Ditch Your Cell Phone at These Digital Detox Destinations
Kamalaya Koh Samui, Thailand
If adrenal burnout and a lack of sleep are issues that sound familiar, head to Kamalaya in Koh Samui, Thailand (from $207 per night), where you can let go of your digital addiction (devices are actually prohibited in the public areas of the resort, and TVs are only available in-room by special request) and simultaneously reconnect with nature. The resort provides a plethora of wellness programs: Guests can learn how to achieve emotional balance, de-stress, detox, and truly turn off thanks to its sleep program. Sleeping issues are addressed via naturopathy; massage therapy and traditional Chinese medicine as well as treatments like Shirodhara and acupuncture. Of course, it does help to be under a canopy of stars on your own private balcony with the soothing sounds of the ocean lulling you to sleep.
Lake Placid Lodge, New York
You'll be forced to enjoy a digital detox at the lovely Lake Placid Lodge (from $499 per night)—especially given that all cell phones are confiscated at check-in. Without even a TV to keep you company, you'll have to embrace the beauty of the Adirondacks through a variety of outdoor activities: The resort provides complimentary snowshoes, canoes, and mountain bikes, as well as nightly boat tours on their 35-foot mahogany Hacker-Craft and pontoon boats. You can also choose to experience the beauty of the North Woods from inside the resort itself: Cozy up with a good book in front of one of the stone fireplaces and just be.
At SwaSwara (from $2,300 for a five-night stay), guests are encouraged to truly turn off, which is why the only Wi-Fi available on the 26-acre Om beach property is restricted to the library. The goal at SwaSwara aligns with the "Eat, Pray, Love" sentiment. Guests are encouraged to "find themselves" through yoga, Pranayama, Ayurveda, meditation, a healthy diet, interactive cooking, guided art yoga, and communing with nature—experiences meant to invoke the "SwaSwara," or the music of your soul. For those who are truly ready to get rid of their cell phone addiction, among other things, sign up for the mother of all detoxes—the 21-night Ayurveda Detox and Panchakarma. The holistic program starts with a procedure of ingesting ghee (more on the health benefits of ghee here) and includes a dosha-specific, doctor-prescribed diet. Let the healing begin! (Related: Is the Ayurvedic Diet Right for Weight Loss?)
Villa Stephanie at Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa, Germany
Detox from your digital life as you see fit from the supremely elegant Villa Stephanie at the Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa (from $2,600 for the seven-day Brenners Detox) in Baden-Baden, Germany. Simply press a button on your bedside table to completely disconnect the entire room from its electrics and Wi-Fi. The resort—which is set with the beautiful River Oos and historic Lichtentaler Allee as its backdrop—goes even further with its health and wellness initiatives, offering services like a metabolic blood examination, personal coaching, personal training, and lymphatic drainage. You'll also have a personal "Detox Host," who will be at your beck and call during your stay, as well as a personalized menu and plan provided upon your departure so you can implement your newly found healthy lifestyle when you leave.
Petit St. Vincent, Grenadines
At Petit St. Vincent (from $1,200 per night), an intimate, private island resort comprising 22 one- and two-bedroom cottages in the Grenadines, you are completely off the grid. After arriving by boat, don't expect to find a Wi-Fi signal, televisions, or cell reception: You're cut off! Instead, communicate through a flagpole system to address your needs, including room service, transportation, or complete privacy (the latter uses a red flag—get it?). There's so much to do here that there's no way you'll be missing your phones, either. There are two restaurants—one hillside and one beachside—that serve locally caught seafood and island-grown fruits and vegetables. Enjoy weekly beach barbecues under starlit skies; two yoga pavilions; a Balinese-run luxury spa and wellness center; boat charters; and a variety of land and water sports.
Nayara Springs, Costa Rica
Nayara Springs, a stunning, adults-only hotel located in the heart of the Costa Rica rainforest, allows digital communication, but guests can opt out by choosing its three-night Digital Detox package ($2,089). Lock away your tablet, smartphone, and laptop and unwind in your luxury villa with its private plunge pool fed by natural hot springs (there's one in every room!), daily yoga and meditation classes, a bird-watching tour, and the Nature Escape Spa package—which includes a 45-minute hot stone massage, a 30-minute facial, and 30 minutes of relaxation time in the treatment pavilion's natural mineral hot springs Jacuzzi.
Grand Velas, Mexico
Head to the AAA Five Diamond Grand Velas in Riviera Maya, Mexico, for the ultimate Digital Detox program (from $468) for couples and solo travelers alike. A "Detox Concierge" will "cleanse" your suite of all electronic devices for the duration of your stay and replace them with board games like Jenga, chess, and cards. Guests who choose to participate will also be able to trade in their electronics for complimentary activities, such as bike rentals, ecological tours of the property's flora and fauna, snorkeling excursions, and select spa treatments. For those who think they can't fully detox, game on. Guests must earn four activity bracelets (one for each day of the detox) in order to receive their electronics back. Gulp.
The Singular Patagonia, Chile
The Singular Patagonia (from $360 per night) sits on nearly 30 acres of breathtaking land deep in the heart of southern Chile's Patagonia region overlooking the Sound of Last Hope. The name is apt, considering the moment you enter the area, all hope of using your cell phone is gone: There is no service outside of the hotel in the entire area. That said, be bold and try to go fully mobile-less by "checking" your devices when you return to the hotel for a completely Wi-Fi free experience. Similarly, no TVs are placed in the room unless otherwise requested, which shouldn't be a problem considering the views from your 18-foot, floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the fjord and the Andes are entertainment enough. After a day of adventure hiking Torres del Paine, kayaking on an open fjord, or horseback riding with gauchos along the base of the Andes, return to the LEED-certified hotel (which was once a post-Victorian cold storage plant, btw) and relax in the on-site spa or indulge at the hotel's restaurant, which features local, sustainable ingredients.
The Ranch Malibu, California
Head to the hills of Malibu for a little cell-phone-free fun in the sun at The Ranch. This nature-inspired health and wellness resort offers guests an unplugged boot camp (an all-inclusive seven-night stay is $7,800) that includes days filled with hiking, fitness classes, and yoga, as well as massages, plenty of plant-based meals, and yes—even blessed nap time. Although digital devices aren't forbidden here, they're definitely discouraged and limited only to guests' private rooms. In the interest of fully committing to detoxing, we recommend overcoming the urge to power them on and joining a discussion on how to disconnect and be present in daily life instead. If you'd rather be in the moment than talk about it, you can also find your presence during an hour-long silent hike.
Hangaroa Hotel + Spa, Chile
Hangaroa Hotel + Spa (from $420 per night), located off the coast of Chile on Easter Island, is upping the ante in terms of providing a peaceful stay. There are no TVs in the guest rooms, plugs are located in special positions to avoid electromagnetic vibrations near the beds, and each of the rooms is personally blessed by a shaman from the south of Chile to create harmony in each and every corner. Designed to blend into the natural surroundings, the "invisible" eco-luxury property—inspired by the Rapa Nui ceremonial center of Orongo Village—features handmade clay tubs, bathroom skylights, stone showers, and private patios, all of which allow guests to feel a deeper connection with both self and nature.