We have a dilemma and would love to get your input. Should our guests at Lapa Rios Eco Lodge on the Osa Peninsula be able to connect to the Internet during their stay? Technically, we have the option of installing wireless internet now. But we are not sure if it is the right thing to do from an “experience” point of view. For many years, we have kept Lapa Rios “offline” and many of our guests thanked us for the unplugged experience that they had.
In the past months, more and more guests have come with “roaming” smartphones and have been able to get connection to the internet through the local phone and data networks. Especially millennials seem not to be able to travel without access to internet. It is impossible for them to imagine a world before total connectivity.
The main focus of the Lapa Rios Experience is to live the incredible nature and wildlife. But it is also about “connection” with the people you travel with and with yourself. Sometimes it is just necessary to disconnect to connect.
So here are some pros and cons that we have identified, but would love to hear from you before we make a final decision.
The arguments for having Internet at Lapa Rios Ecolodge:
- People would be able to do share their experiences with friends and family in “real time”. They would become our best sales agents and market Lapa Rios on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
- The “stress” that we feel today about not connected is reduced and communication with family members left behind is easier.
- For many guests, they could combine work and play. Work during several hours of the day and enjoy other time periods on vacation. Especially guests in important corporate positions or the ones owning a business would be more at ease knowing that there will be a connection.
The arguments against having Internet at Lapa Rios Ecolodge:
- Guests will not experience the digital detox experience and the getting away from it all.
- The internet connection, while possible, is going to be instable and negatively influenced by weather, fallen trees, etc. It will be hard to ‘guarantee’ internet access.
- Guests might choose to spend more time with their electronic devices and less time with their fellow travelers.
In the case that we would decide to provide wireless internet service at Lapa Rios, then we would have to decide where. Everywhere? Public areas only? Select public areas? Only in the rooms? We certainly don’t want our restaurant to be dominated by smartphones and tablets, guests making VOIP phone calls or watching movies. Do you have any thoughts on this?
We look forward to hearing from you. Comment on this blog or send us a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.