Crafty: Marriott Unveils Paid Champagne Sabrage “Masterclass” at St Regis Hotels.


The St Regis hotel brand has been known for its champagne sabrage opportunities. The St Regis hotels have typically offered a champagne sabrage activity, which is usually offered once or twice a week. Soon, we are going to potentially see a change to this activity that some may say will make it more exclusive, whereas others will say that it is the start of a feature devaluation. Read on to see what the changes are…

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Crafty: Marriott Unveils Paid Champagne Sabrage “Masterclass” at St Regis Hotels.

The St Regis hotel brand within the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program is a particular elite brand that I’ve always enjoyed staying at. The hotels are usually super opulent and luxurious which make for a very comfortable stay. In addition to having high levels of fit and finish, they usually have great resort experiences and spaces.

Sun Soaking at the St Regis Deer Valley

We have had some excellent stays at the St Regis Bal Harbour Miami and the previously flagged St Regis Mauritius on two separate visits and occasions. This has included the opportunity to test out their champagne sabring experiences, which are normally provided on a complimentary group basis with a glass or two of champagne offered at the end of the experience.

There are Usually Great Experiences at St Regis Properties – St Regis Mauritius

The champagne sabrage experiences have always been an enjoyable affair, with usually a lot of joy in the room or outdoor garden during my past experiences.

I’ve always had the opportunity to have a good conversation with some other international guests as we shared this experience together before, during and after the event. Needless to say, having other guests in the experience added to the fun and enjoyment of the event.

We have always had this offered to us on a specific night during a stay on a complimentary basis as Marriott Bonvoy / Starwood Preferred Guest elites.

Marriott has Announced Champagne Sabrage Masterclasses at St Regis:

Well, Marriott has decided to formalize their champagne sabring by offering Private Masterclasses in the art of champagne sabrage.

Through their press release, their Masterclasses will allow guests (and locals) the opportunity to learn about champagne sabrage under the expert guidance of a trained St Regis Butler on a wholly private basis.

The St Regis Bal Harbour Miami, USA

Marriott describes that the Masterclass is available for groups up to four people and that the experience will include a 30-minute masterclass, a bottle of champagne, and canapés with additional add-ons that vary property to property.

A specific price point for this opportunity was not specifically announced within the press release. My guess is that this will cost between $200 – $300 USD, assuming it includes a nice bottle of chilled champagne.

Those that are looking to arrange this experience, are to contact the properties directly; presumably through the concierge program.


Where are the Masterclasses being Offered?

Surprisingly, the St Regis Sabrage Masterclasses are not being offered everywhere. The current properties that are offering the Master Class are listed as follows:

  • The St. Regis Atlanta,
  • The St. Regis Aspen Resort,
  • The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort,
  • The St. Regis Deer Valley,
  • The St. Regis Houston,
  • The St. Regis New York,
  • The St. Regis San Francisco,
  • The St. Regis Toronto,
  • The St. Regis Washington D.C

Interestingly enough, the current list is limited to North American properties with the exception of the properties in Mexico. These include, the St Regis Mexico City, St Regis Punta del Minta and St Regis Kanai Resort Rivera Maya.

We’ve Had Great Champagne Sabrage in the Gardens of the St Regis Mauritius

The participating properties list includes all their North American properties which are a reasonable combination of city and resort locations. Accordingly, we can’t really draw any inference as to whether this is limited to specific properties seeking to increase revenue opportunities at specific locations, or whether this is being assessed as a test market region with a high amount of disposable income with clients that like to spend on travel experiences.

What do I think about this development?

We have all come to grow a little skeptical recently of the Marriott Bonvoy program. Recent enhancements to the program have led to properties not delivering on elite benefits and a devaluation of points as a result of new variable pricing.

Admittedly, my St Regis stays haven’t necessarily gotten as mainstream and diluted as my stays at North American Marriotts and Sheratons. However, it’s not hard to feel that there is less value in the program these days.

While it is a great idea for St Regis properties to formalize a paid private service for champagne sabrage sessions, I can’t help but wonder if this is the eventual transition for the champagne sabrage to move to a “pay per use” model with this being the test market or sample to determine whether this experience will take off?

At the very least, it seems to be an easy way for a hotel to charge for that bottle of champagne, that otherwise previously went to guests on a complimentary basis.

Will Paid Champagne Sabrage Lead to Pursuing other Activities at St Regis Properties?

It is also a great use of St Regis to use their resources to be able to offer something on a wholly private basis. Arguably, a private champagne sabrage is something that any five star luxury hotel brand should be available to offer its guests, even if it is on a “request” basis. The St Regis Butler’s at any hotel are a fixed cost that the hotel will have to pay for anyway, in order to deliver a minimum level of services. As a result, the butlers are likely on site anyway.

I just hope that this doesn’t mean the end of complimentary champagne sabrage at St Regis properties around the world, once hotels get comfortable gaining a revenue stream for those seeking such an experience.


The Bottom Line: St Regis Champagne Sabrage Masterclass

Marriott under the St Regis brand has decided to formalize the ability to offer private champagne sabrage master classes.

While the classes are initially being offered at their North American properties, it is possible we may seen this expanded to other St Regis properties around the world.

It is too early to tell whether this is a test of whether to charge for champagne sabrage services, or whether this is intended for guests who solely want a more private and exclusive experience.

What do you make of this recent “enhancement” to champagne sabrage at St Regis hotels and resorts ?

2 Comments on “Crafty: Marriott Unveils Paid Champagne Sabrage “Masterclass” at St Regis Hotels.

  1. Definitely a “nickel and diming” of a St. Regis experience that used to be free to those who knew the time and place for this experience. I wonder if they’ll figure out how to get out of free breakfast for Plat+ members next (a la Ritz and Edition).


    • The pandemic has seen many hotels find ways to lessen costs but this seems to be among the first we’ve seen of it on a brand scale (aside from reward program devaluations).

      Hopefully, we will keep our fingers cross that this doesn’t spread across all the St Regis hotels globally.

      Thanks for reading.


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