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For an increasing number of people, a vacation without access to social media and mobile devices would be unthinkable. According to a study led by Nottingham Trent University in England, the average user checks his or her cell phone 85 times a day. In fact, a 2016 Intrepid Travel/One Poll survey shows that 41 percent of vacationers choose the attractions they visit based on how good it will look on Facebook and Instagram.
Even though the trend is firmly in the direction of staying plugged in at all costs, there are still travelers who want to disconnect from their devices on vacation. And the Caribbean has a number of resorts that make it possible to get off the grid.
The good news is your clients don’t have to vacation in a palapa hut on the beach — there are upscale Caribbean resorts that offer varying degrees of a digital detox. And what all the resorts certainly do have in common are beautiful beach settings that provide the opportunity to enjoy life without a screen nearby.
Caneel Bay, A Rosewood Resort, St. John, U.S. Virgin IslandsSt. John has carefully preserved its natural beauty by declaring 60 percent of the island as the protected Virgin Islands National Park. And the standout resort on the island is Caneel Bay, A Rosewood Resort, perched on a 170-acre peninsula in the national park.
With 166 rooms, villas and cottages, the resort is a perfect setting for getting off the grid. Though there is Wi-Fi access, rooms are free of phones and televisions.
Jade Mountain Resort, Saint LuciaJade Mountain Resort — a stunning property consisting of rock, mosaic and colored glass — sets a high bar for over-the-top luxury and artistic interior design. Each of the rooms has its own infinity pool with grand views of the Pitons, Saint Lucia’s two volcanic plugs. The rooms don’t have a fourth wall, so guests feel like they’re outside and sheltered at the same time.
What the rooms do lack are phones, televisions and DVD players. Clients will need to use a bit of willpower, since mobile devices can be provided upon request. To stay occupied, they can also use the watersports facilities at the adjacent sister resort, Anse Chastanet.
Palm Island Resort, Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesMost visitors arrive at Palm Island Resort via a brief boat ride from Union Island, after a short flight from Saint Lucia. The luxury all-inclusive resort is located on its own 135-acre private island. There’s a range of activities, from watersports, such as scuba and deep-sea fishing, to activities on dry land, such as cycling and tennis. The 43 accommodations at the resort don’t have phones, televisions or an internet connection. If a person absolutely needs to go online, they can use the PC in the resort’s library.
Rockhouse Hotel, JamaicaNegril is famously laid-back, and Rockhouse Hotel makes full use of Negril’s seaside setting, with cliffside thatched-roof villas offering fantastic sea views. The eco-sophisticated rooms featuring natural stone and wood have plenty of style, but no televisions or phones. Also, the Green Globe-certified resort has yoga classes, a spa and a 60-foot infinity pool to help relieve the stress of powering down digital devices and plugging back in to the natural world.
Tiamo Resort, the BahamasThe Out Islands of the Bahamas are a kind of detox in themselves, away from the glitz and action of Nassau. And the eco-chic Tiamo Resort on South Andros Island is especially remote, requiring transit that’s retro-Caribbean-style: by boat or sea plane.
Clients have 11 thatched-roof villas and two rooms to choose from, as well as activities such as fishing and watersports. What they won’t have is phones or televisions in their villas, although the resort does have Wi-Fi access. Additionally, cellphone use at Tiamo requires a Bahamas SIM Card to call locally or internationally. Your determined detox clients can help their own cause by not buying a SIM card.