It’s no surprise that in today’s world the appeal of checking in for a digital detox break and getting off grid is ever-rising. Our constant attachment to our phones, obsession with social media and bombardment by the press from every angle with the woes of the world means stress levels are on the up.
Switching off can feel impossible, particularly when temptation to ‘just quickly check in’ is rife and we’ve become accustomed to being constantly accessible and available. This year we’re consciously taking a step back to disconnect, tune back in to ourselves and leave the worries of the world behind. Here are some of the digital detoxes on our radar for a seriously switched off break…
Petit St Vincent, St Vincent & Grenadines
This is surely the epitome of Caribbean barefoot luxury. This tiny private island has no TVs, no Wifi and no telephones, just two miles of untouched private beaches and buckets of charm in every grain of sand. Found at the southern tip of the Grenadines, it’s one of the Caribbean’s best-kept secrets, begging you to discover life in the slow lane.
Relax in the hillside spa, indulge in the two delicious restaurants, swim and snorkel in pristine turquoise waters or just do nothing but read, laying out on those miles of beach; just remember that to order room service, you must raise the red flag outside your cottage.
Ansitz Hohenegg, Bavaria
Longing to escape to the mountains and get back to nature? Welcome Beyond offers extraordinary design-minded accommodation in some of the world’s most stunning settings. Ansitz Hohenegg, in southern Germany, is surrounded by nothing by forests and the sounds of bird and waterfalls at the nearby Eistobel conservation area.
Created by regional craftsmen using authentic materials, the interior is a mix between tradition and a modern luxury space; it’s contemporary living in a traditional Allgäu mountain resort, combining today’s comforts with old traditions and values. Surrounded by nothing but nature, Ansitz Hohenegg is a place to foster a deeper connection with the self; one can’t help but disconnect totally.
Few escapes come more remote than fleeing to the depths of the Peruvian jungle. Accessible only by motor canoe, Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica is one of the most remote lodges in the country. The nature of the hotel ensures guests a private stay, comprising only 35 stand-alone wooden cabanas, inspired by the Ese’Eja culture. Located deep in the Tambopata region of Peru with views overlooking the Madre de Dios River and the surrounding rainforest, guests are truly enveloped by the natural environment which Inkaterra works tirelessly to sustain.
The far-flung location only amplifies the opportunities to explore its surroundings; guests can partake in a number of excursions including a visit to the Inkaterra Canopy Walkway, a bridge system 30 metres above the ground which allows visitors to view the Amazon from canopy level, as well as boat tours of the Madre de Dios River at Twilight, and walking excursions of the rainforest at nightfall.
Captain Blake’s Retreat, Cornwall
For something a little closer to home, Cornwall offers some of the most breathtaking scenery around, not to mention a true escape from the bustle of modern living. Captain Blake’s Retreat is the ultimate clifftop retreat, a luxurious, isolated cabin where you can breathe in fresh sea air with incredible views over miles of sandy Cornish beach and absolutely no distractions.
Set on Captain Blake’s Point high above Whitsand Bay, it’s inaccessible by car, so travel light and pack what you need in a rucksack, ready for the 700 steps along the coastal path to take you to your retreat. Gather around the wood burner, enjoy a meal at your own private seafront picnic area, or while away the hours bird spotting with the telescope provided. It really is beachside bliss.
Pine Cliffs Resort, The Algarve
The two-night Digital Detox retreat from the award-winning Pine Cliffs, a Luxury Collection Resort in the Algarve is just what the doctor ordered if you need to switch off but can’t quite make it to the jungle for a week. The on-site Serenity – The Art of Well Being Spa invites guests to place their phones in mini ‘sleeping bags’ on arrival and enjoy an itinerary designed to help switch off completely.
From detoxifying body wraps, lymphatic drainage massages and personal training sessions promise to restore energy levels, to yoga, Pilates and sound healing sessions within shady pine-fringed gardens balance body, mind and spirit; they have it all, supplemented with healthy food at the resort’s Zest Restaurant and private sessions with the resort’s resident nutritionist.
An Off-Grid Hideaway in Colorado
This is one location that really does what it says on the tin. Off-Grid Hideaways work with an exclusive portfolio of handpicked properties across the globe, redefining luxury in wild, remote escapes, from cosy beach cottages to cutting edge eco-houses, all of which are connected by a luxuriously slow pace of life.
Watching over the Rocky Mountains, the award-winning Colorado Hideaway is the first certified Passive House in Colorado; a masterclass in low-impact living. 20km from the nearest town, there’s no phone reception (though a landline for emergency use), no TVs and WiFi only on request.
Whether sunshine or snowfall, days can be filled following in the footsteps of mountain lions, hiking and exploring, discovering that less is more when it comes to entertainment. Designed by architect Andrew Michler, the property is a truly inspirational example of environmental design, built using only organic, reclaimed and recyclable materials.
Fazenda Cutuba, Brazil
Located amongst mountainous scenery in the Serra do Mar hills of Sao Paulo state, Fazenda Cutuba is a 450-hectare organic farm and coffee plantation surrounded by incredible landscapes. A 2.5 hour transfer from Sao Paulo, it’s a slice of isolated rural paradise, the hidden Brazil, as far as you could imagine from the bustling beaches of Rio.
Experience a taste of traditional rural life at this lovingly restored 19th-century farmhouse, their aim is to reconnect visitors with Brazil’s abundant tropical beauty. With no TVs, internet or phone signal, it’s a truly immersive full-board luxury escape. Enjoy scenic horseback riding, art tours with the artists in residence, self-guided hikes, adventure activities and hearty local cuisine on this exquisite estate.
Castle Hot Springs, Arizona
Castle Hot Springs, located just north of Scottsdale, was purpose built to be an adults-only tranquil wellness retreat and focuses on reconnecting by digitally disconnecting. With guests encouraged to refrain from using mobile phones in public areas, and limited phone service throughout, the landscape, the warmth of the sun and the expanse of the stars become guests’ focal point for their stay.
The resort gets its name from the natural spring that produces over 200,000 gallons of mineral rich water each day, cascading into three soaking pools at 120 Fahrenheit as well as heating the main pool. There’s a spa nestled in the grounds, with treatments inspired by the natural springs, or if guests want to be more active they can take advantage of daily activities including yofa, horse riding and hiking. Castle Hot Springs is also home to its own farm that grows over 150 varieties of fruit and vegetables for the in-house restaurant, Harvest. Guests can also try their hand at collecting their own ingredients for their meals.
SHA Wellness Clinic, Spain
Experience the freedom of a digital detox on the Spanish coast. Mobile and music devices are rigorously banned at this retreat, so instead take the opportunity to listen to quiet calm before watching the sunset on a peaceful beach walk.
With programmes focused around wellness, weight loss, stress relief, fitness and recovery, there’s something to suit everyone. Let go of worries and rebalance yourself both mentally and physically through yoga, reflexology and time spent in nature in the beautiful Zen garden. Unplug completely and experience the world at a slower pace as you savour every rejuvenating moment.