Lonely Planet Writer

Stay off your phone and get rewarded with some delightful extras at this hotel

There’s nothing quite like taking a trip away to ensure quality time with the whole family. And while technology has done so much to help make the planning and executing of holidays easier than ever before, more often than not, devices such as smartphones and tablets can actually get in the way of families fully appreciating their time together. With that in mind, one US hotel brand has introduced special discounts for families that are willing to check their phones in during their time there, while also offering a range of specially-designed fun alternative activities.

Families can make blanket forts in their rooms as part of the offer.
Families can make blanket forts in their rooms as part of the offer. Image by Wyndham Grand Hotels

Introduced in February at selected branches by Wyndham Grand Hotels, the Reconnected programme aims to promote quality time over screen time by offering a number of amenities and adventures designed to get the whole family involved. Upon reaching the hotel, guests are given timed lock boxes for devices, enabling them to set their own intervals for interrupted play, and can choose to take part in activities like building the ultimate blanket fort (the tools are provided), creating shadow puppet shows, going on a night-time literary adventure with the help of an activity book, or feasting on delicious s’mores.

Families are encouraged to lock their phones away in a timed container.
Families are encouraged to lock their phones away in a timed container. Image by Wyndham Grand Hotels

“Vacations are all about memories, but it’s hard to be in the moment when our phones are within reach – and we’re all guilty of just checking for that one text or email,” said Noelle Nicolai, of Wyndham Grand. “Reconnected is an escape from the pull of technology and everyday distractions, a chance to press pause on the moment and simply celebrate being together.” As part of the offer, guests will also receive a Fuji Instax instant camera when checking in, allowing them to document their adventures during their stay, and providing a stack of real photos to help them remember the experiences.

The project aims to encourage quality family time.
The project aims to encourage quality family time. Image by Wyndham Grand Hotels

To celebrate the launch of the programme, families can avail of a 5% discount on bookings made on standard rooms until April. Wyndham Hotels offering Reconnected include Clearwater Beach, Grand Orlando Bonnet Creek, Chicago Riverfront, Hotel Galvez and The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel.

More information on booking is available at the official website.