The New Hotel Amenity: Tech-Free Zones.
By Melanie Nayer ~ Weekly Exclusive - Views On The Latest Trends
Wednesday, 14th November 2012
Exclusive Feature: There's no question about it - whether you travel for business or pleasure, it's not easy to unplug.

Thanks to Smartphones, iPhones, iPads, and computers that continue to shrink in size, it's hard to really disconnect when you're traveling. While business travelers are required to check-in periodically while on the road, vacationers have no good excuse for tapping into email or dialing on to conference calls while on break. Until now.

Marriott International is giving travelers a break from the business world when they visit the Caribbean and Mexico.

In a survey of more than 1,000 travelers, Marriott confirmed that at least half of its customers checked e-mail and voicemail multiple times a day while they were supposed to be on vacation. To help reintroduce travelers to the concept of a vacation, Marriott resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico will roll out tech-free zones this December.

According to Conde Nast, each resort property will dedicate a tech-free space, inviting travelers to put down their mobile device and pick up something less communicative, like a newspaper or magazine.

The tech-free zones will be designated by signs that read "Braincation" - sending a clear signal to your brain that in this space, there will be no need to turn on electrons or neutrons, open up PowerPoints or presentations, or cause your brainwaves to spiral out of control at that one email that you didn't want to see while on vacation.

In my opinion, more hotels should offer up a tech-free zone. While I certainly am at fault for making myself available 24/7 (a danger of my job, in particular), I recognize that not everyone at the hotel wants to hear my phone calls or the clicking of my keyboard while lounging poolside or enjoying cocktails at the bar. There's nothing wrong with all of us taking a few minutes off during the day.

The bottom line: Take a break, vacationers! Enjoy some downtime, unplug, and just relax - the old-fashioned way.

This is strictly an exclusive feature, reprints of this article in any shape or form without prior written approval from 4Hoteliers.com is not permitted.

Melanie Nayer is a hotel reviewer and expert on luxury travel around the world. She has covered all aspects of hotels including corporate restructures, re-branding initiatives, historical aspects and the best of the best in luxury hotels around the world.

Melanie writes a weekly exclusive column for 4Hoteliers.com
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