Studycations: Luxury hotels in China offer babysitting services for stressed parents

(CNN) — Although in many parts of the world people are returning to the office and children have returned to school, lockdowns continue across China as the country struggles to contain multiple Covid-19 outbreaks in line with its policy. zero-Covid.

That, of course, leaves parents with those all-too-familiar challenges many of us have faced throughout the pandemic — staying on top of work while managing online schooling for kids.

Several luxury hotels in Chinese cities have mobilized to offer a solution: Studycations.

The most prominent of the pack is the Mandarin Oriental Pudong in Shanghai, which brought in 5,900 RMB ($926) per week Study package.

The famous luxury hotel will welcome students aged 7 to 16, from Monday to Friday. The rate includes three meals a day and a butler who will oversee online tuition.

“After the Shanghai municipal government released its new policy that all students should stay home for online education from March 12 due to the recent outbreak of Omicron, we have witnessed the responses of our society and understood how difficult it was for parents who had to juggle work and their children,” Cecilia Yang, director of communications at Mandarin Oriental Pudong, Shanghai, told CNN Travel.

“Over the past two years, we’ve already promoted ‘staycation’ and ‘workation’ package ideas when people couldn’t travel freely like before…this time, why not something for kids?”

The problem of dropping off your children for the day in a luxury hotel? They probably won’t want to go home.

Mandarin Oriental Pudong Shanghai

Hotel staff say children can benefit from the quiet environment and supervision during online learning hours.

Since the promotion launched on March 16, more than 10 packages have been sold. The first group of study guests checked in on Monday, March 21, Yang said.

“The feedback from parents and children has been very positive so far. We have seen many posts from the families on social media! And these children are even calling themselves ‘little fans’ after staying with us for five days”, adds she.

An adult must be present for a child to stay overnight. Otherwise, the parent can drop off the child every day after 7 a.m. and pick him up before 8 p.m.

If parents decide to join their children for the study, they can take a day off and enjoy the spa at a reduced price.

Golf lessons and computer assistance

Several luxury hotels in Nanjing City offer similar packages.

Nanjing Purple Palacein the outskirts of Zijin Mountain, offers homework help and extra activities like a golf lesson or a traditional rice-paste sculpture lesson – in case the weather isn’t ideal for golfing.

The hotel spokesperson was quoted by a provincial newspaper as saying they hosted a 13-year-old who enjoyed the experience so much that the parents called to extend the experience for half a day at one night.

Meanwhile, the upmarket Suning Universal Hotel in downtown Nanjing is also reportedly offering childcare and tutoring. A screenshot of a widely shared post on Wechat, the popular social media platform in China, promotes the service for a child and a hotel room.

“Parents don’t have to worry about (their children) while they are at work. Hotels can increase their income. In this particular time, the quality of a hotel does not only depend on online ratings , but also grades from schools.” says the post.

“An IT team is there to ensure a smooth internet connection. Our hotel room staff monitors the child’s homework. timely feeding A security team will ensure the safe isolation of the child.

“Once the homework is done, there is also a janitorial team who would take the child for exercise. There is also the marketing team who will take care of filming videos when the homework is finished.”

The post has gone viral on various social media platforms in China since it was first shared last week.

The hotel spokesperson confirmed local media that the service operates daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and costs 350 RMB ($55) per day.

The setbacks

Responses to study packages were polarized.

Some local news commentary point out that for the hospitality industry to survive the pandemic, it needs to be creative – as long as it doesn’t break the law.

While some parents have already booked the service for children, many Weibo users question its convenience.

“Would the hotel Internet connection ever be as fast as the connection at home?” asks a user.

Others lament the high price that comes with the service.

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