Source | Big 7 Travel
Look around you – how many people do you see on their phones? Our love of technology can be an amazing benefit, but we also need to switch off every now again. Unplug, disconnect, whatever you want to call it, it’s good for the soul. You could simply switch on aeroplane mode and take a break, but wouldn’t it be nicer to jet off somewhere that does it all for you? Digital Detox resorts are on the rise and we can see why.
A study in “Mind” found that 95% of people interviewed said their mood improved after putting down their phones to spend time outside. Imagine how amazing you will feel after a few days or more.
Big 7 Travel’s global list of beautiful destinations and retreats have everything you could want from a dreamy Digital Detox vacation – in fact, one of the destinations listed below is located right here in South Africa. Nestled in the foothills of the Cederberg Mountains on South Africa’s dramatic lesser-known west coast, is Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve – an ecological oasis and magical wilderness retreat set among open plains, sandstone formations and ancient bush art sites dating back 10,000 years.
The multi-award-winning haven (a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World), is just three hours from Cape Town and offers awe-inspiring activities, unique dining experiences, ancient African culture, dramatic landscapes and outstanding nature adventures.
There are sixteen guest rooms and suites, and a private villa complete with infinity pool. You can mountain bike, canoe, fly fish, paint, swim in natural rock pools or simply do nothing at all – as one should one a digital detox retreat. Find out where Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve placed on Big 7 Travel’s list below and discover more digital detox retreats across the globe. For more information on Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and to make your reservation, visit their website.
Best Digital Detox breaks
Words by Big 7 Travel
Mumbo Island is a deserted tropical island floating on the waters of the Lake Malawi National Park. Can you picture a better place to go offline? Kayak Africa run Mumbo as an entire off the grid camp, so it remains as perfect as can be.
Swim in the lake (what many consider the best freshwater snorkelling and SCUBA diving in the world) and swing in a hammock on this ‘Robinson Crusoe’ island.
Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef is a beach safari camp nestled in the dunes of the Cape Range National Park in Western Australia. Each of the fifteen eco-luxe wilderness tents has views of the surrounding bush and over the Indian Ocean and the fringing Ningaloo Reef.
Relax in your tent’s hammock and watch the world go by, or laze on the beach and paddle in the warm Indian Ocean waters. You can also swim alongside the majestic whale sharks and the magnificent humpback whales.
This 19th-century fort was built in the during Napoleon’s carefree conquering of Europe. At high tide the fort is cut off from the rest of the island, so access is via a rocky causeway and drawbridge.
To stay here is to stay away from modern life. The Logbooks reveal some of the ways people spend their time: walking, cooking, playing cards, laying fires, painting, reading, watching the stars, writing, entertaining and simply thinking.
This entire mansion is solely devoted to the spa experience. Villa Stéphanie is all about the concept of the “digital detox”. Indulge in a thermal mud wrap before taking a walk by the river.
As a guest here, you have the choice, at the press of a button on your bedside table, to completely disconnect the entire room from its electrics and Wifi. Bliss.
The Hideout provides an atmosphere of tropical luxury – comfortable accommodation, gourmet dining, wellness and mindfulness programs. Their special Digital Detox program is all about disconnecting from distractions (no gadgets, screens, or noisy neighbours here!).
Chill out in your private open-air treetop paradise, where you’ll be inspired to engage in daily meditation and mindfulness practise as the first step in “your journey back to self.”
Four private sleeping houses and five social spaces are connected by sea spray and arctic light on this remote island. On the island there are no shops and no cars, so no stress. Come alone, or with friends.
Tours can be made to neighbouring islands, fishing tours, bird watching, shell picking, rock climbing, even hiking to the most beautiful mountain top.
There is no electricity in this beautiful glamping village, so guests can truly get off-the-grid. You can stay Safari Tents, Tipi, Bell Tents, Hobbit Pods, a 1980’s Retro Caravan named Betty or a cosy Squirrel Lodge.
