Saturday, November 19, 2011

A SMI trip report

This a “mini trip report” because we only spent one day at Sea Mountain Inn and we didn’t actually stay there for the two nights we were in Desert Hot Springs (got there late Friday night and left Sunday morning with all day Saturday spent at SMI).  This was because A: SMI requires a two night stay over the weekend and we only had one day that we could spend at SMI and B: it’s rather expensive to stay there so paying for a room there for two nights in order to be there for just one day would have been prohibitively expensive.

About SMI. As you may have read in other postings or trip reports, it’s not much to look at from the outside and oddly, it is in a residential neighborhood.  However, on the inside, it is a very nice place.  It’s almost as if you walk into a different world when you ring the bell, give them your name (you must have a reservation in advance, even for day and night passes) and walk onto the property.  You’re greeted by Dewey or his wife (the owners) and brought into the office to check in and sign the membership form ($40 membership good for six months).  You are immediately given margaritas which are very good by the way, and they are just the first of many you will be offered during your stay.  After the paperwork is completed, Dewey gives you a tour of the property and introduces you to everyone around the pool; not individually, but in the form of an announcement.  We were introduced as C and G (actually used our names, of course) from Negril, Jamaica because when they asked us if we were comfortable being nude, we told them that our sixth Hedo trip was coming up in August. 

Right outside the building with the office and the food (more on that in a minute) is the smallish, but adequately sized pool.  Remember the place itself is small so the pool size worked.  The pool temp was warm, I would say at least 85 degrees.  From there you’re walked through the again smallish disco which is nicely appointed and has a stripper pole and very good disco lighting.   Through another large door on the other side of the disco is the Jacuzzi which was fairly large for the size of the place.  All around the pool area and on to the back, more private areas are lots of the most comfortable lounge chairs you will ever find anywhere.  The music is fantastic and best described as “eclectic”.  You will hear unusual and often bizarre versions of old classics, but all very interesting and enjoyable.  The music played in the disco at night is perfect, great dance music.  The DJ’’s at Hedo could take a serious lesson from the SMI DJ.

We got a day/night pass which was good from 10:30am until 2:00am and included lunch and snacks and soft drinks throughout the day as well as margaritas and Dewey's famous “pour in your mouth” shots of variously colored concoctions of undescribed ingredients (but all of which were very tasty).  Cost was, I believe, $139 per couple, but I understand it’s $179 on holiday weekends.  However, beware the long distance shot from the pressurized squirter (think bug or weed repellent sprayer).  I got one of those and I guess I forgot to use my tongue to block my throat and Dewey made a direct hit to my lungs and I almost drowned!  I’ll pass on that one next time.  Many people bring their own booze/beer/mixers that they prefer to drink and coolers are welcome.  Lunch consisted of delicious fried chicken and various salads.  Most people ordered from the take out menu for dinner (you pay for your order when it arrives, but the all female staff – except for Dewey – take the orders and call them in for you).  We got a pizza which was surprisingly good considering we were in the middle of the desert as far away from New York, the undisputed capital of pizza (with all due respect to you Chicago deep dishers), as you can get.

Now for the good stuff.  PDA’s are everywhere and encouraged.  There is a very definite Lifestyle slant to SMI, much more so than Hedo, but you can still enjoy yourself if you are not Lifestylers as long as you don’t mind being surrounded by people who are.  Of course, “no means no” as it does in all lifestyle environments. The vibe is very Hedo-like (especially in the pool) in that you feel the complete freedom you feel at Hedo, everyone is naked and everyone is having a good time.  We found the people to be open and friendly, but perhaps not as much so as at Hedo.  There also seemed to be more “cliquieness” than at Hedo, but in fairness this is based on one day’s experience and I’m sure, like Hedo, the vibe varies based on who’s there on any given day.  We also didn’t see the full array of body types you see at Hedo.  The SMI people that were there on Saturday, at least, were on average, in better shape than the average Hedo guest.  Ages ranged from 20’s to 60’s with the majority being in their 30’s, which is younger than us, but we didn’t feel at all out of place.  All in all it was a great time and a good DIF breaker. 

With Hedo being 5 out of 5 stars, we'd give it 4 stars.  We’ll go back, but next time we might not do the day/night pass because we didn’t make it to anywhere near 2:00am.  That’s a long, long day and without a room of your own to go back to, perhaps take a little nap or just have some alone time we found it to be too long for us.  I don’t know if they have a pass that starts later in the day and goes into the evening.  The day pass goes from 10:30am to 5:30pm and many there seemed to have that pass as the crowd thinned out considerably after 5:30.  Ideal would be a pass that goes from 2:00 or 3:00pm to 2:00am, but I don’t know if there is such a thing.  I suppose you could do the day/night pass and just get there later, but most of the pool fun seemed to take place between about noon and 4:00pm.

Since we didn’t stay there, I can’t say much about the rooms but we did see a couple of them from the outside when doors were open and they looked very nice.

This would be a terrific place for Southern CA (and even Arizona) Hedo folks to meet for a “sorta Hedo weekend/meet N greet” and I think I’ll try to put something like that together on the board for perhaps September to see if there’s enough interest.  Of course, in this case, the 10:30am to 2:00am pass would probably be great since we will all have things in common and some of us will even know each other from Hedo. 

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