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Brief Published: 30 Jun 2015

Spa Hotel Helps Guests Switch Off

Villa Stephanie facade

A luxury hotel company in Germany is offering a unique way to help its guests unwind – an internet 'kill switch' next to the bed.

The Villa Stéphanie spa hotel in Baden-Baden uses a copper grid in the walls to block all wireless signals when the switch is flipped. Allowing guests to manage their connectivity complements the 'detox' aspect of the retreat, and also positions disconnection as part of a luxury experience.

A dedicated internet switch may seem unnecessary, but research suggests we may lack the discipline to turn off our devices without such an obvious prompt. In a talk on June 17 in London, leading research scientist and writer Susan Greenfield outlined research showing that our devices can become as addictive as drugs or gambling. Meanwhile, a growing body of research from psychiatrists such as Dr. Dan Siegel shows that using screens before bedtime compromises our sleep.

Connectivity management is likely to be a growing theme in an industry focused on relaxation, and where a good night's sleep is a major selling point. For more on how consumers are trying to manage the over-stimulation of connected life, see Compressed Calm.