It’a retreat with a cocktail mix of fun, relaxation, tranquillity and adventure. Did we mention the outdoor hot tub and sauna?
This is not your typical spa or resort vacation. The Ranch’s acclaimed results-oriented, fitness and wellness programs are designed to “recalibrate the mind and body”, through an intense fitness and wellness regimen paired with a highly structured plant-based nutritional diet.
Each day includes eight hours of exercise including daily hikes, core and ab workouts, body toning and sculpting, weights, yoga sessions, nap time and deep tissue massage. We repeat, nap time.
Experience unplugged barefoot luxury at Petit St. Vincent. The 115-acre Caribbean island resort has no telephones, televisions, or Wi-Fi in the 22 one- and two-bedroom ocean-view cottages and villas.
Guests are encouraged to leave their cell phones at home. Instead, enjoy some low-tech activities, such as yoga, spa treatments at the Hillside Spa or simply rent out the entire island for the ultimate alone time.
Located in dense rainforest in the Arenal Volcano Region, the five-star Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa gives you a chance to experience balneotherapy — the treatment of disease by bathing in mineral springs.
With 20 in-river natural thermal springs warmed by the volcano’s magma, the warm water is sure to melt away any worries about not being connected, as there’s very little-to-no cell service at the resort.
The 103-room property is on tropical rainforest reserve and has two restaurants, four bars, five pools, a swim-up bar, and thermal water slide.
With no Wi-Fi or cellphone service, this jungle resort allows you to truly unplug. You’ll be staying in the The Windflower Jungle Resort near the Bandipur Project Tiger reserve. Yep, in between having a hot stone massage at the spa or soaking in the infinity pool, you can keep an eye out for tigers.
Spend the evenings by the campfire, listening to the sounds of the jungle.
Over the course of four days, immerse yourself in one of the most pristine environments that Tasmania has to offer. Walk the soft sandy beaches, explore secluded coves, kayak Ansons River and enjoy this luxurious lodge.
Here, you can swim or snorkel in the shelter of a natural, rock-ringed ‘harbour’, enjoy your meals on the outdoor decks or picnic on the beach under the biggest starry night skies. There’s also a cosy library that overlooks the ocean.
La Puerta is a “digital noise-free environment,” so device ringers and alerts must be silenced, and the resort prefers guests use cell phones in their rooms rather than public spaces. You’ll stay in one of 86 individual casitas throughout the resort, which has four pool and an organic farm with a cooking school.
Sink into a mountain sage massage and float under the Baja California sun. As you walk winding brick paths, you’ll happen upon a wine bar, juice bar or art studio. It’s paradise.
In the town of Hana on the eastern tip of Maui, Travaasa is the first resort on the island to greet the rising sun. There are countless things to do here. Picking up your jaw from the ground is one of them.
Here’s what to expect from a Travaasa experience: healing and pampering spa, authentic Hawaiian lei making, ukulele, snorkelling, a pool with an ocean view and outdoor yoga. The rest of the world—even the island of Maui—feels as if it’s a world away.
Hidden away from the world in the Welsh countryside, these luxury yurts are a perfect opportunity to get back to nature.
Each of the yurts has a wow king-size bed with sumptuous bedding, along with plenty of lanterns and candles, logs for the log-burner to keep things cosy and lots of fairy lights.
Round off an afternoon’s hiking and cycling in the sauna and hot-tub? A perfect chance to kick off the wellies – crack open the fizz and relax under all the twinkling stars.
Rooms are free of telephones and televisions at this unique Eco Resort destination. Choose from among 12 EcoLuxury rooms each with a beachfront view, including their award-winning oceanfront treehouse. Who doesn’t want to stay in a treehouse by the ocean?
Chill out with a morning yoga practice, or even host a beachside yoga retreat, volunteer in the turtle sanctuary, give back to the local community, engage in a workshop, or just relax completely in paradise.
This ecological oasis is a pretty magical experience; stay in a farmhouse villa among open plains, sandstone formations and ancient bush art sites dating back 10,000 years.
