Fed Up With Zoom School? These Luxury Resorts Will Tutor Your Kids

You and your kids can get book smart at Commodore Perry Resort, Auberge Resorts Collection, in … [+] Austin.
Auberge Resorts Collection
They call it “remote learning” because you can do it from anywhere, right? So, why not let your little geniuses Zoom (if you can afford it) from the comfort and privacy of your own plush villa, estate or vacation home? That’s the idea behind the alluring new “enhanced” distance education program launched this month by Auberge Resorts Collection.
It’s as indulgent as it sounds. At 19 Auberge properties on three continents, you can now replace that kitschy digital beach background with actual crashing waves and swaying palms. That means learning how to hula dance and play the ukulele on the Big Island at Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection; studying Frida Kahlo’s art by the pool at Chileno Bay, Auberge Resorts Collection, in Los Cabos, or having an in-person algebra tutor at the Hotel Jerome, Auberge Resorts Collection, in Aspen. Plus, Auberge will hook you up with computers, printers and monitors; chefs and baby sitters or even a live-in nanny so parents can get an actual vacation.
To make sure I didn’t dream this concept, I got Auberge Resorts Collection’s CMO Mike Minchin on the phone to learn more, though I really only had one question: Why couldn’t my middle school experience have been like this?

Explore a cave with an expert at Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection, Hawaii
Auberge Resorts Collection
A+ for the idea, by the way. Were you just sick of screen time?
Mike Minchin: Who’s not sick of Zooming? We saw this as a chance for people to really expand their horizons. I have a daughter who’s supposed to be back in school but she can be back in school from anywhere. We recently went on a 2,500-mile road trip, visiting a number of Auberge properties. What I noticed was how much joy you get going to a new location and not being stuck at home.

How exactly does Learn with Auberge work? And isn’t it impossible to keep kids focused on learning when there’s so much relaxing to do?
Mike Minchin: It’s challenging but we’re collaborating with Advantage Testing to offer both in-person and virtual tutoring, and services like test prep. If you’re a student struggling with math or science, let’s say, we can put you in classes and one-on-one with a tutor in the comfort of a private suite or residence.
We also brought on more babysitting and nanny services to supervise distance learning at schools back home. And we encourage kids to get outside. At a property like the Lodge at Blue Sky in Park City, teens and kids can learn to fly fish. There’s an animal rescue program and outdoor art classes. In Chileno Bay, you can learn to speak Spanish or take surfing lessons.
All these options are arranged during the pre-arrival planning process, so we know exactly what guests need.

After a session with a math tutor, your little kahuna can learn about wave physics at Mauna Lani, … [+] Auberge Resorts Collection
Auberge Resorts Collection
Definitely not text book. Are there tutors at every Auberge property?
Mike Minchin: We offer virtual tutoring at every property, and in-person at all 13 locations in the U.S. with all the safety measures in place, as far as social distancing, masks, and outdoor locations whenever possible. We have so many great outdoor areas at our resorts, and you don’t really need to worry about crowding because our resorts never feel crowded even in high-occupancy periods.
It’s been a devastating time for the hospitality industry. How has Auberge done?
Mike Minchin: We went from closing all of our hotels in March to late June and into July where we opened 17 of 19 properties, and now all our properties are open. What we’ve seen is that business is not where it was but there’s a lot of demand. People want to escape. They want individual suites, standalone cottages and residences.

A Zoom background worth flexing. A desk at Mayflower Inn & Spa, Auberge Resorts Collection, in … [+] Connecticut.
Auberge Resorts Collection
We’re also seeing people booking extended stays. That’s what really kicked off this program. Over the summer, guests would book one week and stay three. One guest party in Cabo had three going-away parties because they ended up staying. Every time they got ready to go home, they said, ‘Are we really gonna leave?’
Can grownups go to Auberge school, too?
Mike Minchin: Absolutely. We worked with Advantage Testing to create a series of adult education classes. You can study Latin American Avant-Garde Art, statistics, computer science. We have programs on organic gardening and animal grooming. Life has been challenging this year. Our idea is to make things as easy as possible.
This interview was edited and condensed for clarity.

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