AS WITH MANY parents this school year, mother-of-two Shannon Baker Meyer is constantly juggling work and distance-learning for her two kids. Through an online happy hour with girlfriends, Ms. Baker Meyer, the president of a communications agency in Pittsburgh, heard about Kimpton Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh’s virtual learning package for parents and booked a one-night staycation to test it out. She and her 7-year-old daughter, Harper, had adjoining rooms (day use of an extra room starts at $75), each with their own desk setup. Greg Goffin, the hotel’s newly appointed Chief Virtual Learning Officer (he doubles as the hotel’s director of sales and marketing), helped Harper set up the Zoom call with her classroom on the hotel computer, supplied Animal Crackers and organic juice boxes and fetched colored paper and crayons for an art project when she realized she’d forgotten hers—freeing up Ms. Baker-Meyer to focus on her own work.
The still-struggling hotel industry is trying all manner of enticement to lure back travelers. One recent trend, touted as a “school-cation,” is aimed squarely at parents of children who are taking part in distance-learning using online resources, a group that currently numbers more than 30 million. As traveler confidence slowly rises, hotels across the U.S. and the Caribbean are promising to make sure all runs smoothly with your child’s schooling and entertain them at “recess.” The offerings vary, from fairly basic babysitting and kid-focused outdoor activities to more intensive instruction with credentialed private tutors.
But how much schooling can really be done in places designed for leisure, not long division? One teacher cautions against getting too comfortable: “A change of scenery can be valuable for some learners, but a distraction for others,” said Sarah Brown Wessling, a high-school English teacher in Johnston, Iowa. “You need to determine your child’s learning style and whether it will actually benefit him/her to do this.” For parents curious to try these unusually hospitable schoolrooms-cum-offices, here are a few options:
After-School Special: Merengue
Eden Roc Cap Cana, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
For the kids: Families staying a minimum of 15 nights get their own in-suite classroom, which includes a desk, notebooks, printers and computers. Three bilingual “children concierges,” certified in working with kids, help with homework and oversee extracurriculars like Merengue dance lessons—part of the all-inclusive rate of $27,000 (for 15 nights).
For the parents: An extended stay package (from about $36,000 for 20 nights) for the property’s 34 stand-alone villas—equipped with kitchens and private pools—includes a butler, private chef and on-demand workspaces with computers and office supplies.
Article from Wall Street Journal
About Eden Roc at Cap Cana
Setting the standard in Caribbean luxury, Eden Roc Cap Cana is the Dominican Republic’s only Relais & Châteaux property, nestled within a 30,000-acre gated community on the island’s eastern tip alongside an award-winning, 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, a bustling marina and a state-of-the-art equestrian center. Home to powder-soft beaches, towering cliffs and tropical forests, the five-star resort also boasts brand-new, world-class Solaya Spa and fitness facilities, offering 30,000 square foot of indulgent space and 12 treatment rooms for the ultimate wellness experience. Boasting 60 sumptuous suites ranging from lavish boutique villas with their own private pools and verandas to elegantly designed beach-front suites with their own kitchen overlooking the impossibly blue Caribbean Sea, Eden Roc Cap Cana also launched four brand new Ocean Villas in Fall 2018 that offer complete privacy and charm, with their own exclusive pools overlooking the resort’s Blue Flag-certified beach, ocean-front terraces and personal butler service. Alongside its pristine private beach, the Eden Roc Beach Club features an infinity pool and Nikkei-themed BLUE Grill + Bar, one of three premium culinary experiences overseen by an Executive Chef with Michelin starred experience, as well as fine-dining restaurant Mediterraneo and the oceanfront La Palapa. Alongside the resort’s outstanding cuisine across its three flagship restaurants, Eden Roc Cap Cana also plays host to a visiting Guest Chef series, providing one of the most diverse gastronomic destinations in the Caribbean. Ideal for families as well as couples, Eden Roc Cap Cana’s also features the world-class Koko Kid’s Club, located on a stunning lagoon and designed like a tree house. Equipped with a mini spa for manicures, pedicures, and hairstyling, the kids club also houses a video gaming area, bathrooms, and a central area for play and story-telling, and mini guests can even kayak from the club’s man-made ‘beach’ on the lagoon. The AAA Four-Diamond property is a proud member of the prestigious Relais & Châteaux collection, as well as Virtuoso Hotels & Resorts, Ensemble Travel Group, Altour Hotel Collection, Fine Hotels & Resorts, Signature Travel Network, the International Association of Golf Tour Operators and Forbes Travel Guide.
About Relais & Châteaux
Established in 1954, Relais & Châteaux is an association of more than 560 landmark hotels and restaurants operated by independent innkeepers, chefs, and owners who share a passion for their businesses and a desire for authenticity in their relationships with their clientele. Relais & Châteaux is established around the globe, from the Napa Valley vineyards and French Provence to the beaches of the Indian Ocean. Relais & Châteaux members have a desire to protect and promote the diversity of the world’s cuisine and traditions of hospitality. They are committed to preserving local heritage and the environment, as encompassed in the Charter presented to UNESCO in November 2014. For more information visit: www.relaischateaux.com