Staying at Wyndham Grand? Don’t bring your mobile phone!

Don't bring your phone when staying at the Wyndham Grand. The hotel is creating new VIP areas at its pools and restaurants with perks promoting quality time for guests at five of its hotels. The catch?

Staying at Wyndham Grand? Don’t bring your mobile phone!

Don’t bring your phone when staying at the Wyndham Grand. The hotel is creating new VIP areas at its pools and restaurants with perks promoting quality time for guests at five of its hotels. The catch?

An expansion of its innovative Reconnected Family Experience, the unique hotel family program encouraging quality time over screen time, Wyndham Grand is now challenging guests to go phone-free at its pools and restaurants. Today through November 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.*

Wyndham Grand is collaborating with Yondr – which creates phone-free spaces using a unique 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.

“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’ Wi-Fi 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.*

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Phone-Free Zones are available from October 1, 2018 through November 12, 2018 at the following Wyndham Grand hotels offering the Reconnected Family Experience: Wyndham Grand Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort in Orlando, Fla.; Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach Resort in Clearwater, Fla.; Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront in Chicago, Ill.; The Mills House, a Wyndham Grand Hotel in Charleston, S.C.; and Hotel Galvez & Spa, a Wyndham Grand Hotel in Galveston, Texas.

The Reconnected Revolution
Wyndham Grand is bringing quality time back to family vacations with Reconnected, a Wyndham Grand Family Experience, a unique family program addressing the dire need for quality time over screen time. While most family travel programs separate parents and kids, Reconnected enables imaginative play time together. Be it building the ultimate blanket fort, creating shadow-puppets or taking a literary adventure with The Nocturnals: The Mysterious Abductions by Tracey Hecht, this new offering reminds families to slow down and enjoy time together, without the distraction of a screen.

Author: Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.

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