This isn’t your typical hotel review – and focuses on the Global Cuisine Series (cooking class & luncheon) part of my Marriott Moments experience.
Premise: Marriott Moments
As mentioned previously, this auction by Marriott Moments mirrors Starwood Moments, which are unique experiences crafted by these hospitality companies for valued guests. This is my first non-traditional points redemption, which is something other than hotel stays or airline miles, and I was very excited when presented with this opportunity, especially as it was at a Ritz-Carlton.
Research: Global Cuisine Series
Both Moments programs had an abundance of selection, ranging from culinary to sports, music to theater, however only a few opportunities fit my location and time criteria. Some of the more exotic ones included 7-day cruises in Germany, or a 15-minute conversation with some famous sports person about fantasy sports, or attending VIP suites at a game or holiday parades. However, the auction for a “Global Cuisine Series” peaked my interest, as it was a great value (ended up being 90,000 Marriott points) for a night’s stay, resort credit, class, and lunch. To read more about the stay, see my previous post, as this one will focus on the cooking class and luncheon.
Room: Views Galore
More details on the room here in my previous post, but this room was nothing special, other than the nice view. As it is a Ritz (as opposed to a Marriott or an SPG), transferred Platinum status isn’t worth much at all, without any upgrade or breakfast. I was hoping for a nice suite, but only got an exterior view of the greenery and water.
Cooking Class: First Time!
This class was with Chef Charles Olalia, of Ricebar Los Angeles. His restaurant specializes in, as you might have guessed, rice dishes, from the Philippines. Apparently, we learned that the Ritz Carlton hosts this dining series, where chefs are invited from all over to lead a cooking class and hold a luncheon for guests. In particular, Chef Olalia was very familiar with the head chef at the Ritz, having worked in Half Moon Bay many years ago before opening his restaurant.
The class started bright and early, and after introductions we learned plenty on the culture and history of Chef Olalia, his restaurant, and his culinary background. Each guest had his or her own station, complete with cutting board, knives, and apron. A beautiful apron, yours to keep!
Dishes included Lumpia, Pork Lechon, and ice cream. Much of our work was menial, as to be expected, cutting vegetables, stabbing pork, and stirring of other dishes.
Class was about two hours, and we finished a bit early so Chef decided to make another dish for our lunch!
Everything we made (and a bit more) was included, such as the two types of rice dishes, an amazing tofu dish, cooked fish, delicious pork, and tasty ice cream push pops. Some were better than others, but it depends on your preference and taste. Also, each dish was paired with a glass of wine, recommended and explained by the hotel sommelier, for your enjoyment. In addition, we enjoyed great conversation with the other guests. Interestingly, we found another couple who won the other auction (albeit at 92,500 points). Normally, this package will be $950/night, minimum two nights, for a total cost over $2,000, most likely.
Lastly, I would call this a successful test of the Rewards program, to see that everything worked out. Additionally, this impressed and excited my lady, and she told me she thought I was going to propose. I shrugged it off – to me, this was just another weekend trip, and something we could do more regularly. Of course, 90,000 Marriott isn’t something I can earn per week. But, I could probably earn it per month (if I pushed it very hard). It was a wonderful, wonderful experience, and delightful surprise for my lady.
Featured Image is of my favorite dish of the lunch cuisine. Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links which, should you click through and/or make a purchase, grant me a commission. Also, I only post in the best interest of my readers. Lastly, thank you for supporting my blog and my travels.
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