Top romantic hotel bans mobile phones

Lochside retreat says ‘digital detox’ needed to get families talking again

Scotland’s most romantic hotel has banned mobile phones in its dining room – to help children connect with their parents.

Ardanaiseig, on the shores of Loch Awe in Argyll, believes it is the first hotel or restaurant in Scotland to introduce such a ban and that doing so will promote good old fashioned ‘family time’

“Leisure breaks, especially in such a blissfully peaceful location, should be relaxing. Mobile phones have no place in a restaurant and can get in the way of kids’ chats with mum and dad,” General Manager Bronwyn Smith said.

She went on: “Good old fashioned table conversation and manners have taken a back seat in today’s busy and fast paced way of life. Our hotel would like to encourage laughter and chatter and if it means introducing a ‘digital detox’ we are all for it.”

Recent surveys had shown that the average adult in the UK spends nearly nine hours each day on media and communication, outstripping even time spent sleeping, and that almost half of 18-24 year olds check their phone in the middle of the night.

“Mealtimes offer a chance for the family to converse and share experiences,” Bronwyn Smith said. “The only distractions in our dining room should be the breathtaking view over Loch Awe or the delight in seeing our local wildlife scamper across the lawns.”

Ardanaiseig Hotel, in 120 acres of wooded grounds at Kilchrenan near Taynuilt, was named by the Editors of the 2017 edition of the UK Good Hotel Guide as the most romantic and best country house hotel in Scotland.

Owned by a major London antiques dealer, the listed Grade 2 building was designed by William Burn, the architect responsible for two of Edinburgh’s most famous private schools – George Watson’s College and the Edinburgh Academy attended by ‘Treasure Island’ author Robert Louis Stevenson.

The mobile ban will come into effect when the hotel launches its Winter Warmer Package on 5 October. A hearty three course dinner plus bed, breakfast and afternoon tea will be priced at £295 per room per night, with children encouraged to join their parents or guardians for all meals in the dining room.

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