Page last updated at 12:28 GMT, Thursday, 2 April 2009 13:28 UK

Clothing verboten at German hotel

Nudist on Studland Beach, England
There are a quarter of a million registered nudists around the world

A passionate German naturist has revealed his plan to open Germany's first hotel where clothes are banned.

Frieder Haferkorn, the entrepreneur behind the venture, says he is turning a conventional hotel in the Black Forest into a haven for naturists.

According to the house rules, clothes are not optional, but strictly forbidden at all times.

In keeping with naturists' belief that nudity is non-sexual, acts of a sexual nature are banned in common areas.

Strict rules

The exact opening date has not yet been set, but Mr Haferkorn has already published the house rules for the hotel he soon hopes to run.

Some, like the request to keep noise in the corridors to a minimum, would not raise an eyebrow anywhere.

Others are more unusual. Rule number one limits access to the hotel to followers of the nudist movement. And rule number three demands that guests be naked at all times.

Access to the hotel is reserved exclusively to followers of the nudist movement
By entering the hotel grounds, guests agree to comply with the binding house rules
Guests are obliged to be naked inside the hotel precinct
Sexual harassment will not be tolerated
Sexual acts are strictly prohibited in the common areas
Photography and filming are only allowed with permission of those photographed

Hotel Rosengarten has until now been a destination for walkers taking advantage of its idyllic location in Germany's Black Forest.

Mr Haferkorn plans to turn it into "a place of relaxation for people who live naturism and who want to spend their leisure time playing sports and games, and mingling with like-minded people in complete nudity."

He says the new Rosengarten will boast 32 rooms, a restaurant, a sauna and a tanning salon, for those days when the German weather does not play ball.

The director of tourism in nearby Freudenstadt, Michael Krause, calls it an "unusual concept".

He told Die Welt newspaper he would have preferred a "normal" hotel, but stressed there was nothing sinister about the nudist approach.

He said he was hoping for an increase in visitor numbers to the area, even if more conventional walkers - like him - would now avoid the hotel.

Mr Haferkorn hopes his hotel will attract both walkers who like to go bare and nudists who like to walk.

And while the strict nudity rule only applies within the grounds of the hotel, guests keen to bare it all on their walks may not have to wait too long for permission: two villages in the Harz mountain region are reportedly looking into designating some of their walking paths as nudist routes.

Even without official permission, nudists have for over a century roamed naked through Germany's forests.

Nudist walkers freely advertise the dates of naked walks on the internet. If spotted, they are sometimes fined by police, but in general, they say, clothed people's reaction is one of surprise, not anger.

The nudist movement, or free body culture as it is called in Germany, goes back to the 1890s, when sociologist Heinrich Pudor wrote about stripping off and getting back to nature.

The German nudist association DFK currently has around 50,000 paid-up members, who receive an international membership card granting them access to nudist-only events. Many more Germans are believed to enjoy bathing, walking, playing and camping naked.

Mr Haferkorn is hoping to attract as many of them as possible to his new hotel, although he may have to think hard about where his guests should pin their DFK badge if his hardline anti-clothing stance is to work.

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