Luxury resort bans smartphones from poolside so guests can ‘truly relax’

luxury resort bans devices from poolside so guests can truly relax river pool
Ayana Resort & Spa

When you’re on vacation, do you lock your phone in the hotel safe in a bid to forget about the rest of the world and fully engage in your immediate surroundings? Or do you take it everywhere you go, snapping pics for Instagram, updating your Facebook page, checking your messages, and doing everything else your smartphone allows you to do? We’re guessing it’s the latter.

Keen for travelers to focus on the here and now, the Ayana Resort & Spa on the Indonesian island of Bali has launched a campaign called “In the Moment,” which bans all digital devices from its River Pool from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Lonely Planet News reports.

A spokesperson for the luxury resort told the publication that the aim of the initiative is to “preserve who we are by valuing human connection and me-time,” adding, “The ethos of the River Pool is to create a place of tranquillity, where our guests can truly relax.”

The River Pool (pictured above) is described by the resort as a secluded, two-tiered river stone pool situated a short stroll from its private villas, and offers “deep purple double chaise lounges under canvas umbrellas … and stunning lush tropical gardens.”

The resort’s website says that if you really must snap some shots for your social media accounts or personal photo album, you can only do so between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m., and 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., so that “during [the daytime] at River Pool, we promise there will be no calls, no text, no pictures, and no social media — just you, River Pool, and this moment.”

For some guests, the idea of being able to relax without having their phone close by may prompt a bout of maniacal laughter, though others may well be drawn to the idea of discarding the handset in order to unwind and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

In an effort to make it as easy as possible for people to temporarily discard their electronic devices as they make their way to the River Pool, the resort has added new lockers close to the attraction. It’s also offering guests traditional games such as chess, cards, and Jenga, presumably to divert their attention away from apps like Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat.

It’s not clear whether the resort’s new rule is helping to provide guests with some valuable downtime, or if it’s simply resulted in nobody at all visiting the River Pool during the daytime. We’ve reached out to the resort for more information and will update this article when we hear back.


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