It’s easy to get lost in the endless posts on social media. Now some hotels are incentivising guests to put away their phones, offering discounts to guests who hand over their phones.
The idea of a tech-less getaway is nothing new: families have been going camping on beaches and in woods for decades to get children away from TV screens. However, smartphones and social media have made it so that even in the remote wilderness, travellers are still connected.
In New York City, The James NoMad hotel launched an initiative to disconnect from their devices, leaving phones in a portable safe at check-in and staying in a room with no TV, laptop or alarm clock. The guests doing the ‘digital detox’ will be rewarded with 10 percent off their stay. The programme was launched because guest feedback suggested that people weren’t participating in the hotel’s wellness programmes because they were glued to their phones.
The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi has also introduced an anti-tech challenge, designed to encourage real-time conversation amongst family and friends at the dinner table. At all its signature restaurants, the ‘No-Mobile Dinner Challenge’ tests diners to go the duration of their meal without using their phone. What makes this challenge particularly difficult is the phones will be placed in a transparent box directly in front of the diners, available to unlock at any time. Guests will only get the discount, however, if they don’t touch the phone for the duration of their meal.