Industry NewsBrandsWyndham Grand Partners with Yondr to Create Unplugged VIP Areas

Wyndham Grand Partners with Yondr to Create Unplugged VIP Areas

PARSIPPANY, N.J.—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. 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 so that they can enjoy their vacations. Wyndham Grand is the first hotel brand to partner with Yondr to create 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 percent 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 the supply of pool chairs.

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 and 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 like exclusive pool floats and off-menu treats along with a copy of The Nocturnals: The Mysterious Abductions by Tracey Hecht and a chance to win 75,000 Wyndham Rewards points which they can later redeem for a vacation.

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.



  1. Glad to see phone-free zones are appearing. I was asked several years ago to research a system to block mobile signals within a private club’ dining room. The goal was to give members a mobile-free area to unwind. I found there are many systems available, mostly from China, that will block mobile signals over a wide area. But I found that this kind of mobile jamming was against the law. I believe it was an FCC mandate that made intentional signal disruption a federal crime.

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