Marriott Adds Custom Travel Experiences to Its Moments Platform
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
Following the success of Airbnb and Groupon, Marriott is entering the travel recommendations space. The new Marriott Moments platform offers destination-specific collections of hand-picked activities from local celebrities and travel experts.
The dedicated website, which is similar to the SPG Moments platform, invites travelers to "discover the world with Marriott's collection of amazing travel experiences," such as sportscaster Michele Tafoya's favorite picturesque bike rides in the Loire Valley countryside in France, or chef Daniel Boulud's favorite food markets and restaurants in San Sebastian, Lyon, Singapore and more.
Marriott Moments can be customized into guest-specific categories based on interests, travel companions and stages of life. Noteworthy themes include "Exhaust Your Kids and Be the Family Hero," and "Young, Broke & Fabulous."
Partner brands include Eatwith, which will offer custom culinary experiences in more than 130 countries, such as participating in an authentic feast with a Roman family, or taking a gourmet pastry class in Paris.
In some cases, Marriott Moments offers exclusive opportunities for popular tourist attractions, such as a "skip the line" tour in Rome for visiting the Vatican, St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel over a half-day walking tour.
In other cases, Marriott simply tapped into a thousands-strong global network of local-area experts, including its hotel associates, as well as global partners and celebrities, for recommendations on their favorite activities and must-see sights. Featured experts include multiple celebrity chefs, athletes and actors, and the list of Moments will grow as new partner recommendations are periodically added.
Every Marriott Moment can be booked directly through the site, so using a card that earns bonus rewards on travel is a good bet. For instance, the Chase Sapphire Reserve would earn you 3 points per dollar on your Moments purchase. You might also consider cards that earn you bonus rewards specifically on Marriott purchases, such as the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card and the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express.
Some member-exclusive experiences can also be booked using Marriott Rewards points, and this pay-with-points perk will be extended to all Marriott Moments in the near future.
Marriott even offers the ability to find and book experiences via Facebook Messenger: If you can't find something you like on the Marriott Moments website, you can pop over to Facebook to speak with a Marriott Rewards or SPG representative to get nearby recommendations which can be purchased through your smartphone.
Finally, Marriott Rewards members can earn 10 Marriott Rewards points, or 3 SPG Starpoints, for every dollar spent on experiences through Marriott Moments until the loyalty programs merge come August, when all Marriott members will receive 10 points per dollar spent.