Loc: North Carolina, USA
White Tail Resort, Ivor, Virginia
August 28-30, 2009
Bottom line: a very nice and nicely run resort that we would definitely visit again.
Accommodations: campground with RV and tent sites along with several motel-type rooms. There are also some homes with permanent residents.
Facilities: large outdoor pool with chaise lounges, tables and chairs, indoor pool, hot tub, sauna, restaurant (weekends), showers, TV room, fitness room, game room, laundry, massage room (again, weekends, I believe), volleyball, basketball and paddle tennis courts, library, free WiFi in the main building and around the pool, and a social hall for dances, etc. and more.
Demographics: mostly older couples but some younger couples with and without children, and some singles when we were there.
Vibe: very family-friendly and safe feeling.
WTR is a year-round nudist resort in eastern Virginia. It has recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. It is Virginia's only nude resort and, from what we were told, will remain so unless the legislature overturns the ban on nudist resorts. Indeed, WTR bills it self as Virginia's only year round nudist resort.
We arrived on Friday afternoon and checked in and were given the rules and layout of the resort since this was our first time there.
Nudity is permitted everywhere in the resort. In the pools, sauna and hot tubs people are required to be nude. At check in, we were told this along with common sense exceptions such as cool weather and baby diapers. There were a few signs in the main building stating this policy was by member choice and encouraged guests to adhere to it. There was no one in the pool who wasn't nude during our visit. In fact, there were few people who weren't nude everywhere while we were there.
After checking in, we started the afternoon at the outdoor pool. The WTR outdoor pool is quite large. As this was Friday about 2 PM and the resort was not yet busy for the weekend, there was plenty of room in and around the pool to swim and relax. We quickly met several couples and we were welcomed as people usually are at the nude beaches and resorts we've been to. A few clouds threatened and we got a brief shower but most of the clouds blew by producing only some shady periods. Not at all a problem for two people who burn easily and welcome some shade as long as the air temp is warm. We sat around and in the pool for a few hours, talking with new friends, then headed off for dinner in the restaurant.
The menu in the Tradewinds restaurant was good, not great, as you would expect for a small resort like WTR. (You can find the menu online at the WTR web site.) We were told they recently hired a new chef and he came around during dinner to see how we liked everything. A nice touch. There were two specials Friday, prime rib and crab legs. My wife is a huge seafood fan and got the crab legs. I had crab cakes. Dinners come with a salad and side dishes. Both were good and excellent values. Anything purchased in the restaurant is put on your bill doing away with the need to carry anything but a towel. WTR does not sell alcohol which is not a negative since they allow you to bring alcohol and other drinks anywhere in the resort.
Following dinner we hung around the outdoor pool for a while then went to the indoor pool to watch water volleyball. After a few hours we returned to our room for the night. The rooms are like typical motel rooms. Ours had two queen beds, a night stand, a full sized refrigerator, a microwave, a small table with chairs, a TV with cable, and a small bathroom. The rooms are air conditioned. They are clean but certainly not luxurious. For the price, they are a good value but if you're looking for upscale lodging WTR is not the place for you. We heard the owner, Bob (didn't get his last name) is planning to expand and add a two story motel unit on the grounds. I was under the impression that we had maid service. There was an envelope for tips on the nightstand and I thought I read it somewhere. However, no one came on Saturday so we had to walk to the office to get some clean towels. Not a big problem since the office was only about 100 yards from our room. Just a minor inconvenience. Could have been our misunderstanding.
Saturday morning brought some rain as Hurricane Danny went by the Virginia coast. The forecast had been for rain all morning then clearing in the afternoon. It rained pretty hard for a while but fortunately, the rain ended before 9 AM and the rest of the day was beautiful.
We took our morning walk along the roads through the RV and tent sites and met some more people. Then it was back to the pool for more relaxing, reading and meeting people. The pool features plenty of chairs, umbrellas and two large covered areas for even more protection from the sun (or the rain). The rooms in the air conditioned main building are also open so you can escape the heat in there if needed.
By Saturday afternoon the resort was still not very crowded. We were told attendance on a weekend is usually larger but this being a prime vacation week at the end of August, many people were likely away to other destinations. Someone told us that on some summer weekends it was sometimes difficult to find a chair around the pool. We were grateful we didn't have that to contend with.
A number of people we met who had been long time members and guests told us how the resort has expanded over the years. It's easy to see that Bob has a vision and plan for more than the next fiscal quarter or year. It was refreshing to see that he wasn't just trying to milk the profits and get as much out of the property as he could. We met Bob briefly on Saturday afternoon and he seemed genuinely devoted to WTR and expanding his business. He told us that the recession has seen his attendance increase probably as people take vacations closer to home. Let's hope it continues that way as financial conditions improve.
For dinner Saturday there was only one special, the crab legs again, but this time we both had the lasagna. As good as the crab legs were, I have to say the lasagna was uninspiring. Frankly it tasted like it was a frozen, portion-controlled entrée from a food service company. If not, my apologies to the chef, but we didn't care for his tomato sauce.
Saturday night featured a dance with a DJ. In keeping with the nude-oriented nature of the resort, most of the people there were nude. A few women wore pareos but most were nude. I don't recall seeing any men who were not nude. We like this arrangement. Neither of us go for the dressing for titillation that is present at some resorts.
Even though there is a mixture of ages at the dance, we felt the music was aimed for the older age group. We're in that group so we appreciated hearing music we knew and liked. I have to believe this is intentional and I see it as the resort management understanding who it's target audience is and catering to them.
We stayed at the dance only for about 3 or 4 dances then headed out to the pool for a short while. Another nice aspect of WTR is the pool and all the facilities are open 24 hours a day. You can have a swim or jump in the hot tub at 3 AM if you wish. Want to play pool or air hockey in the game room afterward? No problem.
Sunday morning we had breakfast and another walk around the resort. We checked out but had time to stay at WTR a few hours before heading home. We were told that since we booked a Friday and Saturday night stay we could remain at the resort for Sunday after we checked out.
We went to the pool and relaxed some more. More people were showing up by this time. We met some day visitors from nearby and I saw some people arriving for the week. To give you a better feel for the demographics, I can say I saw at least one infant with a couple in their 20's, at least two toddlers with their parents in the pool and at least two boys about 10 to 12 years old in and around the pool with no parents nearby that I noticed. I think this speaks well of the family friendly and safe atmosphere promoted at WTR.
Around noon we had lunch then took a quick shower in the main building, returned to our car and, ugh, got dressed for the drive home. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and will return to WTR again.