New, global member series kicks off with Dwyane Wade, Laird Hamilton, Annika Sörenstam, Padraig Harrington, Eric Ripert, and others
June 28, 2017 – Whether you want to learn how to whip up edible works of art, consistently drain the bottom of the net, or perfect your backswing, Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), are making it all possible with the new master class series. Available exclusively for members as a result of Marriott International’s unrivaled roster of global brands, property amenities, and partnerships, these one-of-a kind, sought-after learning experiences are designed to be highly personal interactions with superstars in sports, culinary, entertainment and lifestyle. The first collection in the ongoing global master class series features hands-on learning experiences with basketball great Dwyane Wade, Hall of Fame golfer Annika Sörenstam, celebrated chef Eric Ripert and legendary surfer Laird Hamilton. These unique elevated experiences are in addition to the thousands of other experiences already offered on both Marriott Rewards Moments and SPG Moments platforms.
“Our members believe life is an adventure worth pursuing,” said David Flueck, Senior Vice President of Global Loyalty, Marriott International. “We’re focused on taking the best of Marriott’s loyalty programs – including our partnerships and extraordinary portfolio of hotels – and stepping it up with master classes that provide transformative experiences travelers cannot get anywhere else.”
Travel is but one of life’s passions for the 100 million Marriott Rewards and SPG members, and master classes will inspire them to pursue and perfect their other passions wherever they travel. Redeemable using loyalty points, master classes will range from hands on experiences with decorated Michelin-starred and James Beard award-winning chefs, championship golfers, Hall of Fame caliber basketball players, on-property experts and others giants in their fields.
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.
Additional master classes available to members of both SPG and Marriott Rewards include a fly-fishing adventure where members fly on The Ritz-Carlton Orlando’s private floatplane to the upper reaches of the historic St. John’s River to learn from Certified Casting Instructor angling techniques, as well as a tennis clinic taught by a pro player and a celebrity tennis enthusiast at the US Open. Future master classes, which will be added in the coming weeks and months, will continue to tap into Marriott International’s unmatched depth & breadth of 30 brands, 6,100 properties in 124 countries & territories, including the Sound Suite at the W hotels, as well as exclusive partnerships with the largest music company, and some of the most popular music venues in the world.
Since Marriott’s acquisition of Starwood last year, members of Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards – which is part of Marriott Rewards – and SPG programs have been able to link their accounts at members.marriott.com to access unparalleled benefits such as instant status matching and unlimited points transfer between programs that can be used to unlock a plethora of unique experiences across Marriott’s portfolio of global brands.
According to Forbes, 94% of millennials reported that they make personal improvement commitments and are willing to spend nearly twice as much as Baby Boomers on self-improvement each month. Marriott Rewards and SPG are helping people fulfill their aspirations to learn and have more authentic experiences that discover culture, history, and prominent people while traveling. In 2006, SPG recognized the trend around experiential travel when it led the industry in introducing SPG Moments. Marriott launched Marriott Rewards Moments (formerly the Experiences Marketplace) last year. Together, both platforms offered members access to more than 13,000 experiences in 2016. As the programs add one million new members every month, the Moments platforms will continue to roll out more exciting experiences only available online through Marriott Moments and SPG Moments.
About Marriott Rewards
Marriott International’s award-winning loyalty program – Marriott Rewards – spans 18 unique and iconic global brands and over 4,300 distinctive properties. Members of Marriott Rewards® – which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® – can link their accounts with Starwood Preferred Guest® at members.marriott.com for expanded benefits including instant elite status matching and unlimited points transfer across portfolios. When members book their stays on Marriott.com or the Marriott Mobile app, they earn loyalty points, enjoy the advantage of exclusive Member Rates, our lowest available rates, and gain an elevated stay experience with free Wi-Fi, mobile check-in and checkout, and Mobile Service Requests wherever available. The hugely popular Marriott Rewards has won the Freddie Award for “Hotel Program of the Year–Americas” nine consecutive years as chosen by frequent travelers. Marriott Rewards is free to join and has no blackout dates. To enroll and for more information about the program, guests may visit. Connect with Marriott Rewards on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About Starwood Preferred Guest
Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG®) is an innovative, award-winning frequent traveler program that unites 11 luxury and distinctive hotel brands in more than 1,300 properties in 95 countries and territories around the world. SPG reinvented the hospitality loyalty landscape when it launched in 1999 with its breakthrough policy of no blackout dates, and over the years has continued its tradition of innovation with enhancements such as Cash + Points, Your24™, SPG Lifetime™, SPG Moments and 4 p.m. late checkout when available. SPG also offers the opportunity for meeting and travel professionals to earn rich rewards including Starpoints and elite status through SPG Pro. SPG has an ongoing commitment to meeting the needs of today’s connected global traveler by leveraging must-have mobile apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android that utilize state-aware technology to create a more personalized hotel stay. All of this has helped SPG build a passionate member base among the world’s most frequent travelers. Learn more about the #spglife at spg.com, spg.com/pro and spg.com/momentsand connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. SPG members can now also link their accounts with Marriott Rewards® – which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® – for instant elite status matching and unlimited points transfer at spg.com/Marriott.