In a world where we’re increasingly connected, sometimes the best remedy is to simply unplug. The phrase “digital detox” was added to the Oxford Dictionaries Online in August 2013. Leave the technology behind at these back-to-basics, nature-filled destinations.
Tanque Verde Ranch, Tucson
Voted the “Best Dude Ranch in Arizona” by Arizona Republic in 2012, this family-owned ranch and spa offers sunshine, blue skies and gorgeous desert scenery for as far as the eye can see. No phone towers, no cars, no light pollution. After a day of horseback riding (mobile phones not allowed) along the rolling hills, you can find unbelievable stargazing at night. Rooms do not come with TVs and you can request no Wi-Fi to enjoy face-to-face conversations without having to Facetime on your iPhone.
Oasis Surf Camp, Santa Catalina, Panama
Oasis Surf Camp sits in one of Central America’s most radical surf spots. This secluded and minimally-developed town has only one public pay phone and zero ATMS, cell phone shops or high-speed Internet. Visitors enjoy walking from their bungalows straight to the beach, grabbing a board and spending all day on the water. A restaurant, sunset bar, beach chairs and boat trips are part of the package.
The Sanctuary, Koh Phanghan, Thailand
Fall off the grid in style at Koh Phanghan, Thailand, most commonly known for its full-moon parties and wild beach raves. The Sanctuary is a hidden beach resort, complete with a spa and detox center – sound like what you need? Leisure travelers might also like yoga holidays and custom relaxation packages with everything from spa treatments to devotional chanting by candlelight. This serene retreat was hailed “Truly magical with an excellent reputation” by The Times of London.
Savute Elephant Camp, Botswana
A great way to resist the temptation of responding to a text message is to be put in the path of a bull elephant. At a Orient Express property next to the Savute Elephant, visitors stay in one of 12 thatched huts set amid acacia tress in a rugged environment. Botswana is one of the world’s last great wilderness areas. Go on a safari to meet giraffes, lions, cheetahs and many other creatures. While the lodge has its own swimming pool, outdoor showers and alfresco dining, you won’t find a computer room.
Racho La Puerta, Tecate, Mexico
“You don’t need an ‘app’ to unplug from life’s clutter – our Mindfulness/Reflection classes will help you tune in to your own spirit and navigate your inner terrain without the constant bombardment of outside distractions.” That’s the motto at Rancho La Puerta, which was recently ranked as the world’s best spa by readers of Travel + Leisure Magazine. Head on a hike in the 3,000 acres adjoining the property or let professionals massage you into a world of R and R.
Jade Mountain Resort, Soufriere, St. Lucia
This multi-tiered, open-air resort built into the mountainside is a prime place to get away. None of the rooms have TVs, DVD players or digital distractions. But if you’re looking to watch something, step outside onto one of the balconies that overlook a volcanic sand beach where you’ll find the two Pitons that St. Lucia is famous for. For those who still feel disconnected without a phone, you can reach your loved ones 24 hours a day on a hotel-issued cell – though you won’t be able to receive calls.
Lake Placid Lodge, New York
Hit the off button at Lake Placid Lodge, whose name sounds exactly like what it offers. The hotel sits on the shores of the North Woods, serving up pristine views and activities in the heart of the Adirondacks. For dwellers in New York City who need to get away, this might be the place.