Are you able to take a vacation from your wireless device?

Some hotels are offering “extras,” like food and underwater diving, to people who agree give up their cellphones for a few hours. Other hotels have phone-free hours in their swimming areas. A few are even banning electronic devices from public places altogether.

Hotels that limit cellphone use risk losing publicity on social media services such as Instagram or Facebook. But they say their policies reflect their aim of promoting wellness, fun and recreation. And, they hope that hotel guests will enjoy their experience and return for future visits.

People’s inability to disconnect is an increasingly serious issue. Half of cellphone users spend between three and seven hours a day on their mobile devices. That information comes from a 2017 study by Counterpoint Research, a technology advisory service.

Wyndham hotel officials said they had to ask for more chairs for all the people who would sit in them and look at their phones. The hotel company found that the average guest was bringing three devices and activating them once every 12 minutes — or about 80 times a day.

Ways hotels keep guests device-free

Last October, Wyndham Grand’s five U.S. vacation resorts began offering “rewards” to guests who agreed to put away their phones for a few hours.

In exchange for leaving the phone in a soft, protected pouch, guests get good seating by swimming pools, free food and even chances to win return visits. 

The Associated Press reported last week that 250 people have taken part in the program at Wyndham resort hotels in Florida and Texas.

Wyndham Grand resorts offered to cut the cost of a hotel stay by five percent if guests put their phones in a timed lockbox. The hotels provide treats, bedtime books and instant cameras for adults and children who are not sure what to do with all their newfound free time.

Hotel workers at the Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit in Mexico will remove all electronic devices from your room and replace them with traditional games, like chess.

Guests at a nearby resort trade in their phones for a bracelet placed around the wrist. The device gives them the right to take part in special activities like diving. They must do at least four activities to earn back their phones. A timer in the hotel shows how long each family has remained without their devices.

 Miraval’s goal is to increase mindfulness and create a sense of calm among their guests. Miraval, which will soon open two more resorts in Texas and Massachusetts, bans phone use in most public areas. 

 A 40-room hotel at the Siwa Oasis in Egypt lets guests have phones in their rooms, but there is no internet service or even electricity.

However, not all vacationers want to be separated from their devices. Phones can serve as cameras, music players, travel guides and e-readers. They also might be needed in an emergency.


Exercise 1


Read the following vocabulary with your teacher.


promote (v.) -  to help bring into being; to make something more visible


guest (n.) - someone who pays for the services of a business, such as a hotel


resort (adj.) - of or related to a getaway for vacations or recreation


pouch (n.) - a small bag or container carried on the person



Exercise 2


Answer these questions about the article.


  1. Are you able to take a vacation without your mobile device?
  2. What are these hotels promoting?
  3. How are they doing it?
  4. How many times a day people activated their mobile phones?


Exercise 3


Please give your opinion on the following statement and give your reasons behind it.

  • People are spending too much time looking at their phones and not living.


Exercise 4 


Have a discussion on following questions.


  1. Can you live without your phone?
  2. How much do you use it for work, and how much for fun?
  3. Would you support this concept of using less phones?
  4. Do phones make our lives easier?


This lesson is based on a news article originally published by learningenglish.voanews.