Since acquiring Starwood, Marriott has been making baby steps towards:
- Learning from the strong affinity that members have for the Starwood Preferred Guest program
- Creating a single unified program which will require IT work and owner buy in
Early on, in a nod to the SPG program, Marriott Rewards added 4pm late checkout for Golds and Platinums and introduced experiential redemptions. They’ve also tested a concierge service for top elites similar to Starwood Ambassador, and worked to align promotions between the programs. It’s also possible to move points back and forth (at 3 Marriott points per 1 Starpoint) and match status between the programs.
Marriott and Starwood are introducing new experiential redemptions that will be available on both the SPG Moments and Marriott Rewards Moments platforms, “Master Classes, a Series of Highly Personal and Interactive Learning Experiences with Renowned Experts”
The first ‘master classes’ that have been loaded, or that will be loaded around Noon eastern today, are:
The first featured opportunities available through the master class series include:
- NBA Skills Training with Dwyane Wade at the JW Marriott Marquis Miami – Skills and drills with the legendary Dwyane Wade on the hotel’s NBA approved indoor basketball court.
- Cooking Lessons with Eric Ripert at the Cayman Cookout Hosted by The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman – Memorable culinary experiences over a four-day event with world-renowned top chefs, with activities that include an exclusive master cooking class with James Beard Award winning and Michelin starred Chef Eric Ripert.
- Surf Lessons with Laird Hamilton at Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa in Florida – Pro surfer, Laird Hamilton teaches master surfing lesson on the hotel’s SurfStream®, the world’s first standing wave machine.
- Culinary Experience with Chef Paco Pérez at Hotel Arts Barcelona – Private culinary experience with Michelin starred Chef Paco Pérez at Enoteca, followed by a multi-course private dining experience with wine pairings.
- Two-day Golf Clinic with Annika Sörenstam at The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe – Improve your swing and get to know golf legend Annika Sörenstam over 18 holes of golf on the Old Greenwood Golf Course.
- Golf Lessons with Padraig Harrington at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay in California – Shotgun start and skills brush up with three-time major champion golfer Padraig Harrington at the championship Ocean Course.
- Golf Skills Clinic with Thomas Bjorn at The Westin La Quinta Golf Resort & Spa, Benahavis, Marbella, Spain – Skills and technique clinic taught by 21-time worldwide champion, Thomas Bjorn at La Quinta Golf and Country Club in the renowned Spanish Golf Valley.
- Underwater Conservation with Jean-Michel Cousteau at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, Hawaii – Join the legendary Jean-Michel Cousteau for an underwater conservation lesson in Maui.
Here’s the full Master Class page. Some are fixed-price and others are auctions.