FROM the outside it may look like any other four-star retreat.
But guests at this luxurious spa can really let it all hang out as this is in fact a NAKED hotel in the heart of Birmingham.
Owner Tim Higgs has fulfilled a naked ambition – by turning the detached family home into the city’s first NATURIST hotel.
The Clover Spa Hotel nestled between a nursery and residential housing in the busy suburb of Erdington.
And nudists are clambering to stay at the swish seven-bedroomed pad, which also boasts a hot tub in a private and picturesque garden.
Rooms at the Chester Road hotel cost from GBP120 per night, which includes a Full Monty slap-up breakfast.
“This isn’t some seedy venue with dark corners,” dad-of-four Tim explained. “We’ve created a relaxed and chilled out environment where naturists can come along and unwind.
“In Europe this sort of place is very normal but over here it’s still almost unique.
“We have all the facilities of other spas but people can take their clothes off and enjoy themselves.”
Tim, 55, has been a naturist most of his life. He has visited clubs all over the country but struggled to find the more elegant retreats.
He already owns the original and fully-clothed Clover Hotel, which is just a couple of doors away from his new venture.
When the former 1920s house became available, he decided to fulfil a long-standing dream.
Tim said: “Naturists were crying out for something like this.
“I applied to Birmingham City Council for a licence and at first they didn’t really register what I l was intending to do, although I never tried to hide the fact it was a naturist retreat.
“Eventually when an inspector asked a few questions about dress code, I had to point out that there wouldn’t be one!
“There may have been a few negative comments but in the end it was passed through the planning committee without any hassle.
“They could see that this wasn’t going to be a sleazy establishment.”
He added: “Taking your clothes off in front of strangers gives you great body confidence.
“There is a tremendous amount of respect and bonding here because without your clothes you are at your most vulnerable.
“Everyone here is equal.”
The surrounding residents, including the nursery, were informed about the hotel’s unique selling point during the planning stages and there were no objections.
Tim has even invited his neighbours around to soak up the atmosphere – with some taking up his generous offer.
“I opened my first hotel in this street 18 years ago, so I know the majority of people around here,” he added.
“I’ve not heard any complaints about the new hotel because it’s a properly run getaway.
“We don’t serve alcohol and the garden has 6ft 6inch double fencing. There are plenty of trees too, keeping it very secluded.”
Since opening in January the hotel has attracted guests from across the UK and there are plenty of local clients who use the day spa. Mary Halliday, 48, from Stechford,Birmingham is one of them.
“I love being a naturist, it feels so natural,” she explained.
“I’ve always been into it and when I tell family or friends they just accept it.
“My partner doesn’t indulge, but I just carry on and he doesn’t have a problem with it.”
So relaxed is the atmosphere at the hotel that even employees are also shedding their inhibitions and clothes.
Part-time therapist Geeta Patel 24, didn’t even know what naturism was until she started working at Clover Spa.
“I’d never heard of it before so at first I was a bit apprehensive,” she said.
“But there’s a great atmosphere here and I don’t feel strange taking off my gear when I’m not working.”
Another convert is hotel duty manager Barbara Salgo, 28, who met boss Tim for the first time while he was naked! She laughed: “I’d already been hired for the job and had to go along to a publicity drive at Alton Towers.
“That’s when I finally met Tim. He stepped out from behind some advertising and he wasn’t wearing any clothes! “It certainly broke the ice.
“People say when you’re in a nerve-racking position at work to imagine your boss naked. Well, I don’t have to!”
Since taking up the job, Barbara has stripped off herself in her spare time.
“This is nothing but nature, and you realise that once you try it out,” she said.
“All your weight issues disappear because you are saying `This is me and I like it’. It’s an extremely natural thing to do.”
Steven Pritchard, a postman from Great Barr, has visited Clover Spa four times since it opened.
“I always have a great time here,” he said.
“In the past I’ve really struggled to find something like this.
“I am a member of a naturist swimming club, but we meet at public baths.
“This is definitely a lot more luxurious.”
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