If you don’t do an IG story of the whole thing, did you even go on holiday?
Technology is as much a part of our downtime these days as it is our working life, with the pressure to show everyone just how much fun we’re having 24/7.
The pressure to get the perfect Aperol boomerang can, eventually, get too much. Everyone needs a break – and what better way to do it than to go on a proper digital detox?
But don’t go thinking that binning your phone can only be done at some remote hippy enclave which you wouldn’t want to snap anyway.
These days, digital detoxes take place in luxury hotels and retreats with enough comfort to make you forget all about your group WhatsApp.
1. Argoed Barns, Wales
Bunker down in one of a trio of luxury semi and self-catering accommodation in the heart of the Brecon Beacons.
Argoed Barns is three miles from Brecon and just under three hours away from London, so you can get away from the thick of it without going too far.
You’ll be too busy taking in all the breathtaking scenery to be fussed about Facebook. After a day out in the hills, sink into a glorious hot tub with views to die for – complete with a handy ledge for your wine glass. If you’ve got the energy, nip down the road for dinner at local foodie haven, Felin Fach Griffin. Just don’t be tempted to log onto the WiFi!
Choose to stay in a self-catering boutique cottage, a B&B Shepherd’s Hut or a self-catering luxury Geodome.
Prices start at £230 based on two nights in the Shepherd’s Hut (children and pets aren’t allowed). Kids and pets are welcome to stay in the Byre or Geodome (it’s an extra £15 for animals).
2. Chiva-Som Hua Hin, Thailand
Wellness and luxury go hand in hand – and nowhere makes that case better than at Chiva-Som Hua Hin.
Unwind with its unique blend of ancient health practices and innovative holistic therapies chosen for you by your own Health and Wellness Advisor and tailor-made to your needs.
Maybe you’re trying to de-stress, get fit or perhaps you just want to become more mindful; whatever your goal, you can work on it here. Located in Hua Hin, in the Southern province of Prachuap Kriri Khan, the resort is surrounded by caves, palaces and temples – as well as glorious ocean views and beaches.
Relax in the knowledge that Chiva-Som is big on sustainability and that everything you eat is coming from the on-sight organic garden.
From £308 pp per night (www.chivasom.com)
3. Yobaba Lounge, France
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‘Switch off our phones. Lay down your schedules. Let go of your daily routine.’ That’s the mantra at Yobaba Lounge so you best believe that this is a no-Instagram zone.
Set in the middle of a medieval village at the foothills of the Pyrenees, Yobaba has been hosting vegan wellness retreats since 2013. When retreats aren’t in session, they offer a three-night stay in their digital-free space for anyone in need of a break.
Every day, guests are invited to experience Noble SIlence – short periods of quiet in which people can investigate their ‘true nature’ and reconnect with their surroundings. Formal retreats require silence from 8.30pm to noon the next day but anyone coming for a self-retreat is asked to simply stay silent from the moment they wake up until breakfast at 10am.
Retreat places start at £875 pp sharing a double room or from £1,250 alone in a large double room for 4 nights, including all food and drink and three meditations a day.
£80pp for a room outside of retreat season.
4. Ulpotha, Sri Lanka
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Ulpotha is to be enjoyed as one wishes, and taken for what it is: an enchanting place that sprinkles its magic dust on those who pass through. ✨ ⠀ You are guaranteed to feel an uncanny sense of peace and tranquillity here – and one's mindless awareness of it, is its most striking feature. ⠀ .⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ .⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ .⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ .⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ #escape #yoga #yogaretreat #space #timeout #pullback #reality #life #lifeiswonderful #peace #love #sanctity #livingoffthegrid #travelsrilanka #timealone #playground #srilanka #spiritualplayground #relax #alonetime #singular #yoga #tradition #learn #magicdust #peace #tranquility
Situated in the heart of Sri Lanka, Ulpotha is luxuriously posh while being totally off-grid. Guests stay in one of 11 huts which are all built using traditional materials and boast huge beds covered in voluminous mosquito nets.
There’s no electricity and life ‘is lived by the rhythm of the day’ – with rooms and paths lit by lamps and lanterns. It’s romance is enhanced by being located at the foot of the Galgiriyawa mountain, bordered by lotus-ringed lakes and emerald green paddy fields.
Go for the yoga, stay for the R ‘n’ R with the onsite ayurveda experiences. Choose from a host of dreamy treatments that last from three to 28 days with names like ‘Happiness’, ‘Satisfaction’ and ‘Redemption’.
Prices start at around £1,325 per person (www.ulpotha.com), for seven nights including all food and snacks, two yoga classes a day, guided forest walks, excursions, bikes, laundry, and one massage a week.
5. El Silencio Lodge & Spa, Costa Rica
As the name might suggest, this Costa Rica paradise is all about slowing down and getting rid of unnecessary noise. It touts itself being one of the most secluded and tranquil hotels in the country with torch-lit forest dinners and an extensive array of spa treatments.
There’s no phone signal, WiFi or TV in the sustainable eco-lodge but with views across 500 acres of jungle, you won’t be short of things to stare in awe at.
If you do need extra stimulation, they offer a tonne of activities, including ziplining, coffee-tasting, hot springs, hikes, and cookery classes.
For a digital detox, stay in a suite in the lodge rather than in a villa (which does have WiFI), and enjoy a private viewing deck with a heating jet pool, coffeemaker, and local organic products.
Suites from $420 per night for two adults, including breakfast and daily Mystic Hike.