Trip Report - Paradise Valley, GA 6/18-6/22

We took vacation from work last week, and decided to stay close to home (not due to economy, but for other reasons). On Monday, we played golf on a local course. Tuesday noon through Thursday noon, we rented a houseboat on Lake Lanier. This short trip could be worthy of a trip report in this forum on its own, as the Lake is slow in mid-week, and the privacy panels on the top deck provided numerous au naturale sunbathing options. But, in the end, it isn't a resort, a beach, or cruise.

From Lake Lanier, we went straight to Paradise Valley Resort in Dawsonville, GA. This was our third trip staying at the resort, and we stayed in the exact same condo as we had in our previous trips. The condos are exceptionally nice, and I give them an edge over the condos at Caliente. We stayed in an upper level one bedroom, but they also offer studios and two bedroom condos as well.

Weather - While Bethpage Black was getting soaked by torrential downpours, we had sunny skies everyday of our stay. It was hot, with most days in the mid-90s with only a little breeze.

Facilities - Since our last visit earlier this year, PV added a "tiki bar" and an observation deck. You can see the tiki bar in a photo on their homepage linked above. The photo is from the observation deck, which overlooks the main pool deck as well.

Otherwise, there aren't too many pictures of the facilities on the website. The main pool is basically the centerpiece. Water temperature remained in the high 80s, so it was refreshing but not too cold. Toward the back of the pool deck is the outdoor hot tub and the conversation pool. Across that entire pool deck is about 200 loungers.

The clubhouse is right next to the main pool, and includes a bar, a small gift shop, a large dance floor, and a comfortable sitting area in front of a large fireplace. The clubhouse also has a separate game room with a pool table and a ping pong table that remains open even when the bar area is closed. There is yet another pool behind the clubhouse which will be a no-kid zone (for those seeking peace and quiet).

The lodge (clubhouse) is relatively basic compared to something like the Caliente Clubhouse, but the Tiki Bar is an excellent addition. Further, PV has invested in very nice furniture to adorn the Tiki Bar deck.

The bathrooms by the pool are by far the biggest weakness of the resort right now. They are just plain nasty. There is a leak from inside the wall in the womens room, and it feeds to both the mens room and the path to both. The floors are always wet and slippery, and filled with flies. They have plans for a fix, and those should be in place by the Fourth of July.

Food - PV also has a restaurant above the main pool. While we were there, the A/C had broken, so most of our meals were eaten on the patio. Meals are offered as buffets starting on Fridays for dinner through Sundays for lunch. We made our own meals in the condo Thursday and Sunday evening, as well as breakfasts (as was our preference - the restaurant does offer breakfast). The selection was great, but the food was so so this trip. It was actually very good on our previous trips, so I think it is a bit hit or miss.

On Saturday night, to celebrate Fathers Day on Sunday, the restaurant offered free meals to fathers (or, effectively, all men). The buffet included steak, pot roast, pulled BBQ pork, and a bunch of different sides. Other nights included grilled chicken, fried shrimp, riblets, and other offerings as well.

These are not gourmet meals, by any means, but they were perfectly sufficient for us.

Attire (or lack thereof) - PV is clothing optional. At the pool, the vast majority were nude. There were a couple of swimsuits, but not many. At lunch, most chose to cover up when eating. At dinner, most were dressed. At the evening dance/party Friday and Saturday evening, most were dressed to some degree, though often with men in just shirts and women in slutware. But there was no fast rule, and always some exceptions.

Gender Balance - PV permits single male visitors, but requires them to purchase a membership after their third visit. My sense was that there were quite a few that do, as the imbalance was noticeable. Some of the single males just seemed to act a bit creepy, while others blended in without giving off any weird vibes. I wouldn't describe this as a problem, just an observation.

Prices- For accommodations, the one bedroom condos run $125 per night on the weekends. Include the day fees for a couple of $50, and at $175 per (weekend) night, the price is unbeatable, in my opinion. Meals in the restaurant are also cheap - $6 per person for lunch, $9.50 per person for dinner - all you can eat. Drink prices are also cheap, with many domestic beers at $2 for 12oz cans. They even offer beer bucket specials for less.

Members - Most all of the members are extremely pleasant and welcoming. We have become friends with a few we have met on our recent visits. We meet more each visit. PV has an interesting mix - from professionals from Atlanta or to country folk from across the SE. While we were there, we met visitors from NC, SC, and AL. We met biker types with body piercings to a public school teacher. Some gay, mostly straight. Some black, Asian, and hispanic, mostly caucasian. Everyone seemed to mix and get along great - a very interesting microcosm of society.

While we were there, on Saturday afternoon, many of members had gone in together and purchased very nice brass tiki torches, and presented them as a gift to the owner, to adorn and christen the Tiki Bar. By Saturday night, they aligned the rails around the bar area, and looked fantastic.

Ownership - PV is under new ownership. The new owner is the former (and current) manager. From what I can tell, all the staff was retained. With the new ownership, investment in the facilities is ongoing. I already mentioned the Tiki Bar, but you can read about the other plans (and see a few pictures) here. I like the changes I have seen so far.

Staff - We liked all of the staff we encountered. They aren't nearly as formal as the Caliente staff, but each were very personable. As PV is still pretty small, it seems most of the staff have multiple job functions. And from my observations, they work very hard and long hours on the busy summer weekends to keep all the guests happy.

Conclusion - Another pleasant stay at Paradise Valley for us. I'm sure we will be back, at least as guests. Perhaps as members. Maybe eventually as real estate owners. Time will tell.