With the release of the iPhone X, we’re reminded that it’s been ten years since the device revolutionized the way we communicate, travel, and live everyday life. In honor of the occasion, Virtuoso asked its professional, savvy, and, yes, well-connected-in-every-sense-of-the-word travel advisors about where to go when we want to relive those peaceful moments before touchscreens permeated our lives. What are the best luxury vacation escapes for cutting the smart-phone tether?
Rancho La Puerta Fitness Resort and Spa, Tecate, Mexico
At the peaceful 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 4,000-acre resort focus instead on wellbeing 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 disconnects from Wi-Fi, thanks to specially coated copper plates embedded in each room’s walls that block electronic signals. Guests can indulge in a variety of spa, wellness and even medical treatments or peruse an extensive library of 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 jonesing 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, such as planting a tree to help offset carbon emissions, hiking through hummingbird gardens and cloud-forest trails, and 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
The Ranch Malibu, 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 can’t be trusted to (or with) their own devices, there’s no cell reception while hiking in the hills or inside the accommodations, and 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 ships near populated areas, the rest of the time passengers will enjoy a digital detox.
Top photo: Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa, Germany.