“Digital detoxes” have always been part of the appeal at meditation centers, remote regions, and certain adult summer camps—it’s a dedicated time to break up with your devices and enjoy a few days off the grid. But now, for the first time, luxe resorts in densely settled areas are offering reprieves from the usual gadgetry, too. (Such a respite seems more needed than ever when 50 percent of people will spend an hour or more searching for Wi-Fi while on vacation, and 41 percent choose locations to visit based on what will look best on social media, according to a survey from Intrepid Travel.) Here, five chic properties that have rolled out screen-free packages.
Chatham Bars Inn At this luxe Cape Cod property, guests can opt for a digital detox package: The front desk will secure devices (accessible only in the case of true emergencies) and disconnect the television in your room, and provide a $200 resort credit to use anywhere on the property (such as at the spa), a $50 gift certificate to a local bookstore, and complimentary use of the property’s bikes. Consider pedaling to the resort’s nearby 8-acre, impeccably manicured farm a few miles away, where the on-site manager may provide a tour—tastings and all.
This boutique hotel, nestled in the mountains of Manchester Village, Vermont, and inspired by New England’s grand Victorian inns, offers a multitiered “media check-in program”: Wean yourself off your screens by locking up your devices for an increasing period each day, sign up for three daily visitations of your locked-up gadgets, or go cold-turkey during your stay. With your devices safely tucked away, set off for a secret local swimming hole, join a cooking class at the Copper Grouse restaurant, or paint and sip wine en plein air at Southern Vermont Arts Center in the foothills of Mount Equinox.
Grand Velas Riviera Maya
At this AAA Five Diamond resort (located a few miles from Playa del Carmen), guests opting to participate in the four-day digital detox program can trade their electronics for complimentary activities, such as a bike tour, an ecological tour of the property’s fauna and flora, a snorkeling tour out past the white-sand beaches, or treatments at its spa. There’s a game element: Guests must earn back their gizmos by completing four on-site, IRL activities.
If you’re seeking true seclusion, a castaway-like experience may do the trick. This posh resort will transport guests via boat from the resort to private-island Gaathafushi for the Robinson Crusoe package: a two-night stay sans connection to the outside world, apart from a single house phone to contact the main resort. A private chef arrives in the evening to set up a candlelit barbecue and, after you spend the night under a thatched roof, returns in the morning with tropical fruits.
This stunning waterfront property, tucked into the unspoiled Outer Banks region of North Carolina, offers a digital detox package with a motivating twist: Every day you resist the temptation to request your device, you’ll receive a 20 percent discount on an activity of your choice, such as a stand-up paddleboarding lesson, a two-hour art class with canvas and paint, treatments at the spa, or—quaintness alert—personal board game set-up.