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The Sandberg-Goldberg family’s $11,500-a-day Mexican vacation: “Leaning in” for billionaires

May 8, 2015

My latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum


At the Palmasola: Lean me in a pina colada

The five-star Palmasola, which bills itself as “your own private paradise” on its website, is a “single-client” operation. That means that it’s your job to fill up the resort’s nine bedrooms with as many family members, friends, or clients as you choose. On top of that, there’s a $200-a-day ($100 for children) charge for your meals (minimum: six people). You do get a private beach, a patio, a pool, plenty of amenities (as well you should), and a staff of 15 people working full-time to serve you.

The Sandberg-Goldberg family wasn’t just rich. It was rich beyond imagining. (Goldberg and Sandberg, who is COO of Facebook, were estimated as having a net worth of well north of $1 billion). People who are merely rich don’t stay at the Palmasola, but at the Four Seasons hotel next door in Punta Mita, which looks awfully nice and boasts five stars, but whose rooms go for around $650 a night.

I don’t begrudge them their money–they both worked hard and had the talent to earn it– but this question plagues me: How much “leaning in” do you really have to do if you’re a billionaire?

The whole point of Sandberg’s 2013 bestseller Lean In, after all, was that women with children could rise to top corporate positions like Sandberg’s if they asserted themselves on the job and also had feminism-friendly husbands willing to share the household chores with them. Sandberg even claimed that husbands’ “choreplay”–washing the dinner dishes and folding laundry–made them sexier later on in the evening.


So if you and your wife are billionaires, and you care about your children as Goldberg and Sandberg clearly did, are either of you actually going to be spending any part of those two hours chopping onions, loading the dishwasher, moving the towels into the drier, or vacuuming the family room? Won’t you have, um, other people handling the “choreplay” so you and your spouse can gush over the little ones’ art projects and help them with their homework before that 8 p.m. alarm bell rings and you’ve got to be back hunched over your computer?

Other people, sort of like that staff of 15 waiting on you hand and foot in Mexico?

Posted by Charlotte Allen


From → Uncategorized

  1. PatrickH permalink

    Caitlin Flanagan has had something to say about this. The problem with Sandberg is that every single thing she’s said has been a lie. She not only has nothing to offer women, what she offers is poison. I want to sympathize with her for her loss (I am Catholic, so I have to), but she is truly repellent, she and her late husband. Nihil nisi blah blah. I loathe her and everything she stands for.

    • She did lose her husband, and their children must be devastated. But the $11,500 hotel suite does make it impossible for them to claim they’re just like us.

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