8 Must-Visit Destinations for a Digital Detox

Leave your smartphone at home – these are the best spots to unplug. And unwind.


Image courtesy of Aja Malibu.

Some places in the world are so remote that the adage "If I don't Instagram it did it really ever happen?" need not apply. Or there's no Wi-fi to connect to anyway in order to share that toes-in-the-sand snap with your friends back home. But that's beauty of the jetting to an exotic locale and fully disconnecting from your daily life (and flurry of emails and notifications that comes with it): you get to truly live in the present moment. And since social distractions of our day-to-day realities make that nearly impossible, we recommend booking a stay at one of these relaxing, digital-detox resorts where they eliminate the temptation to update your Facebook status for you. Go ahead, leave your phone (and tablet and laptop) at home. You'll thank us later.

1. Aja Malibu
Malibu, CA

Opening this spring, this Malibu wellness retreat offers cleansing vegetarian cuisine grown on the property's biodynamic gardens, meditation and spa treatments and an onsite apothecary where guests can mix up their own natural beauty and bath products. The eco-friendly luxury guestrooms are stocked with all-natural products made from the resort's own herbalist and is a phone-and-TV-free environment. Plan your day around spa treatments, early-morning Pilates and tea ceremonies. Repeat.

Where to Find:
Aja Malibu
1821 Latigo Canyon Rd.
Malibu, CA
1-310-457-7024; ajamalibu.com


Image courtesy of Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit.

2. Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit
Riviera Nayarit, Mexico

Upon arrival at this breathtaking resort property, surrender your digital gadgets at check-in. At your request, the "detox concierge" will rid your room of electronics, so you can embrace complimentary "low-tech entertainment," like yoga, board games and spa treatments instead. You won't miss what's happening on Twitter when you're cocooned in a healing body wrap.

Where to Find:
Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit
Av. Cocoteros 98 Sur Nuevo Vallarta
Riviera Nayarit, Mexico
1-888-210-9590; vallarta.grandvelas.com


Image courtesy of Bahía Bustamante.

3. Bahía Bustamante
Argentine Patagonia

For an authentically natural escape, the Bahía Bustamante is located in a national park and equipped with the wildlife and scenery to help you stay fully immersed in the local sights -- it's not hard to when you're surrounded by sea lions, 114 species of birds and an island of penguins (seriously, it's called Penguin Island!).  The cabin rooms are free of cell service, television and Wi-Fi (save for the hours of 7 p.m. until midnight every day). Wake up to stunning views of the ocean and breakfast made with ingredients from the on-site organic garden.

Where to Find:
Bahía Bustamante
Argentine Patagonia
+54-9-11-4156-7788; bahiabustamante.com


Uma by Como, Paro Bhutan

4. Uma by Como, Paro Bhutan
Paro, Bhutan

This intimate resort, located in the Paro Valley, is the perfect and stunning backdrop for an introspective and quiet retreat. Tap into the locale's holistic and calming ambiance with a healing Ayurveda spa treatment or soak up calm, meditative views of the nearby sacred mountains. Or both? The region's Buddhist culture sets the spiritual tone and unhurried pace of the resort.

Where to Find:
Uma by COMO Paro Bhutan
Paro, Bhutan
+975-8-271597; comohotels.com/umaparo


Image courtesy of Petit St. Vincent Private Island Resort.

5. Petit St. Vincent Private Island Resort
The Grenadines, St. Vincent & Grenadines

This remote hideaway island in the Caribbean is made up of 115 acres of rolling hills and white sandy beaches -- and absolutely no cell service, Wi-Fi or television to interrupt your blissful disconnection from bustling mainland life. In fact, communication with guests on this luxury resort is charmingly made through hand-written notes left in bamboo letter boxes. Red and yellow flags are raised to signal transport or room service -- or to book a traditional Balinese Warm Stone massage at the hillside spa.

Where to Find:
Petit St. Vincent Private Island Resort
The Grenadines, St. Vincent & Grenadines
1 (800) 654-9326; petitstvincent.com


Image courtesy of Echo Valley Ranch & Spa.

6. Echo Valley Ranch & Spa
Jesmond, B.C.

It will be hard to miss your Instagram feed when you're waking up to unfiltered views of the surrounding majestic mountains. After soaking up the dewy-morning views, head to your daily Thai yoga stretching class or taking a walk on one of the many wooded trails. There's no cell service on the ranch -- located a few hours northeast of Vancouver -- and the Wi-Fi is password protected (you'll have to ask for it, if you must), so that guests can literally stop to smell the wildflowers instead of hopping online to check emails.

Where to Find:
Echo Valley Ranch & Spa
10635 Jesmond Road
Jesmond, B.C.
1-800 253-8831; evranch.com


Image courtesy of Gaïa Riverlodge.

7. Gaïa Riverlodge
Cayo, Belize

You'll be hard-pressed to find a signal in the heart of the jungle -- not that you would want one anyway. This lodge, located in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, is surrounded by breathtaking waterfalls, Mayan ruins, and wilderness trails. But if you find yourself in need of a high-tech fix, take the hydro-powered rain forest tram to access the clear-water river and falls (you know, instead of the stairs).

Where to Find:
Gaïa Riverlodge
San Ignacio
Cayo, Belize
011-501-834-4024; gaiariverlodge.com


Image courtesy of Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa.

8. Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa
Baden-Baden, Germany

With the round-the-clock demands of a socially connected world, it often takes time to switch into "off" mood -- even when on a much-needed European vacation. Luckily, the owners of the grand Brenners hotel have come up with a way to seamlessly disconnect guests from the outside world. The recently opened Villa Stephanie offers a complete "digital detox switch": the copper-plated walls and unique sealing paint ensures that the luxury suites are free from any type of e-smog, including Wi-Fi and electricity. It creates the perfect restful ambiance for waking up to views of the River Oos and not a buzzing iPhone. Then head to the on-site spa for a pain-relieving shiatsu massage to recharge your own batteries.

Where to Find:
Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa
Schillerstrasse 4/6
Baden-Baden, Germany
+49-7221-9000; brenners.com

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