Money-Can’t-Buy Experiences Hotel Groups Reward Loyal Customers With


Want to see Bruce Springsteen in concert next year? And in a stepped stand near the stage with access to the VIP lounges. Even if he is exhausted? Going out to fashion shows? Or maybe play tennis with stars like Daniela Hantuchova or Xavier Malisse?

Join one of the major hotel loyalty programs – such as Hilton Honors or IHG’s One, and if you keep coming back, rewards can include room upgrades, late check-out and free breakfasts, by appealing to a be basic human to feel appreciated.

But what about the type of guest who regularly books a hotel’s best suite? Over the past year, the two giants of the hotel world – Marriott and Accor – have been retaining their customers with unique experiences, including private lessons from top chefs in wildlife conservation, private lodges at the NFL and concert halls.

The Fairmont Le Montreux Palace hotel has been an integral part of the Montreux Jazz Festival since its creation in 1967; including major housing performers from Miles Davies and Ella Fitzgerald to current headliners. As such, getting tickets was never a problem, but now there are dedicated bars, backstage access and more.

More so was – at this year’s festival – a pioneering cash experience with a visit to festival founder Claude Nobs’ mountaintop chalet above Montreux, with self-portraits by David Bowie and the Freddie Mercury’s kimono and over 50 years of recordings, with the hotel’s chefs providing al fresco dining, as well as a private performance by Celeste the night before she performs at the festival.

These successful experiences are typically designed for corporate customers, but are a perfect fit to be part of the Accor Live Limitless (ALL) loyalty program. The Accor group counts Raffles, Sofitel, Orient Express and the Ennismore group among its luxury brands.

In many ways, the new ultra-luxury experiences offered by Accor and Marriott (whose brands include Ritz-Carlton, St Regis, W and Edition Hotels) are an extension of the luxury hospitality industry’s experiential expertise. and exclusive, combined with a centuries-old know-how of the concierge in finding tickets for sold-out events.

“Our guests want luxury experiences to have a meaningful impact on them as a person. Accor Live Limitless is about creating moments that matter, that shape a stay and become memories that last a lifetime. says Ruth Finnis, VP Loyalty & Partnerships, Accor Northern Europe.

This summer, Accor was also one of the main sponsors of the BST Festival in London’s Hyde Park, with privileged access to performances by the Rolling Stones, Adele and Elton John. Accor will continue its sponsorship with BST until 2023, where the first announced headliner will be Bruce Springsteen on July 6 and 8.

Seeing Adele at BST in the summer of 2022 cost 42,000 points for two tickets, with full hospitality, a grandstand area and other VIP perks, which in monetary terms equates to around 840 euros/$837. Accor clearly sees ALL as a chance to reward loyalty rather than charging a market rate.

ALL, which launched in December 2019 – rates its experiences in a simple way – and some of them – like BST concerts – represent remarkable value; two tickets in September to see Arcade Fire in Paris, in a private box, with food and wine cost 7000 points. Like airline loyalty programs, there are different tiers, from the entry-level Classic to the highest-tier Diamond.

Marriott’s Bonvoy Moments – which launched in February 2019 – offers an equally enticing set of rewards for guests who make enough stays. This year it has partnered with the Giorgio Armani Tennis Classic at the Hurlingham Club outside London, with Bonvoy members able to use their points to attend – and play matches – with professional players.

Upcoming concerts on the Bonvoy schedule include a visit by Florence & The Machine and Billy Joel of the Marriott club at Madison Square Gardens. In October, three-day passes to the City Limits festival in Austin are on offer, featuring Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kacey Musgraves and Pink, as well as unlimited access to the VIP Grove, gourmet happy hour at local restaurants, lunch and a catered dinner. , your own dedicated input channel and more. Bidding started at 50,000 points.

There’s a competitive element to some Marriott Bonvoys, especially Moments. In October there is a chance to be at a Formula 1 practice, qualifying or race day in Kyoto, Japan, meet some of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 cars, access the team, food and a grandstand view, as well as other niceties. Bidding started at 30,000 points but at the time of writing, with seven days to go, the raceday package is, after 54 bids, already at 850,000 points.

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