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 Email 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A small, romantic resort that once drew Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller, the Jamaica Inn is about quiet luxury -- a single thatch-roofed bar, a small pool, and beautiful rooms with oversize terraces and soft, colonial décor. This is not the place to party (the whole resort typically shuts down by midnight), and there are no TVs, radios, or even clocks in the rooms. (There are TVs in the cottages, however.)
Round Hill is phenomenal. Sincere, intimate hospitality; private child care; large, beautifully designed rooms by Ralph Lauren; and breathtaking grounds (to which no photo can do justice) -- it is easily among the best resorts in Jamaica. In order to create an electronically detached environment, none of the rooms have a TV or any iPod-ready music devices.
A staple in the beautiful Manuel Antonio resort area, the 58-room Si Como No is carefully built into a lush hillside, which means great views and winding paths surrounded by colorful flowers and wildlife. The amenities are a main pull here: two pools, two restaurants, a spa, a movie theater, and a wildlife refuge across the street. The unplugged rooms aren't particularly luxurious, but some have stunning views of the ocean.
The lush, laid-back Rockhouse creates a holistic haven -- gourmet dining, morning yoga, cliffside loungers, a premium spa, no kids under 12, and beautiful eco-appropriate design. But most astounding are the reasonable rates. (The slightly chicer Caves costs about three times more.) Rooms are intentionally simple -- no TV, no Wi-Fi, and no radio.