Caribbean unplugged: Our 6 favorite tech-free havens
It can be hard for high-powered, hooked-up 21st century worker bees to truly relax on their vacations. But a vacation is no time to be checking your Blackberry on the beach. Whether you have trouble letting go of your of your tech-powered world, or are itching to escape it, these unplugged getaways help you recharge your batteries -- no batteries required.
Tensing Pen, Jamaica
Opened in the '70s as a tiny hippie hangout, this modest-size property has since grown into one of Negril's top-rated resorts. The 17 cottages, restaurant, bar, pool, and small yoga studio and spa hut are built into the cliffs of Negril's West End. The hotel adheres to an ethos of simple, back-to-nature living -- there are no TVs, phones, or radios in the rooms, so that guests can focus on the rugged natural beauty and breathtaking views.
Natura Cabanas, Dominican Republic
Offering eco-friendly bungalows in a lush, friendly setting, Natura Cabanas is a taste of serene, northern coast luxury for a remarkably fair price. Guests enjoy delicious, fresh food, a clean, crowd-less private beach, daily yoga and Pilates classes, and a fabulous spa. It's quiet, and a bit rustic without TV or phones in rooms, but that's the point.
Hotel-Hana Maui, Hawaii
The Hotel Hana-Maui overlooking Hana Bay delivers rustic luxury in the middle of Maui's lush, secluded east coast. Incredible service, top spa, excellent food, a long list of stuff to do, and only 77 rooms on acres of uncrowded property. The rooms are large, clean, sleekly furnished -- and stripped of TVs, clocks, and radios. The resort is hard to reach, but worth the trip.
Arguably Jamaica's most romantic escape, the Caves' 11 unique, private cottages and suites are tucked along lush garden paths and dramatic seaside cliffs. Rusticity reigns with outdoor showers, large tubs, stone floors, and no TVs. High-quality, locally focused cuisine, a top-shelf bar, and intimate, incredibly attentive service make it Jamaica's best all-inclusive.
Caneel Bay, U.S. Virgin Islands
This 166-room resort built from a historic sugar plantation delivers uncommon serenity: It sits on 170 acres of a protected national park dotted with seven remote beaches. The rustic bungalows built with natural wood and stone lack TVs and phones, so there's nothing to distract from the spectacular natural setting.
Jake's 30 colorful, funky cottages in Treasure Beach lack phones, Internet, and TV, and sprawl along a rugged coastline, connected by meandering stone and tile mosaic pathways. A canopy of trees and lanterns arches over the romantic outdoor dining area, bar, and charming saltwater pool. This trendy Island Outpost resort bills itself, accurately, as "the chicest shack in the Caribbean," and Driftwood Spa, on-site painting and yoga classes, and excellent food make it a particular favorite with loyal guests.