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Escape to Eremito, a Tranquil Retreat in Umbria, Italy

A remote escape for digital detox with solo lodging and no TV or WiFi

by Nara Shin
on 06 February 2015
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In what seems like the fourth consecutive month of winter here in New York, cabin fever is rife in those glued to their computers on a daily basis. To keep spirits up until spring offers its sympathy, we found inspiration in dreaming of simple escapes, such as to the Italian retreat Eremito, which is on our list of must-visit places since its launch last year.

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Deep in the forest-covered hills and valleys of Umbria, Italy is this small secluded hotel that requires a Jeep to make the final two miles of rough road in and out of the destination. Upon arrival at Eremito (based off of the Italian word for "hermit" or "recluse"), guests are checked into one of the cozy 14 single-occupancy rooms—couples sleep apart at night in separate "celluzzes." Instead of TV, air-conditioning, a mini-fridge, or even WiFi, each minimalist room holds a stone desk and chair, heated floors and a window with a view.

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This "hotel" is the pet project of former fashion designer, Italy-born Marcello Murzilli, who created the equally remote (and solar-powered) Mexican eco-resort Hotelito Desconocido in 1997. For Eremito, Murzilli was heavily influenced by the simplicity of monasteries and had the structure built according to 13th century Italian masonry techniques—stone by stone. However, he did indulge in some modern day features like a heated pool, dug from the rock, as well as a stone steam room.

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Aimed at solo travelers, Eremito is an unusual place for those seeking a truly rare luxury: the opportunity to be alone. It offers a relaxing, approachable environment to appreciate the quiet and beauty in living, without the extremism often found in popular detox getaways or guru-led spiritual retreats. Instead, Eremito lets you rediscover on your own, for example, what natural darkness feels like—and just how bright the moon can be.

Currently, Eremito is offering all-inclusive packages from €376 (two-day, three-night) to a "full digital detox" package for €1,064 (seven-day, eight-night); they include three fresh vegetarian meals a day, with some ingredients sourced from their organic garden. Book a reservation by visiting Eremito online.

Images courtesy of Eremito

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