Digital detox: Smartphones, WiFi and tablets are taboo in these hotels


  • The struggle against the "slavery of modern communication" comes from Silicon Valley.
  • Digital detox camps are intended to restart the body, soul and spirit.
  • In the Brenners Park-Hotel, guests can switch off not only the WLAN, but also the electricity.

As soon as we wake up in the morning, we pick up a smartphone, tablet or laptop and the ritual begins: First we check our WhatsApp mailboxes, on the train on the way to work the Facebook account of the boss and best friend is inspected, Once in the office, continue with the email inbox. Instagram and Twitter shouldn't be missing either. Check, check and check again – and not just once a day, but countless times.

From the silent monastery to the detox camp

The need to switch off and come to rest is as old as mankind itself: in the past it was called meditating in the monastery of silence, today it is called: digital detox – digital detoxification.

For several years now, so-called digital detox camps have sprung up like mushrooms all over the world: seminars in which the participants hand in their smartphones and all the other digital devices that people today carry around with me.

Digital detox offers in Germany

Paradoxically, the birthplace of digital detoxification is exactly where Facebook and Co. were created: in Silicon Valley. One of the first Germans to pick up on the trend was Ulrike Stöckle. The business economist runs an agency for corporate communication and has been offering weaning seminars since last year. Levi Felix, the founder of American "digital detoxing", inspired them to do so: his start-up company was on the verge of a breakthrough in 2011, and he himself was about to burn out.

"No matter how important and helpful modern means of communication are, nobody should make a slave," says Stöckle of her concern. It is important to her to develop strategies "that bring more flow, satisfaction and productivity back to life and work". Most of the seminar participants are women, many work in the media industry and are online around the clock.

Without WiFi and electricity in the "Brenners Park-Hotel"

In the meantime, the trend has also reached the hotels. In the "Brenners Park Hotel" in Baden-Baden, the digital waiver is particularly consistently implemented. The 5-star hotel offers explicit "Digital Detox" apartments. Guests can deliberately disconnect from the WLAN at the push of a button. And if you wish, even from the entire power grid, so as not to be exposed to any temptation.

Triple insulated cables against electric smog

In addition, all cables in the apartment are triple insulated. This is to minimize electro-smog, i.e. the electro-magnetic radiation that electrical devices emit.

"The desire to be 'disconnected' from the network not only at night but also during the day is growing," spokeswoman Caroline Waldburg explains.

Offline hotels in Austria

Digital detoxification is also on the rise in Austria's hotel world. There are already 13 so-called "offline businesses" in Styria. You can find a list here.

If a hotel wants to call itself that, it has to meet these eight criteria of the Styrian Tourist Office:

  • Absolutely cellphone-free zone in the entire company
  • Only classical or relaxing music in the dining rooms, no radio music
  • No internet access in public areas or even in the rooms
  • No TV
  • No radio in the room
  • No alarm clock
  • No phone in the room
  • Additional offers for guests such as "Listening to yourself", yoga, meditation, walks

In this way, guests should learn to pay attention to their own needs, to find peace and to take a deep breath. And not always just waiting for the next, ultra-important WhatsApp message or the mega-spectacular Facebook post.