With the release of “the 8,” Apple reminded us that it’s been 10 years since we were introduced to the iPhone – either the device behind the decline of basic civility or your most successful relationship, depending on your perspective.
In honor of this momentous occasion, the Virtuoso® luxury travel network took the opportunity to ask its professional, savvy and yes, well-connected-in-every-sense-of-the-word travel advisors about where one can go if they actually want to relive those beautiful moments of peace before iPhones permeated our lives in a seemingly irreversible way. Where can travelers go to temporarily cut the smart-phone tether and, dare we even suggest, make eye contact when communicating?
- Rancho La Puerta Fitness Resort and Spa, Tecate, Mexico
At the peaceful atmosphere of Rancho La Puerta, just three miles south of the U.S. border, cell phones are verboten in public areas and service is very limited, even in guest casitas. No in-room TVs and limited Wi-Fi ensure that guests at this 3,000-acre resort focus instead on the well-being of the body, mind, and spirit. More than 25 miles of hiking trails, 32 acres of gardens and 70+ indoor and outdoor activities (think yoga, art, cooking and strength training) keep guests busy and present.
- Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa, Oetker Collection, Baden-Baden, Germany
The hotel’s Villa Stephanie suites are dedicated to digital detoxing. With a press of the button from the bedside table, the entire room is disconnected from Wi-Fi, thanks to specially coated copper plates embedded in each room’s walls to block electronic signals. Guests can indulge in a variety of spa, wellness, and even medical treatments or peruse an extensive library of real-life books (the kind printed on paper). The hotel’s lovely setting along the banks of the Oos River in the foothills of the Black Forest also provides a get-away-from-it-all atmosphere.
- El Silencio Lodge & Spa, Bajos del Toro, Costa Rica
The name really says it all: please silence your phones. El Silencio is a natural immersion retreat nestled in 500 acres of cloud forest highlands. You won’t find Wi-Fi in most suites (although you will in the villas). But for those jones-ing for a connection, it’s available in a conference room. With no TVs, either, guests have the time to enjoy a variety of eco-adventures and cultural experiences, like planting a tree to help offset carbon emissions, hiking through hummingbird gardens and cloud forest trails, or learning to cook or paint in traditional Costa Rican styles. And no need to request a non-smoking room since that’s not allowed at El Silencio, either.
- The Ranch Malibu, Malibu, California
This intimate health resort, which spans 200 acres in the Santa Monica Mountains, entices visitors to explore and take in the stunning natural surroundings, rather than email, texts or GIFs. For those who cannot be trusted to (or with) their own devices, there’s no cell reception while hiking in the hills or inside the accommodations, only limited Wi-Fi in the main building.
UnCruise’s small ships are designed for getting outdoors and enjoying the adventure, whether cruising to Alaska, Costa Rica, Hawaii, the Pacific Northwest or Mexico. Part of the adventure is that its ships don’t offer email or internet access. While a cell phone signal may flicker when the ship is near populated areas, the rest of the time passengers will enjoy a digital detox.