These days, it’s harder than ever to unplug — both literally and figuratively — from work, the news or just everyday life. Even on vacation, respite is not guaranteed. However, certain properties facilitate release; these three proved to be our members’ favorites.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
On this 115-acre private island, the 22 spacious cottages and villas have no telephones, televisions or Wi-Fi. Instead, the property has its own communication system: Fly a red flag for privacy and a yellow flag for room service or transportation. Free from electronic distractions, guests can explore the turquoise waters in a glass-bottom kayak or snorkel through the rainbow of coral reefs. A dive center run by Jean-Michel Cousteau (son of the famed diving pioneer) provides scuba instruction and PADI certification for all levels. And there’s sure to be time for yoga in one of the open-air pavilions or a snooze in a tree-slung hammock.
How to improve on perfection: The island is available for exclusive use and makes an idyllic venue for the ultimate beach wedding.
Blackberry Farms’ 4,200 tranquil acres almost beg guests to leave their worries (and laptops) at the door. The hotel’s 68 rooms are outfitted with plush robes and cloudlike beds, while cottages, suites and multi-bedroom homes come with amenities like woodburning fireplaces, whirlpool tubs and screened-in porches. Days are filled with activities like horseback riding, fly-fishing, mountain biking, archery, stand-up paddleboarding, paintballing, skeet shooting, wake surfing and more. Even the resort’s famed farm-to-table culinary program is enhanced with daily cooking demonstrations, wine and whiskey tastings, farmstead tours and gardening classes. But be sure to reserve plenty of time for spa treatments — plus yoga, meditation and mindfulness practices — in The Wellhouse.
Big Sur, California
Post Ranch Inn makes disconnecting easy. The 41 accommodations all lack televisions or alarm clocks, allowing guests to focus instead on the natural world around them. Go on a private guided hike through the redwood canyons and scenic bluffs of the Santa Lucia Mountains. While taking a break from screen time, rest your eyes instead on the 180-degree ocean view visible from the property’s infinity pool, or take part in a stargazing session using one of the inn’s powerful telescopes. Alternatively, decompress with daily yoga and meditation. In addition to more traditional body treatments, the spa offers specialized therapies like energy balancing, vibrational resonance and craniosacral bodywork. Guests can even take part in a fire ceremony, drum journey or sacred cleansing session led by the resident shaman.