Hotels and resorts across the country are pulling out all the stops to make up for lost business during the pandemic. They are offering work-from-home amenities. They are housing college students. They were even offering luxury quarantine packages.
With millions of children going to school remotely this fall because of the coronavirus outbreak, the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort (and other hotels) is now trying to corner the very stressed-out parent market by tempting them with “schoolcation” promotions.
It’s school, at a luxury resort, with Disney World in your backyard (if you can afford it). Can real school ever feel special again?
“This new offering exclusively for our Resort guests will be both helpful to parents, as well as something really fun for kids to experience,” said Thomas Steinhauer, the resort’s general manager, in a press release.
Here’s how it works.
Overnight hotel guests can send their child to supervised schoolwork sessions in settings that promise natural light, private terraces and ample physical distancing between each desk (no more than six children are allowed in the “class”).
Monday through Friday, you can choose from a half-day or full-day schedule, at $50 for 9 a.m. to noon, or $100 for 9 a.m. 3 p.m. That includes lunch, which students order off a set menu, you know, like school. An optional enrichment period is also available midday to make room for arts and crafts or exercise.
Staff from the Kids for All Seasons team will oversee your child’s e-learning, so you can get your own remote work done (or forget about the chaos of 2020 by floating down the resort’s lazy river).
For recess, kids can blow off steam running around the resort’s five-acre Explorer Island, a playground with pools and waterslides and whatnot. Or go to Disney World. The resort has a dedicated Disney Planning Center and provides complimentary transportation to all the parks. Disney World reopened in July, but is already cutting back hours.
The price tag? Rooms at the resort start at more than $500 per night.
In case Disney World isn’t your thing, Four Seasons is offering a similar Knowledge for All Seasons program at its property in Punta Mita, Mexico.
Other properties are offering similar packages. At four of its properties, Montage Hotels launched Montage Academy with a $175-per-day monitored “study hall” complete with healthful snacks and lunch, movement breaks run by the hotel spa, and access to virtual tutoring through Tutor.com.
Kimpton’s Rowan Palm Springs has a remote learning package with room rates starting at $239 per night that gives families access to a meeting room from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“Good Morning America” reported remote learning promotions across the United States at the Great Wolf Lodge, Poconos Shawnee Inn, Monarch Beach Resort and Ritz-Carlton Reynolds at Lake Oconee.
School-on-vacation packages are just one of the ways hotels are getting creative to bring back customers after the travel industry suffered a particularly heavy blow from the coronavirus pandemic’s toll on the travel industry.
According to findings by the American Hotel & Lodging Association, nearly two-thirds of hotels are still operating below the threshold for hotels to break even or pay debt.
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