There’s 16 guest rooms and suites, and a private villa, complete with infinity pool. You can mountain bike, canoe, fly fish, paint, swim in natural rock pools or simply do nothing at all. It’s a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World, so that should say all you need to know about this incredible digital detox retreat.
This high-end spa hotel is one of the best places for a digital detox – they’ve even invented a “Digital Detox Cure®”. As soon as you arrive, digital tools (smartphones, tablets, mobiles) are put in the safe. There’s a clock radio on your nightstand, along with books, newspapers, board games, a colouring anti-stress mandala and a pocket map to visit the city.
You’ll have psycho-behavioural coaching sessions and anti-stress treatments. But don’t worry, you’ll be doing it in style. This is a seriously beautiful spa hotel.
This authentic Swiss alpine hut was built in 1783 and has only been slightly renovated since then. It’s safe to say that this is a truly back-to-nature experience with heart-stopping views of the Swiss Alps.
The lofty hut is high above the picturesque valleys of Gstaad and Saanenland; it has solar-powered electric lighting, running water (cold only!), and a traditional wood-burning stove—but no cell service. Unpack your picnic, light some candles and snuggle in for the evening.
Nimmo Bay Resort’s Nature and Nurture Retreat is for those looking to swap their daily routine and busy lifestyle for some relaxation and outdoor adventure. Where better to do so than the Great Bear Rainforest?
Activities can include rainforest hiking, ocean kayaking, paddle boarding, morning yoga sessions, and warming up in the cedar-sided hot tubs or at the floating sauna.
The spacious-yet-cosy cabins have waterfall views, homemade cookies and eh, crocs. ]Now that is true comfort.
It’s all about the views here at this luxury spa and adventure hotel. Deep-soak bathtubs are perfect for an in-room luxe bath, where you can still catch the view, thanks to a window through to the room.
The wellness space includes a yoga studio and separate relaxation rooms for men and women, while treatments and therapies use all-natural ingredients. Take your pick from an extensive list of facials, massages, body wraps, scrubs and alternative therapies. Each one will open up your ‘prana’, or ‘life force’, promoting positive thoughts and wellbeing.
As the northernmost resort on the Great Barrier Reef, Lizard Island is truly secluded from the rest of the world. Add in 24 private beaches, and with only 40 suites and villas, that means a private beach for every guest, couple or group.
Explore the inner and outer reefs, the Research Station, or take nature walks and challenging hikes to the top of Cook’s Look. The lodge will even pack you a gourmet picnic each day for lunch on the beach.
Feel like doing nothing? There’s a beautiful spa just for that.
The W Hotel is a tech-free zone (apart from a single resort phone) with beachfront bungalows and overwaters villas, as well as a private tropical island for a secluded overnight stay.
You don’t need to be quite as enterprising as Crusoe: a private chef will pop over to set up a candlelit dinner for two. You’ll fall asleep by the water on the signature W Bed under a thatched roof.
You can also discover true pampering at the hotel’s overwater AWAY® Spa, go gourmet at the hotel’s six eateries and bars or explore the island’s private reef.
Meaning ‘large mountain,’ Khao Yai National Park is the setting for this unique retreat space. As well as being a beautiful retreat, you’ll gain valuable skills to help take a break from the digital world. The resort has 100 luxury rooms, a swimming pool
Walkthrough the forest, visit waterfalls, enjoy yoga, meditation or creative writing, abd feast on clean locally-sourced food. The resort even provides you with ‘Hiatus Status’ images to upload to your social media platforms. P.S. non-digital cameras are allowed, so you can still document your experience.
This truly all-inclusive island is home to only 14 couples at a time, with 12 private beaches to explore. From your spacious Fijian villa you’ll have views of the Blue Lagoon, as well as other tropical Fiji islands. This might just be the most peaceful place on the planet.
The food prepared with fresh seafood from local waters and fruits and vegetables grown on the island is a real highlight. Pro tip: book your trip around the release of the Baby Turtles.