It was short hand for nobody really needs to see that! Nudists have long understood that being without clothes did not mean that it was now acceptable to behave inappropriately with your partner(s) in sight of others.
When you are in a public place, please do not act any differently than you would on the grounds of any nice resort. That means when dancing, do not grope, fondle or grind. When on the beach helping someone with sun tan lotion is not an excuse for a massage better suited for the bedroom.
If your conduct is such that the staff or other guests are uncomfortable, you may be asked to leave. If you observe conduct by others that is inappropriate please tell a staff member and we will talk to the people involved.
Do you serve breakfast?
Since the number of people who want breakfast each morning is very small, we do not currently serve breakfast in the Papagayo. We do however offer complimentary coffee and tea, as well as pastries and croissants for sale at the Boutique everyday.
Is it okay to walk Orient Bay beyond Pedro’s without clothes?
The history of Orient Baie is one of free unfettered nude usage. For most of Club Orient’s thirty-year history, you were free to be without clothing anywhere at any time. Over the last few years, some changes have come to Orient Beach. Walking past Pedro’s without clothes can result in being cited by the Gendarmes and possible detainment. Being stopped by the authorities is a rare occurrence, but it does happen. Walking past Pedro’s fully nude is at your own risk, even before 8:00 AM. The only exclusive 24/7 beach nude area is the frontage of the Club Orient resort.
So should you take the walk down to Mount Vernon clothing free? We can only make you aware of the possibility of being stopped and cited by the Gendarmes. The risk is yours.
What about crime on the island?
Crime exists everywhere in the world, including St. Martin. Club Orient maintains a 24/7 roving security to guard against crime. Our best advice to you is to take the same precautions here that you would anywhere else, including at home. When you leave your chalet, lock your door. Do not leave your valuables sitting out. Use the safe, which is provided for you in all of the accommodations.
Why can’t you guarantee a specific room number?
We do realize how important requests for specific rooms are to our guests. We work very hard trying to accommodate all the reservations we receive and attempting to honor those requests. Often, even with our best efforts, it is simply not possible.
Allocating rooms is similar to working on a giant crossword puzzle. When one room assignment is changed, it will generally affect many other room assignments, both current and future. We are constantly making room changes to accommodate as many guests as possible.
While certainly no guarantee, in general it helps to make your reservation as early as possible if you would like a certain room. Ultimately, the final room assignment remains subject to change until your arrival.
Why can’t you give me my room number prior to my arrival?
As we discussed in the previous question, room assignments are changing even up to the day of your arrival. Often maintenance issues, unexpected stayovers, and other factors will force us to make last minute adjustments.
How do we check-in in the evening if we arrive after the front desk closes?
The front desk stays open until 9.30PM. If you have not checked in prior to that time, your keys will be automatically transferred to the security office situated just behind the Front Desk.
On the next morning you will be able to officially check in at the front desk.
We are interested in sunbathing completely nude, but were not sure if we’ll be comfortable being nude all of the time. Will we have to listen to comments from people if we choose when and where we are nude?
Club orient is a clothing optional resort which means you can dress as you please, from nude to completely clothed and anywhere in-between. Some guests become naturists gradually. Others recognize immediately how much more enjoyable being clothes free is almost immediately. There is no correct approach to becoming a naturist.
Complete nudity is appropriate anywhere on the resort, just be sure to follow naturist etiquette by always sitting on a towel! No one will be critical of your dressed or undressed state on the resort. What’s most important is that you are comfortable with yourself and your surroundings.
What should I do if I encounter a problem on the beach or in the resort being created by other people?
Occasionally we have visitors who either do not understand the rules or have chosen to ignore them.
If you observe a situation where someone is behaving inappropriately, you must contact Security, the Beach Staff or the Front Office. Under no circumstances should you involve yourself in any type of confrontation.
We certainly appreciate the concern of the guest; however, it is never wise to become involved in a potentially volatile situation. Please always find a Staff member to handle the problem.
Can I use a calling card from my room?
Our phone system is not compatible with calling cards. We do offer other calling options besides making calls from your room. Please inquire at the front desk
Is there a free shuttle from the airport to Club Orient?
Club Orient does not provide free airport transportation, however If you email us your flight information two or three days in advance of your arrival, we can arrange transportation by taxi for you. As an alternative, there are plenty of taxis at the airport from which to choose. Currently the fee one way is approximately US$40.00.
How much are the chairs and umbrellas and how do we reserve them?
Guests who are staying with us at Club O have beach chairs and umbrellas included in their stay. Upon arrival and check-in, they will receive beach tags that they can use to reserve these down on the beach.
Those coming to visit us for the day, but who are not staying at Club O can rent chairs and umbrellas from the beach staff for a nominal fee. Weekly passes are also offered, depending on availability.
What’s the difference between nudist and naturist? Is a naturalist the same as a naturist?
Nudists and naturists are essentially the same.
There are people who contend that being a naturist encompasses more than simply being naked. They suggest that naturism is really a way to live your life, in a manner that is more holistic and having a greater awareness of your environment. Many say that naturism is best appreciated on beaches and in the great outdoors.
Naturalists are people who are aware of and are very much sensitive to the environment, ecology and nature. They aren’t necessarily nudists and nudists aren’t necessarily naturalists.
Is being a nudist or naturist a lifestyle and what does the term “lifestyle” mean?
There are certainly naturists who live a predominately-clothing free life and that could certainly be interpreted as a naturist lifestyle. However in today’s vernacular the term, “lifestyle” has an entirely different (negative) connotation. “Lifestyle” groups are generally, “swingers” meaning they participate to one degree or another in exchanging partners for sexual activity.
Are there nudist swingers? Sure, the same way there are swingers in all walks of life. Being a nudist has nothing whatsoever to do with sexual activity. Swingers who are overt in their intentions in a nudist setting are generally shunned and if they make others feel uncomfortable, they are asked to leave the resort or club.
But isn’t nudism at least in part about sex?
No, it really has nothing to do with sex. Being a nudist is about many things including freedom and the feeling you get from not having to be concerned with all of the images which society foists on us as to how we should look and how we should feel about ourselves. Being without clothing is not inherently sexy. Nudists believe that being free from the inhibitions that clothing enforces upon us allows us to feel better about others and ourselves.
What about children being in a nudist environment?
Children are natural nudists. Ask any parent of a toddler who tries to get their kid into clothes before going out. One of the great gifts a parent can give a child is to learn early on that they should respect their bodies and they should develop a wholesome body image. In general, children of nudists grow up with a much healthier body self image than others do.
Club Orient is family friendly, as are most nudist resorts in the world. One of the basic tenants of all of the world’s nudist organizations is that it is or at least should be a family activity.
What is the difference between INF, AANR, TNS, FFN, etc what do they do and why should I join?
These organizations are nudist associations from around the world. Not only the ones listed above, but also most countries have their own association and all but TNS (The Naturist Society) fall under the guidelines of the INF (International Federation of Naturists) located in Belgium.
They perform many services for all of us who believe in the freedom to practice nude recreation, even if only on a part time basis. They are active in the legislative arena to ensure sensible laws regarding nudism.
If all of this isn’t enough, you will also receive a 10% nudist association discount on your room rate at Club Orient on stays of seven days or longer and other discounts at most other nudist resorts throughout the world.
See you on the beach!