Where to Unplug


It’s hard not to work 24/7, and our compulsion to stay connected may just be a bit out of control. Perhaps that’s why remote private-island getaways, immersive yoga retreats and mountain hideouts are so popular right now: they offer a built-in digital detox. If you can handle it, here are a few great places to relax, restore—and unplug.

—Rona Berg

Royal Belize

To get to this seven-acre private island 10 miles off the coast of central Belize, we drive down a road called the Hummingbird Highway. We pass monkey-filled jungles, villages with colorful clapboard houses and orange groves to a tiny private marina where a captain and his yacht-like motor boat await to whisk us to sea. During the entire three-hour trip, I never even consider checking my phone.

Royal Belize, situated in a World Heritage Site, is the sort of place where unraveling comes naturally. Rented only to one party—a couple, a family reunion—the island’s three ocean-front villas belong to you. Guests can fish, sail and snorkel. It’s tiny enough to walk around, but abundant with nooks and crannies. The Grand Palapa is where guests gather for cocktails, meals or yoga. Exploring, we discover a marina, an evocative grotto, and a hammock-littered spot called The Point. One pier seems to extend to eternity— called, appropriately, World’s End. Here, entertained by elegant herons and doe-eyed pelicans, we let the sea be our symphony.

The staff shows up only when needed—as if conjured by magic. The spa is bespoke: you can get a massage whenever and wherever you want. Royal Belize has a menu created by renowned Belizean chef Marcus Perigo, who’s also a sensation in Europe. His organic, local, contemporary French cuisine fits the vibe of the island. But guests wanting vegan, raw, seafood, even pizza, will find their wish is the island’s command. We journal, chat, play the occasional board game. Like castaways who adapt to their habitat, our world slows down and we never even notice our rooms have no TVs. Imagine that. Royalbelize.com

—Becca Hensley


Kamalame Cay, Bahamas

Though just a short flight and ferry ride from the U.S. East Coast, a trip to Kamalame Cay will take you far, far away. Family owned and operated, this boutique resort—set on a private island just off Andros in the Bahamas—is committed to helping guests disconnect from the world, and reconnect with each other. The easy-chic suites and bungalows are ringed by three miles of powder-white sand, there are no TVs or telephones in the rooms, and Wi-Fi is only available in the main house (constant connecting is gently discouraged. ) With the run of the island, guests can enjoy near-empty beaches; sunset cruises; water sports like snorkeling, fishing, and kayaking through the mangroves; and leisurely nights in the torch-lit Tiki Bar. In the Overwater Spa, Naturopathica treatments like the popular Coconut Body Polish are performed in rooms with collapsible window-walls and turquoise water views. In addition to green practices like using locally-sourced fish and produce (including coconuts straight off the trees), the resort is in the process of converting to all-solar power this year. Choose from full- and half-board rates or the lower-priced Barefoot packages, which still include perks like daily afternoon cookie deliveries. www.kamalame.com

—Sandra Ramani

18 Honeymoon Ext

Dunton Hot Springs

Tucked into a remote spot in the Colorado Rockies, Dunton Hot Springs is a renovated former frontier town that provides an authentic taste of the old Wild West—with a dollop of luxury now heaped on top. It is typical of the mining towns that sprung up out West in the Gold Rush of the late 1800s, but few can claim such a spectacular setting. Owners Christoph Henkel and Bernt Kuhlmann—a film producer and a developer—saw the potential, especially given the range of healing mineral hot springs that bubble up on the property. At the Dunton saloon, delicious locally sourced meals, drinks and other creature comforts are available. Each of the 22 log cabins is outfitted with authentic trappings of frontier life, minus any hardship, of course. But the true beauty lies in the remoteness of the place, where you may see elk or wild eagles, fish for trout, and wonder why you ever wanted to pick up that cell phone in the first place. duntonhotsprings.com

—Rona Berg

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