Your annual vacation is the one time where there should be no argument about having a digital detox. I remember the days when we went on holiday and the only contact with folks back home was a postcard. You didn’t even think about calling friends or family on the phone. A holiday was a holiday – from everything. Nowadays, people’s luggage includes smartphones, tablets and laptops. For me, the question is why? You spend 50 weeks a year working, being available 24/7, possibly saving hard for your 2 week vacation, so you should be off the grid. I’ve found 7 places where it’s practically impossible to connect with the outside world.
Perched at nearly 7,800 ft altitude in Colorado's Rocky Mountains, the Outlook Lodge in Green Mountain Falls is a no-frills, six-bedroom lodge close to the 6-mile Catamount Trail. With a population of just 640 souls, Green Mountain Falls is something of a change of scene for owner Christian Keesee, a New York-based art collector who used to spend his childhood vacations in the area. Seeing the historic town's gradual decline, he decided to come to the rescue. He restored the 19th-century lodge and decorated it with art works from his private collection, thus sowing the seeds for an arts festival. It may feel like an off the grid vacation, but the lodge is just 11 miles west of Colorado Springs. It overlooks a picturesque mountain valley and is surrounded on 3 sides by Pike National Forest, ideal for hiking and spotting local wildlife.
Situated on the largest island in the Chiloé archipelago, which lies just north of Patagonia, Refugia Lodge sports an avant-garde design and is supported by local artisans, whose artifacts guests often buy as gifts. Arts and crafts are scattered throughout the hotel, strangely matching the dramatic scenery that unfolds beyond the picture windows, which afford spectacular views of the Andes and Reloncaví Sound. Hiking in the evergreen rainforest, boat tours and tasting local cuisine afterwards are two of the most enjoyable leisure time activities. Try "curanto", Chile's idea of a clam bake, comprising of meat, shellfish and a generous helping of potatoes.
Situated in the western part of the Punakha Valley, a seldom visited part of Bhutan, the nine-bedroom hotel and two villas boast beautiful views of the Mo Chu River. Leisure activities include a spine-tingling pony-trek to Como's wilderness campsite, which can only be reached via narrow mountain trails winding their way high up into the Himalayas. Thankfully local guides lead the way. Try the hotel restaurant's delicious chicken curry with mustard greens and coriander, served with steaming bowl of red rice. Yum!
Clinging to a cliff top that stares into the abyss of the 120-million-year-old Ramon Crater, the 111-room Beresheet Hotel provides its guests with an off the grid vacation that includes infinity plunge pools, indoor and outdoor pools overlooking the crater and excursions to the nearby Ze’elim hot springs and local wineries. Explore the crater's depth by Jeep, bike or scramble down 50 feet and feel like Lara Croft on a tomb raiding mission. The night sky is breath-taking - watch out for shooting stars and make a wish from your 2nd floor balcony.
If you're looking for privacy and an off the grid vacation destination with utterly breath-taking scenery, Lupita Island in Tanzania is the one for you. Tom Lithgow's 130-acre island sports just 13 thatched-roof bungalows, but offers all the fun an adrenalin junkie could wish for. Lake Tanganyika is the second largest freshwater lake in the world by volume, stretching for an astonishing 673 km and covering 32,900 square km. That's plenty of scope for indulging in water sports like sailing, fishing, scuba diving and snorkeling. For air-born thrills take a helicopter ride up to Kalambo Falls.
Circling a private lake in a 25-acre estate, the twelve villas of Lakshman Sagar Hotel are ideal if you want a vacation destination that feels off the grid but is actually close to popular tourist resorts. Located just a few miles from Jodhpur and Udaipur and close to India's Thar Desert, the Lakshman Sagar Hotel offers guests an amazing "Last Days of the Raj" experience, complete with traditional dance performances in the evenings. Go on horse-back safari or visit the many forts, temples and palaces the Indian state of Rajasthan has to offer.
This is another of those locations that feels like a totally off the grid vacation, but is actually quite close to civilization and tourist attractions. Comprising of open-layout holiday bungalows that allow plenty of fresh sea air to circulate, the resort is right by the beach. It's a romantic place where no cocktail-fuelled sunset is ever the same, where snorkeling and scuba diving provide guests with an otherworldly experience only rivaled by space travel.
I’d be perfectly at home in any of these places. How do you feel about staying in touch on vacation? Could you/do you go on holiday without your devices?
Please rate this article