In 2021, people are more connected to their digital devices than ever. During lockdowns, it was the digital connectivity of the world that allowed people to stay employed, to keep in touch, to continue their education, and other necessary endeavors. But is there such a thing as too much of a good thing? Clearly, there is; Google searches for topics like, “cell phone addiction,” have spiked this year. And after more than a year of intense, 24/7 connectivity, some are looking for ways to unplug and reconnect with the physical world around them. The Foundry Hotel in Asheville, North Carolina, is offering a way to do exactly that, with its new Digital Detox Adventures package.
Foundry Hotel History
The Foundry Hotel is a very unique, boutique-style destination in the heart of Asheville. Built in what was once a steel factory, the Foundry is a destination in and of itself, with the hotel’s mission statement reading, “The Foundry Hotel offers a unique, seamless blend of industrial history, local culture, and warm hospitality. Discover a genuine enclave of rest and relaxation, featuring old-world services, artisanal food and drink, and stately accommodations.”
But that description barely scratches the surface. The exterior of the hotel recalls its steel factory roots, with bold brick walls soaring three oversized stories into the air. What was once the Asheville Foundry and Supply Co. factory is now bright and airy, with huge cube-framed windows offering a view of historic Asheville and the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains. Inside, vestiges of the original foundry remain, with exposed beams and industrial touches to celebrate its historic past. The rooms themselves are luxurious, with contemporary furnishings and comfort and relaxation in mind.
Guests can enjoy on-site dining at the Foundry Restaurant or Benne on Eagle, an African American-inspired cuisine locale with a rich Blue Ridge taste tradition. Or, you can set your sights a bit farther afield, with one of the hotel packages.
The Digital Detox Adventure
If a spirit of adventure is in your heart and you’re looking for a way to connect with the world without a device in the way, the Digital Detox Adventure Package may be right up your alley. Starting October 1st, the hotel whipped up the perfect way for guests to unplug and return to nature. Foundry teamed up with The Arrivals and Asheville Wellness Tours to create the perfect itinerary for the cords-free adventurer.
Upon arriving, guests who buy the package will receive one of The Arrivals AER classic puffer jackets, which are made with a double- layer fabric featuring a breathable, water and wind repellent membrane, and are filled with responsibly sourced down. These jackets are the perfect loving embrace for a tech-free vacation; each comes with an “Off the grid” pocket which blocks 100% of cell phone radiation. So even if you’re tempted to leave your ringer on, your jacket’s got your back.
Guests will also embark on a private, guided hike at Wild Cat Rock, a hiking trail that receives no cell signal. This adventure is crafted in coordination with the Asheville Wellness Tours, a network of over 50 area wellness industry companies, whose sole focus is on creating meaningful and soul-enriching experiences. Local guides, healers, instructors and entrepreneurs have gathered their resources for this collaboration and Foundry guests will have access to their array of offerings.
Prices for the package start at $999 per person for a weekday stay and include an overnight accommodation at the Foundry. Weekend rates start at $1,200 a night. Guests who want to disembark from their digital whirlwind appropriately shouldn’t look online to book – call 828-552-8545 to plan your stay.
But if you’re unfamiliar with the term, you may be a little leery and asking yourself, “what is a digital detox?” Thoughts of drug detox centers may spring to mind, and you’re not far off. Detoxing from technology addiction can cause physical symptoms like anxiety, racing mind, and other unpleasant effects. So why would anyone do that? In a world where we have to be connected, is it worth it to detoxify from your digital addiction?
The short answer is: yes, probably. The long answer is much more complicated. Harvard University released an article in 2018 detailing the physical ailments that can arise from too much technology use, including but not limited to neck and back pain, hand and wrist pain, tingling, numbness, and eye strain. But it goes beyond that. Relationships can become strained when one or both partners spend too much time with their face buried in their phone. But if you need your phone for work or school, how do you detoxify in a practical manner?
Most people won’t need a rehab center, just healthier habits. A 2017 Healthline article offers these suggestions for a more balanced digital relationship:
- Leave the phone behind: Turning it on airplane mode or leaving it another room for a few hours while you spend time with friends and family may be enough to start breaking the bad habits.
- Stop the pings: If your notifications are off, you’re less likely to get called back to your phone over and over. Even setting aside just a few hours a day to keep the notifications off can help.
- Give yourself a curfew: Most parents have a “phone free” curfew for their kids, but may benefit from setting one for themselves. If you put your phone up at the same time every day, your brain will quickly learn to establish new routines for those down periods.
- Don’t wake up with your phone: The simple act of not reaching for your phone first in the morning is a healthy first step away.
- Tech-free zones: Putting a cell phone basket in the kitchen where everyone drops the phones before sitting down to a family dinner or movie can help control technology-related relationship burnout.
- Step away: Instead of taking a lunch break, take a tech-free break. Or combine the two and do some birdwatching in the park while you eat lunch; but bring along an Audubon book to keep your fingers from itching to Google what bird species you’ve stumbled across.
- Reward yourself: Spending less time on technology shouldn’t be boring or onerous, even if it may cause some discomfort in the beginning. Reward yourself with a new book or magazine, a candle-lit bath or some time cuddling with a loved one.
And to kick start your digital detox, consider the Foundry Hotel’s perfect getaway. Not only will it inspire you to keep your head in the clouds and off The Cloud, it’ll keep you accountable with its detox-friendly jacket and hiking trails.