10 anti-tech getaways: Best places to escape the wired world
Many hotels cater to society’s digital obsession, outfitting every inch of their estates with the latest gadgets and high-tech room controls. But others offer the opposite -- an unplugged hideaway far from any blinking screens.
Unplugged doesn’t mean a cabin in the wild with no running water or toilets however -- these unwired stays offer a great mix of modern comforts and old-fashioned activities.
1. Fairmont Kenauk, Le Chateau Montebello, Quebec
The log cabin chalets at the Fairmont Kenauk are completely off the grid -- as in, there's no electricity. Instead, solar panels run the high efficiency fridge, fully equipped kitchen and water pump.
There’s also no cell reception or TV -- just a two-way radio for emergencies. Encounters with grizzlies, for example.
Other on-site activities: hunting, fishing, canoeing, hiking and shooting at a sporting range.
Fairmont Kenauk,1000 Chemin Kenauk Montebello, Quebec; +1 819 423 5573; rooms from $219 per night
2. Casa de las Olas, Tulum, Mexico
Located 80 miles south of Cancun, this five-suite oceanfront Mexican villa is rehab for gadget addicts.
Electronics, blow dryers and curling irons (anything with a plug, really) must be checked at the door of this eco-conscious and 100% solar-powered property.
There’s limited Wi-Fi in the common area for the weak-minded who simply can’t go cold turkey, but there are no televisions, phones or air-conditioning.
Guests get their own private beach and can explore caves, fresh water springs and the world’s second largest coral reef.
Casa de las Olas, Tulum Beach Road, Solidaridad, Tulum, Mexico; rooms from $180 per night
3. Jade Mountain, St. Lucia
Guest rooms (aka “sanctuaries”) at this hillside Caribbean resort are entirely missing a fourth wall -- which translates to incredible unobstructed views of St. Lucia’s Pitons and the sea.
There are no clocks, phones, Internet or TV. What they do have are private infinity pools.
And to drive the anti-tech theme home, talking on cell phones in public is not allowed.
Jade Mountain, 100 Anse Chastanet Road, Soufriere, St. Lucia; +1 800 223 1108; rooms from $1,075 per night
4. Amankora, Kingdom of Bhutan
Spread across forested valleys in the secluded Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan are Amankora’s circuit of five lodges.
The luxury accommodations offer tranquility in the form of a spa, limited (if any) cell and Internet service and no TVs.
Further digital detox can be found in the form of Buddhist activities: spiritual hikes, visits to ancient monasteries, prayers with monks and meditation.
Amankora, Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey, Bumthang, Kingdom of Bhutan, +<975 8 272 333; rooms from $775 per person all inclusive
5. Three Camel Lodge, Mongolia
Getting to this isolated Gobi desert camp is a bit complicated -- a chartered flight followed by a one-hour prop plane followed by an hour-and-a-half drive, but once at the camp, the wired world can be quickly forgotten.
Sheltered by a 54-million-year-old Mt. Bulagtai volcanic outcrop, 50 luxurious gers (traditional nomadic tents) stand powered solely by the wind and sun.
The typical activity here are wild adventures such as birding expeditions and dinosaur fossil excavations.
There’s no Internet, TV or cell service -- just a satellite phone and backup generator (primarily used to keep the beer in the fridge cold).
Three Camel Lodge, Mt. Bulagtai, Bulgan County, Umno-Gobi Province, Mongolia; +976 11 325786; rooms from $180 per night
6. andBeyond Mnemba Island, Zanzibar
This private island lodge off the coast of Zanzibar is a digital-free haven with white-sand beaches, diving, snorkeling, swimming with dolphins and private beach dinners.
There are no TVs in the bandas (thatched houses), just old-fashioned entertainment in the small library in the form of board games, books and magazines.
andBeyond Mnemba Island, Zanzibar; +27 11 809 4314; rooms from $790 per person
7. Travaasa Hana, Maui
This Hawaiian hideaway is located on the less touristy side of Maui, in the rural community of Hāna amidst green hills and palm trees.
The Sea Ranch cottages are free from radios, clocks, Internet and TVs and each comes with beautiful lanais -- covered porches that function as outdoor living rooms.
What to do with all that time and no Internet distraction? The resort offers hula dancing, lei-making or ukulele lessons.
Travaasa Hana, Maui, 5031 Hana Hwy, Hana, Hawaii;+1 808 359 2401; rooms from $375 per night
8. Greyfield Inn, Cumberland Island, Georgia
This land-protected retreat off Georgia’s mainland is as undeveloped and free from crowds as it is unplugged from social media.
With limited access to reach this private island (the only way in is via ferry), guests at the Greyfield Inn’s four-story, 16-room, early 20th century mansion have the whole island to themselves. That’s 18 miles of wide empty beaches to explore.
The only connection to the outside world is just one on-site radiophone for emergencies.
Greyfield Inn, Cumberland Island, Georgia; +1 904 261 6408; rooms from $425 per night all inclusive
9. Arkaba Station, Australia
Australia’s Flinders Ranges offers a unique 19th century, gadget-cleansing experience.
Set on a 60,000-acre working sheep ranch with awe-inspiring outback scenery, this elegant five-bedroom, 1850s homestead holds on to its past with thick stonewalls, claw foot tubs and corrugated roofing.
Keeping with the period feel, there's no TV, phone, Internet connection or mini-bar in-room. Instead, amenities include a nightly carafe of rainwater, Australian bird book and binoculars for spotting wildlife.
Arkaba Station, Flinders Ranges National Park, Hawker, South Australia; +61 8 8648 4195; rooms from $790 per person all inclusive
10. Turtle Island Resort, Fiji
This South Pacific island paradise goes au natural from technology.
Not only did the resort recently complete a groundbreaking solar installation, making it nearly 100% solar-powered, its “bures” or guest villas are free from radios, TVs, Wi-Fi and phones to the outside world.
The resort takes just 14 couples at a time. Isolationist duos can live out their “Blue Lagoon” fantasies (yep, this is the setting for the film) at the private white-sand beaches with sunrise horseback rides and twosome hammocks.
In the evening, the Fijian staff sing beautiful local tunes for guests’ entertainment.
Turtle Island, Yasawa Islands, Fiji; +1 877 288 7853; rooms from $2,499 per night all inclusive
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