“It might be a little hard for you”, the receptionist at The Westin Paris suggested, reminding us we would have to hand our phones in and completely switch off from technology during our Digital Detox. No doubt she had seen me glued to my screen before we were introduced. I laughed nervously, concerned she might be right. But as it turned out, technology free was the perfect way to absorb all that the City of Light has to offer.
The Westin Paris Digital Detox
A digital detox was something The Hubby and I both agreed we needed and something we most likely discussed while simultaneously checking emails and posting to our social media channels. The Westin Paris Digital Detox program includes bed and breakfast at the The Westin Paris Vendome, 30 minutes of indulgence at the Six Senses Spa, participation in the New Balance Gear Lending program, a guide to local parks and points of interest, a Sweet Kit and magazines to encourage more reading time in lieu of screen time.
The Westin Paris Vendôme is ideally located in the first arrondissement, a stone’s throw to the drool worthy Saint Germain shopping strip (think Sonia Rykiel, Karl Lagerfeld, Maison Goyard), the Louvre Museum and Place Vendôme.
We checked in to The Westin for the weekend and spread our Digital Detox Package across two days. Day one began with a nourishing breakfast in the sophisticated salon style Le First restaurant looking out on to Tuileries Gardens, across the road. Le First is a beautifully decorated in regal purple, gold and black. A far cry from a typical hotel breakfast room, the space is inviting; encouraging guests to settle in for their first meal of the day. We worked our way through the delicious buffet, relaxing in lounge chairs by the window as Paris was still waking up. As I’ve written about before here and here, The Westin breakfast caters to travellers looking to indulge or those craving their healthy favourites while away from home.
Explore & Move
The essential element in the Digital Detox is to step away from technology. So we handed in our phones to reception for safe keeping on our way out to explore Paris, the old fashioned way; with a paper map and a sense of adventure. The hardest decision you’ll have to make at this point is which direction you want to head out to wander. The hotel really is an oasis, within reach of Paris’ tourist sights checklist. Simple cross the road and walk through the Tuileries and Carrousel Gardens up towards the Louvre Museum (400 metres away), or stroll the Seine and stop off to listen to local buskers along the way.
If you have a little more energy walk the Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe or take a morning run to the Eiffel Tower (a 6 kilometre round trip run and one of our favourite ways to see the city and stay in shape when visiting Paris). The options for exploring are endless and without technology to distract you, you’ll might find each filter free moment a little more moving.
When we returned to our room after a day spent exploring, our television in our room had been removed. In its place, fashion magazines, superfood snacks and our New Balance Gear Lending kit were waiting. We kitted up and went to the hotel gym to try it out. The split level studio was very clean, quite large and accessible 24 hours a day. One level was home to cardio equipment and a free weights workout area. Upstairs, you’ll find free weights and machine weights. We had the gym to ourselves which is always a luxury, as is not having to wash our workout clothes after we finished.
On Day Two, not rolling over to scramble for our phones and scroll through the night’s events meant we chose to indulge in a sleep in instead. After breakfast, we resisted the urge to run to the Six Senses Spa for our 30 minute treatment. The treatments have been designed to target those muscles put under strain thanks to hours spent on device and in front of computers and in our case carrying heavy bags and cameras around all day. For that reason we chose the back and neck massage.
After changing into fluffy robes and slippers we made our way into the cocoon like couples massage room. It’s no surprise I drifted off a little during the massage. It was absolute bliss and thankfully a fresh ginger tea helped us ease back to consciousness ready to head back out into the buzz of the Paris streets.
Switching off, even just for a couple of days seems like such a simple gesture the effect can have a profound effect on your mental and physical health. Travel isn’t what it used to be these days. Living in such a hyper connected world means we often forget to look at a destination with the help of a phone or camera view finder. The world has become a much smaller place, no matter where in the globe we are, we are bombarded with information either consciously or unconsciously. Taking a weekend away from technology meant we reconnected with each other, ourselves and of course one of my favourite cities in the world, Paris.
Read more about the Digital Detox Package here.
The Westin Paris – Vendome
3 Rue De Castiglione
Paris, 75001, France
+33 0 1 44 77 11 11
Skye is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Fit Traveller.
She is a journalist, writer, photographer, intrepid traveller and a former personal trainer with a passion for helping others reach optimal health.
As a TV journalist and producer, Skye has worked for household names such as 60 Minutes, Sunrise, TODAY and Nine News. She has also written for Women’s Health, Fodor’s Travel and Yahoo7 Travel, among many others.
Equally comfortable in a 5-star resort or hiking a far-off mountain, Skye loves the unexpected and enriching life experiences that each trip brings and can often be found in a backstreet chatting to locals with her camera in hand.
Skye is based in Sydney, working to master the balance between motherhood and her appetite for adventure.
Read more about Skye’s story here.