My Stay at Terra Cotta Inn, A Clothing Optional Resort in Palm Springs
Review of Terra Cotta Inn:
UPDATE November 17, 2015
Terra Cotta Inn has been sold to new owners and will become a textile resort starting December 1, 2015. Mary Clare and Tom Mulhall owned and operated Terra Cotta as a clothing-optional resort for just about 2 decades (they bought it in 1995). They have stated that they will be working at Terra Cotta until the end of November, and will be helping the new owners in this transition for the next 1 – 3 months. It’s sad to be losing this great clothing optional resort in Palm Springs. We’re glad we could experience the resort on holiday two years ago and had a lovely time with Tom and Mary Clare. We wish them the best in their future endeavors.
On our recent trip to California, Jordan and I had the pleasure of finally visiting Terra Cotta Clothing Optional Inn. The resort is owned by Mary Clare and Tom Mulhall, who we have known for a few years, since Tom is the PR Chair of AANR. He also writes about nudism for the Huffington Post.
Terra Cotta Inn is located in the very nude-friendly (and very gay-friendly) desert town of Palm Springs. The weather is ideal for a nudist resort: dry, sunny, and usually around 70 degrees, all year round.
They have 17 rooms, so it’s not a huge place. Since it’s more like a “vacation resort” than it is a typical nudist club, they’re busy all year round on weekdays and weekends. Thanksgiving is a particularly busy time, but we had managed to snag the last available room for Thanksgiving Day a few days before.
Upon our arrival, Tom gave us a short tour, and we brought our bags into our spacious room. There was a king-size bed, dresser, armchair, and table and chairs. All rooms are equipped with a flat screen TV and DVD player, and I liked that they have a library of movies you can borrow at any time. We also had a full kitchen with a microwave and fridge. Near the bathroom was a tall closet where you could hang up clothing. The bathroom was as big as it needed to be and furnished with the usual hotel mini toiletries – shampoo, soap, conditioner, lotion.
We were also provided with beach towels and shower towels. There was outdoor furniture right outside our door, and a heater mounted above! So you could sit outside naked and stay somewhat warm. The desert can get very cold at night. (No sauna here though, unfortunately.)
After settling in, we made our way into the sunshine. The other guests were older (the usual nudist-resort demographic) and all couples from what I could see. This resort is adults-only and caters to couples (but it’s still 100% nudist, no sexy stuff!). The layout is a lot like a small hotel or motel. The rooms encircle the grounds, which are dominated by a heated swimming pool and hot tub. The grounds are visually pleasing with flowers, palm trees, olive trees and other plants throughout. Off to the side of the pool is a small shady cove with a little waterfall that’ll help you cool down on hot summer days. The rocks around it are adorned with graffiti painted by past guests, who signed their names. Nearby is another inlet with seating and a barbecue grill for anyone to use, which also serves as a massage room.
At around 2pm, we were called for Thanksgiving dinner! The food was all homemade by Mary Clare, and it was delicious. She even made special sides for me since I’m a vegetarian! Dessert was a great buffet of different pies. They had set up big tables outside decorated for the holiday, so people could sit together. Everyone was friendly and sociable. And also naked. As its full name says, Terra Cotta is clothing-optional, but I don’t think I saw anyone in a bathing suit around the pool (not that you shouldn’t visit if you’re still nudie-shy).
Later that night we made our way to the hot tub and socialized with more of the other guests. We met one very nice woman for whom Terra Cotta is like a second home. Her and her friends book months in advance so they can all stay there together a few times a year. Some of them live in other countries, so TC is a place for them to meet. But don’t think you’d be excluded here as a stranger or a newbie visitor! The resort has what most hotels don’t – a community atmosphere with very friendly people.
The woman we met is a breast cancer survivor and she was open to talking to us about it. She’d had a single mastectomy and breast reconstruction. She had been very self-conscious about lacking a breast and a nipple, but managed to get past it, especially after reconstruction was complete. We were interested in hearing her story since we just published another woman’s story not too long ago.
The next morning we had a nice breakfast, which is included. It was continental style so there were small pastries, bread, fresh fruit, cereal, yogurt and coffee of course. On a typical day, wine and cheese are also served in the afternoon. A vending machine on premises sells 50 cent sodas. For lunch and dinner you can dine out, or have catered meals. If cooking is more your style, there is a grocery store a half mile away.
As others know already, I was a bit mystified at not seeing an outdoor shower or 50 signs telling me to shower before getting in the pool or hot tub. It turns out they don’t have one due to a California law that would require them to install its own draining system. I didn’t miss it. It’s also worth noting that the pool and hot tub are salt water (instead of chlorine)–nicer on the skin!
There aren’t any sports or game facilities, but as mentioned above, this is more of a vacation place to get away and relax. I didn’t get one, but they do have a masseuse if you like massages. There are things to do in the area too, which are listed on their website.
So if you’re looking for a relaxing resort to escape to, I’d recommend Terra Cotta. Book a stay, try it out, and you might just find your new home away from home.
Oh and did I mention they have an adorable awesome puppy to play with?!
Learn more about Terra Cotta Inn on their website at http://sunnyfun.com.