PARSIPPANY, NJ—Wyndham Grand is creating new VIP areas at its pools and restaurants with perks promoting quality time for guests at five of its hotels. The catch? You can’t check your phone.
An expansion of its Reconnected Family Experience, the hotel family program encouraging quality time over screen time, Wyndham Grand is now challenging guests to go phone-free at its pools and restaurants. Now through Nov. 12, the brand will offer optional phone-free zones for guests who wish to spend time unplugged. Guests who participate will have access to special perks, amenities and prizes, including the chance to win 75,000 Wyndham Rewards Points—enough for a future five-night vacation, according to the brand.
Wyndham Grand is collaborating with Yondr—which creates phone-free spaces using a locking phone case—to free guests from the temptation of checking their screens during family time, empowering them to enjoy their vacations. Wyndham Grand is the first hotel brand to partner with Yondr creating physical tech-free spaces within its hotels, according to the company.
“Before the pull of technology, we would never dream of wasting time on our phones instead of jumping straight into the pool and soaking up every minute of our vacation,” said Lisa Checchio, chief marketing officer for Wyndham. “But today, adults and kids are so glued to their devices that we’ve had to add more pool chairs to accommodate all the poolside swiping. With these Phone-Free Zones, we’re creating new unplugged oases and tech-free tables that challenge families to consciously put the phone away for an afternoon—or just a meal—and make memories simply being together.”
Personal devices are impacting the way today’s families travel, with 53% of people never unplugging or reducing their phone usage on a trip. The average American looks at their screen once every 12 minutes on vacation. Wyndham Grand hotels have seen the effect, witnessing guests toting more than 12 devices per family on a trip—which impacts hotels’ WiFi needs, lobby traffic patterns and pool operations, including added supply of pool chairs.
Power Down, Please
To opt in to a phone-free zone, guests can check in with an attendant at the pool or restaurant or ask any Wyndham Grand team member about going phone-free. The process is simple:
- Guests can visit the Phone-Free Zone and check in with a Wyndham Grand team member at the pool or restaurant to receive a Yondr case.
- A Wyndham Grand team member will help the guest insert their phone in the Yondr case, which will remain locked while the guest is in the phone-free zone. The phone will remain in the guest’s possession at all times while the case is locked.
- When ready to access their phone again, guests can simply visit the nearest unlocking station, and with a simple tap, unlock their Yondr case.
Guests who participate will receive access to the space, which includes special perks—think exclusive pool floats and off-menu treats—along with a copy of The Nocturnals: The Mysterious Abductions and a chance to win 75,000 Wyndham Rewards points which they can later redeem for a vacation.
Phone-Free Zones are available from Oct. 1 – Nov. 12 at the following Wyndham Grand hotels offering the Reconnected Family Experience:
- Wyndham Grand Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort in Orlando, FL
- Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach Resort in Clearwater, FL
- Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront in Chicago
- The Mills House, a Wyndham Grand Hotel in Charleston, SC
- and Hotel Galvez & Spa, a Wyndham Grand Hotel in Galveston, TX