Thanks to these dedicated digital detox spa programs, guests are checking in, turning off—and mentally checking out.
Spas have long encouraged clients to refrain from texting and using social media during their visits, but now there’s a fresh crop of services that aims to address the physical and mental effects of staring at devices for extended periods of time.
At the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami, a new Digital Detox Concierge helps guests wean themselves off phones, tablets and laptops with a curated digital-free itinerary tied to their interests. At the Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico, visitors can even surrender their devices and request the removal of in-room TVs in exchange for complimentary spa treatments. Below are three more examples that illustrate this increasingly popular tech-shunning trend.Last September, the 29 spas across the global Mandarin Oriental portfolio unveiled a Digital Wellness Escape (80 min./$330), which includes a restorative massage focusing on the eyes, head, neck, shoulders, hands and feet, plus a soothing aromatic bath incorporating shungite stones—“a powerful antioxidant believed to help shield from electromagnetic radiation,” according to director of spa and wellness Osa Mallo. The Miami property also offers a monthly daylong Digital Wellness Retreat ($330) that begins with the surrendering of electronic devices and continues with yoga classes, singing bowl groups, private beach time and a healthy lunch. Coloring books, journals and board games are provided in the relaxation areas to encourage pause and reflection, and clients receive take-home booklets of tips for further self-care. In January, The Lodge at Woodloch in Hawley, Pennsylvania, launched a Healthy Hands Massage (25 min./$75) designed to relieve hands, wrists and forearms overworked from texting and typing . “We’re seeing cramping in the pinkie from holding a device,” says treatments manager Amanda Clabough. During the service, the therapist applies a circulation-boosting peppermint and horse chestnut lotion to the hands and places them in warm mitts for 20 minutes. “The heat reduces muscular tension and stiffness in the joints,” adds Clabough. Wrist and forearm stretching follows, then—once the mitts are removed— a hand massage. The treatment also stretches the chest and shoulders to realign poor posture caused by hunching over screens. Last fall, the Inn and Spa at Loretto in Santa Fe, New Mexico, debuted its Digital Detox package (125 min./$200), which is already proving to be a hit. The treatment begins with the guest fully reclined on a zero-gravity chair with the knees above the heart, and adorned with a lavender-scented eye pillow and heated chamomile neck wrap. “This really quiets the brain and slows down respiration,” explains spa manager Suzanne Chavez. Next comes a 25- minute soak filled with rose petals and a custom oil blend. Before concluding with a 25-minute deep-pressure Swedish massage, the therapist educates the client about proper posture and asks them to describe their sources of pain. “In 75 percent of cases, the problems are caused by looking down at their phones or electronic devices,” adds Chavez.
–by Kristine Hansen