Jeri Clausing
Jeri Clausing

One of the best vacations I have had in years was a recent trip to Mexico where the WiFi in the condo units wasn’t working.

There was Internet service in the lobby and hospitality suite. But instead of trekking away from the beach once or twice a day, my husband and I made a pact to turn off our devices and lock them in the safe for the week.

It’s amazing how much more relaxing a vacation is without any hint of what awaits your return to the real world. Yet it can be so hard to follow through on plans to stay disconnected for more than an hour or two.

Helping guests unwind and unplug is a trend that has been growing among luxury and upscale resorts in recent years. And while shutting off in-room Internet would be bad business, hotels and resorts around the world now offer “digital detox programs” to help guests break their technology addictions, at least temporarily.

The Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica, for example, is challenging guests to give up their technology for just 24 hours. Guests can trade in their cellphones for a list of “24 Things to Do Without Technology at Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica.”

In Chicago, the Monaco offers a “Blackout Digital Detox” program that includes an overnight stay in the hotel’s Tranquility Suite and a $30 spa credit. Guests must surrender their devices on check-in, and they will be locked down until their leave. The hotels provides “tech-free amenities” based on responses to a prearrival survey about your favorite ways to relax.

In Pittsburgh, the Renaissance promotes a similar promotion to families and says it is one of its most popular packages.

Hotels and resorts around the world have been offering such program for several years. There is even a website that tracks them, DigitalDetoxHolidays.com.

It also lists hotels and resorts around the world that are tech-free, as well as those in exceptionally remote places, where there is no chance of picking up a signal on a cellphone.

Judging by the number of people clamoring for Internet in the lobby of our resort in Mexico, I would say the best bet for getting truly relaxed would be one of the latter.

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