Stressed out tourists are paying hotels to confiscate their phones and tablets to give them tech-free vacations
- New digital detox holidays in Britain cater for those addicted to technology
- Stressed professionals will pay for devices to be confiscated on short breaks
- The Bridge Retreat in Somerset charges £2,650 for a ‘cathartic personal development experience’
We used to seek sun, sea and sand on holiday, but in this digital age people are so preoccupied with social media, smartphones and selfies that they can’t relax.
Now a new breed of digital detox holiday is booming in Britain to cater for phone junkies obsessed with getting the perfect Instagram shot or checking their work emails.
Stressed professionals who spend all their time on mobiles, tablets and laptops will actually pay for their devices to be confiscated on these tech-free breaks.
The Bridge Retreat in Somerset charges guests £2,650 for a ‘cathartic personal development experience’
It follows a trend in the US where some hotels offer perks such as snorkelling tours and a free night to visitors who lock their phones away.
Technology entrepreneur Tanya Goodin knows better than most how much devices can take over.
She said: ‘I ran a digital business for 23 years and never took a break.
‘I would be that person on the beach scrolling on my phone, not able to disconnect.’
So she set up Time To Log Off, a firm offering breaks in Italy and Somerset where guests are encouraged to ‘reconnect with nature’.
She added: ‘Everyone hands us their tech on the first day and we return it on the last night.
‘At the beginning everybody is stressed and terrified of the thought of being without their phones, but by the end people are usually begging us not to give them back.
‘People find it so hard to switch off, they need holidays which actively tell them they have to put their phone down. I think the industry will continue to grow.
‘There is a huge market for holidays like the old days where you get a proper a break from work.’
Other phone-free breaks include The Bridge Retreat in Somerset, where guests pay £2,650 for a ‘cathartic personal development experience’.
Nicola Hughes, who works there, said: ‘It’s astonishing how well strangers connect when there are no phones giving them an excuse not to talk to each other.
This new breed of digital detox holiday caters for phone junkies obsessed with getting the perfect Instagram shot or checking their work emails (pictured, the Skiary guest house in Loch Hourn, Scotland)
‘People are desperate for holidays and retreats where they can be given permission just to put their phone down for a week.
‘By the end of the week don’t want us to hand the phones back.’
Even remote hotels in the Scottish Highlands whose lack of phone reception used to horrify guests now use this as a selling point.
Skiary, a guesthouse on the shore of Loch Hourn on Scotland’s west coast, has no electricity and claims to be the perfect place to get off-grid.
It promises guests ‘the perfect place to relax and recharge, free from the stresses of modern life’ – for which, read mobile phones.
Wyndham Hotels offers guests at five US resorts prime spots by the pool, free snacks and 5 per cent off if they lock their phone away, while the Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit in Mexico, has a ‘detox concierge’ to rid your suite of devices.