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Use your Marriott Bonvoy points for lunch – or a cooking class – at ‘Core by Clare Smyth’

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Clare Smyth has a surprisingly low public profile as a chef.  This is, perhaps, an odd thing to say about someone voted “Best Female Chef in the World” but few people knew that she was head chef at Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea when it was collecting three Michelin stars year after year.

Smyth opened her own restaurant, Core, in Notting Hill in 2017.  On 9th October, Marriott Bonvoy is organising a special lunch event.

They did this last year, and I went along with my wife (not a freebie, I used 32,000 of my own Marriott points).  Here is a photo of me chatting with Clare.  Don’t ask why I’m pointing – we’d all had quite a bit to drink by this point …..

Core Clare Smyth

This was the definition of a ‘money can’t buy’ event – except you could buy it for as few as 30,000 Marriott Bonvoy points, which is the sign up bonus on the SPG American Express card.  Booking a table in the normal way got very difficult when the restaurant was awarded two Michelin stars last year, just 14 months after opening.

There is a slight difference this year as the event is being run by head chef Jonny Bone and not Clare herself.

There are two offers.  The first is two places at a champagne and canape reception in the kitchen followed by a three course lunch with paired winesYou can bid for that here.  There are 15 pairs of tickets available, with a minimum bid of 30,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.  Based on last year, 35,000 points should be enough and you may get lucky at the minimum 30,000 points.

The second offer which will undoubtedly go for a higher points price is a cookery class, starting with breakfast and then moving on to prepare parts of the lunch, followed by the reception and lunch outlined above.  You can bid for that here.  There are four packages available, with a minimum bid of 75,000 points.  A friend of mine did this last year and found it a great experience.

There is, as I like to stress on HfP, a lot you can do with your points outside of more flights and more hotel rooms.  Hilton, Marriott and Emirates all offer excellent ‘experiences’ packages for points, and we feature the best of them on HfP as they come up.

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (July 2024)

There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.

You can apply here.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

20,000 points for signing up and 15 elite night credits each year Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Premium and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points AND (to 27th August) £400 to spend at Amex Travel Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:

and for small business owners:

The conversion rate from American Express to Marriott Bonvoy points is 2:3.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Marriott Bonvoy points

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (40)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • ugraag says:

    Do bonvoy stll have the box at the O2? There doesnt seem to be anything on offer at the moment

    • Rob says:

      I was under the impression they had signed a new long term deal. Nothing really happens in August though as people are away. Perhaps we’re about to see a long list of dates unveiled for Autumn.

  • Chrisasaurus says:


    Booking Marriott LHR – double double. Booking for 2 adults 2 children and its adding a £30 additional person charge.

    Anyone know if this is right? Rate says it includes breakfast for 2ad and 2ch anyway and it already has 2 beds so not asking for foldaway…

    On a >£200 rate it seems a bit greedy

    • MrHandBaggageOnly says:

      That is odd (and would agree greedy). Only seems to apply to that hotel though. The Moxy for example doesn’t appear to add an extra £30. I’d be looking for a different hotel personally.

      • Chrisasaurus says:

        Well now, nice spot – wasnt availability when I booked the marriott, I’ll switch it I think since arriving super late

  • Munch says:

    OT Back in May I booked one night with Hilton using Tesco vouchers. No points posted so after contacting Hilton on chat they posted the points as normal and credited the night as one stay. I recently booked two separate stays with Hilton using Tesco vouchers. Again the points never posted so on chat I questioned the issue and they said they would post the points as a “one off” exception but wouldn’t credit the nights as stays. I currently trying to complete a diamond challenge and this puts me 2 stays behind.
    It seems one agent was happy to credit my first stay but another not to honour the two other stays. I booked the 2nd and 3rd stay with Tesco expecting the full credits of points and “stays” to meet my status challenge.
    Not sure if anyone has had any experience with “stays” booked with Tesco vouchers?

    • Rob says:

      Interesting, thanks. Historically they have always posted fine I think.

    • Peter K says:

      Hang up and call again?

      • Munch says:

        Agent now raised a case. I’ll report back when I have resolved. He was sympathetic as the first stay was corrected without issue.

        • Dan says:

          Try the live chat too. Often find different agents are invariably more inclined to help / not help!

  • RussellH says:

    Having disabled my adblocker on HfP, I get the surreal display of an article about a 2 Michelin Star restaurant carrying ads for KFC!!

    • Rob says:

      But that’s your fault for blocking cookies – you’d get classy travel ads otherwise!

  • Shoestring says:

    the bain Marie’s thataway, Clare my love – nice and warm

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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