Bali resort bans guests from using smartphones by pool

A luxury hotel in Bali has hit the headlines thanks to its new policy banning guests from using mobile phones around one of its swimming pools.

The Daily Mail reported that the Ayana Resort and Spa has a strict “no calls, no texts and no social media” policy at its secluded river pool.

The “digital detox ruling” is in place from 9am to 5pm each day with guests storing devices in nearby lockers to create “total tranquillity”.

The Guardian reported that guests at the resort are encouraged to “swim, read books, or play a game of Jenga, or just truly relax and be in the moment”.

The newspaper said that anxiety about using digital devices has prompted a surge of interest in “so-called digital detox holidays”, with travel companies and hotels “cashing in people’s inability to switch off their devices unless forced”.

However, it also noted that another recent survey by Travelzoo found that 30% of respondents booked holiday destinations on the basis they would make great fodder for social media.

Meanwhile, ibis hotels in Zurich and Geneva have launched a ‘Relax we post’ service for guests, who want a “digital detox” but still want to have their Instagram channel updated.

Available to hotel guests at ibis, ibis Styles and ibis budget properties, the ‘Instagram sitter’ takes care of the guest’s Instagram channel “while they enjoy their city trip without any digital stress”, said the chain, which is part of the AccorHotels group.

The hotels have employed 16 well-known influencers to take on the job of ‘Instagram Sitters’ during a trial period.

They receive the hotel guest’s account log-in details and post pictures and videos on their Instagram channel throughout the weekend.

If requested, the ‘sitters’ can also exchange comments with followers.

Philippe Alanou, AccorHotels Central Europe’s operations senior vice-president, said: “This new service from ibis Switzerland is unique. We keep a close eye on social trends and keep adjusting our hotels’ offerings so we can offer our customers innovative services that make their everyday lives easier. ‘Relax we post’ supports our intention to give the hotel guests unforgettable experiences.”

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