Techno averse hotels?

Travelmole reports that some hotels are blacklisting internet, phones and BlackBerries. The article names two hotels The Arawak Beach Inn on the posh island of Anguilla invites travelers to relive the days of the so-called “Dark Ages” with its “Isolation Vacation and the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers is urging travelers to lock up their PDA’s and participate in the BlackBerry Detox Challenge. While Anguilla may be an ideal locale for guests who may choose to luxuriate in a faux-cave setting by jettisoning all means of communication, Chicago seems ill-suited for such an exercise.

The Arawak promo notes that “Tech junkies looking to go cold turkey will be blacklisted and unable to purchase or have access to an Internet connection at the resort (bribes not accepted).” For a price of $999 the resort notes that “BlackBerries and laptops will be kept under lock and key upon arrival if guests were not able to leave their electronic security blankets at home. The office will be unable to reach guests as there are no phones in the room.”

The Sheraton’s $199 package offers a “BlackBerry Detox program (that) offers the first person to lock away their portables for two days a complimentary return three-night stay and dinner at Shula’s Steak House. All who check-in their BlackBerry will be given a walking map to actually SEE the city, as opposed to being in the head-down BlackBerry position.”

While both properties managed to garner headlines for the initiatives, it would be interesting to see how many takers there are for the packages. The unfortunate (depending upon one’s perspective) that communication tools are going to be necessary almost anywhere in the world as this article on Mount Everest notes the advent of cell phone coverage on the world’s tallest peak.

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Vijay Dandapani

Co-founder and president of a New York based hotel company for 24 years. Grew the firm to five hotels in Manhattan and also developed a greenfield project at MacArthur airport, New York. Speaker at numerous prestigious forums including Economy Hotels World Asia, Lodging Conference, NYU, Columbia University Real Estate Roundtable, Baruch College's Zicklin School and ALIS. President and ceo of New York City Hotel Association since January 2017.

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