Where to Disconnect

7 Best Hotels without Internet

By Joel Fineman, Staff WriterApril 12, 2013
By Joel Fineman, Staff WriterApril 12, 2013, at 10:55 a.m.
U.S. News & World Report

Where to Disconnect

Fact: It is becoming increasingly difficult to unplug from our everyday lives. Apple has put millions of tools at our fingertips; Facebook keeps us constantly connected to family, friends, and friends of friends; and Twitter allows us to share our every thought. We are never lost, never helpless, and never alone. While there is certainly a benefit to such empowerment, there is also a sense of entrapment. The more connected the world becomes, the harder it is for us to sever the ties we have to home and the office.

For this reason, U.S. News Travel set out to discover a few surviving enclaves of utter seclusion. These hotels, lodges, and resorts vary drastically, spanning five continents and offering vastly different amenities. What they all have in common: no Internet. It is not an option to glance at your work emails or to Google the location of the nearest Starbucks. At these seven retreats, you are freed from the Web.

Sitting on Fox Island in Alaska's Resurrection Bay, Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge is a cozy outpost in America's Last Frontier. The lodge and its collection of eight guest cabins offer the opportunity to unplug and get outdoors. You can hike through the surrounding forest or kayak on the bay. Inside, you can unwind on plush couches next to a wood stove or play board games with the family. Doing all of this uninterrupted by the chime of your smartphone is worth the flight, drive, and boat ride required to reach Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge. But you'll have to be timely about your visit; the lodge is only open from June to the beginning of September.

At the Wolwedans Collection, you can take an African safari to see nature in its rawest form … or simply witness what would happen if a zoo opened its gates. The Wolwedans Collection doesn't depict the typical bush-side campground that some travelers may expect—offering creature comforts like world-class cuisine and designer digs—but you will have to cut ties with your electronics here. Scattered across Namibia's dramatic landscape, these luxury camps showcase the area's natural splendor with rooms and common areas perched in the stark wilderness. The Woldedans facilities operate without a power grid, relying solely on solar energy and natural gas, and Internet is only available at the base camp near reception. Once your settle in your private quarters, you'll be left utterly alone … by humans, that is.

Simply named "explora," this travel company has been providing lavish stays in remote areas of Chile, like Chilean Patagonia, for almost two decades. Like the Wolwedans Collection, all three of the lodges (Rapa Nui, Patagonia, and Atacama) lack television and Internet in the guestrooms, meaning the entire brand makes our list. While each property boasts its own spectacular scenery, the standard of service and comfort does not vary from location to location. You can get out of your room and traverse the natural surroundings on cycling trips, horseback rides, and mountain climbs, all organized through explora.

With both the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef to explore, you'll lose yourself in the scenery of the Bloomfield Lodge. However, reaching this paradise isn't easy. You must take a chartered plane from Cairns, Australia, then go on an "outback" drive, and lastly hop on a boat. Luckily, the journey is cumbersome enough that you'll you'll likely lose your work-self somewhere along the way. So far removed from city life, you should have no problem adapting to this tech-free wonderland. Plus, spacious accommodations, delectable meals, and world-class service prevent you from asking for anything more.

The most rustic hotel on this list, Fanaråkhytta, caters to intrepid travelers. The lodge is stationed in Norway's chilly mountain country and offers spectacular views of snowy peaks. The picturesque vistas are hard-earned: You'll have to hike at least four hours in any direction to the reach Fanaråkhytta from any other lodging area (one of the paths to reach this retreat crosses a glacier.) After the tiring journey, you'll be grateful for the hotel's three-course dinner. But don't arrive after the 6 p.m. dinner bell: Latecomers receive a more modest casserole dish.

Fancy vacationing on a private Caribbean island? Petit St. Vincent provides the ultimate seclusion from the modern world without sacrificing luxury amenities. The resort deliberately lacks TVs, phones, and Internet. So, you can go between the sandy shore and your cottage without giving the rest of the world a second thought. Getting here and staying here do not come cheap: The hopper flight from Barbados to Union Island (from which you then take another 20-minute boat ride operated by the resort) alone costs $600 per person. For the price, you might consider simply pulling up in your own yacht—after all, Petit St. Vincent is tailored to the sailing set.

While many people head to the beach for an escape, an adventurous few retreat to Peru's thick rainforest. Inkaterra's Reserva Amazonica integrates luxury accommodations with lush surroundings. While all of the rooms showcase a different aspect of the Amazon, the Canopy Tree House yields a spectacular and unusual vantage point. While staying here, you can take quarter, half, and full-day excursions to the nearby wetlands, Lake Sandoval, Gamitana Creek, and more. These trips are made even better with the knowledge that you'll return to plush rooms and exceptional service at the end of the day. (It's camping without roughing it.) To reach the lodge, you have your choice between a 45-minute boat trip from Puerto Maldonado or a hopper plane from Lima or Cusco


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