From the moment you arrive at Old Trafford in Manchester, you know you’re not quite in for a normal day. The Marriott Bonvoy Suite is located within the Centennial Suites of the stadium, which are the highest level of hospitality offered by the team.
In fact, some of the players have their own suites in this section for friends and family.
How much would these tickets cost, retail, if you could even get them? I don’t know, but with free flowing champagne, filet of beef, gift bags and some of the most prized seats in the house, I’d hate to find out.
And anyway, why bother, when the experience can be acquired for two people, just by using points, Marriott Bonvoy Points.
Marriott Bonvoy Manchester United “Moment”
After walking across the players entrance at Old Trafford to reach the Centennial Suites entrance in the international stand, you find yourself approaching what looks like a valet station, or boutique hotel lobby.
Hardwood floors, large format photographs and yeah… a lot of red.
A quick frisk through a security station later, and a team of well dressed Manchester United hospitality ambassadors are whisking you into a private elevator, with a friendly member of staff showing you the way.
As you walk down the hallway, peering into groups of people having a good time and enjoying what looks like a fantastic array of food and drinks in their suites, you can’t help but hope that the Marriott Bonvoy Suite is on par, until you reach the suite.
Spoiler alert: it is.
Having experienced it first hand now, it’s clear that Marriott pulled out all the stops for these Marriott Bonvoy Moments, and anyone who bids enough Marriott Bonvoy Points to win two seats in this 12 person suite, is going to be seriously happy.
The food is fantastic, the wine and beverages are worth drinking and the hospitality is of the highest magnitude. As the suite door opened, our incredible suite host, Sarah, had the champagne (and yes, it’s really champagne, not prosecco) ready.
Rarely in life have I seen anything which distracted me from a welcoming glass of champagne, but looking out onto this iconic football (soccer) pitch, and even more iconic stadium — empty — did just that.
Bonvoy Moments are supposed to create a “money can’t buy” vibe, and there we were, sitting in the empty stadium, more than an hour before anyone else who would fill the 74,000 seats would be let in.
Not only that, we were able to take a tour, which included a brief seat in the hallowed supporters end behind the goal. Seeing how animated this section got later in the day gave me a new appreciation for it, late on!
After an abbreviated stadium tour (due to extra covid-19 security protocols), we were invited back into the suite for another top up and the first course of our multi course feast.
Appetizers included legitimately excellent smoked salmon, eggs benedict and a variety of other delights for this early kick off. Next up was a fantastic and diverse menu for the main course, including choice of monkfish curry, a pesto and pumpkin lasagne and filet of beef, all with great sides. They’re not going cheap here, for sure.
After a few glasses of wine and way too much food, dessert was hard to manage, but worth the indulgence, and included a magnificent cassis parfait and salted caramel and chocolate torte.
Again, I just could not get over being able to read M-A-N-C-H-E-S-T-E-R on the seat covers with the stadium empty. As you can plainly see, it made for some fun photos.
The suite was equipped with a large TV inside, and the seats just outside the suite also offered tv’s directly above the seats. This was an amazing feature, because if there was intense action, you could immediately watch the reply thereafter and then refocus.
It’s All About The Old Trafford Crowd Though
I’m so glad I can now say that I saw the legend that is Cristiano Ronaldo play football. He really just moves at a different pace; with a vision for the game that’s proprietary.
And honestly, I’m not even a Manchester United fan (sorry, Man U fans). I am now a fan of Manchester United crowds though.
My goodness, what a glorious way to see the passion of humanity back in the flesh. The game almost takes a backseat to the passion in the songs and the cheering for the team. Even the football IQ of fans is (mostly) evident, as plays evolve.
And you’ve got to give it to the away team fans, in this instance Aston Villa, for doing their best to try and drown out the cheers of about 72,000 others, shouting “you can hear us singing”. However unsuccessful they may have been. Well, minus the result.
Marriott Bonvoy Manchester United Experience: Worth It?
These coveted suite seats, stadium tour and hospitality are available via the Marriott Bonvoy Moments auctions, and bidding starts at 35,000 for the two seats and full on experience.
To score a game for yourself and a companion, or for others, you bid Marriott Bonvoy Points and FYI, Marriott Bonvoy is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Currently, due to more than a year without travel and a signing by the name of a Cristiano Ronaldo, two seats, with full hospitality starts at 35,000 points, but some highly sought after games are reaching 300,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points.
It’s not inexpensive by any stretch, accounting for up to 3 high end nights in a top hotel. But for people who earn tons of points and pay for most hotels anyway, this is a near priceless way to enjoy an iconic stadium in a very privileged way.
If you’re a Manchester United fan, or just an experiential fan, it’s truly incredible. All future Manchester United Moments packages can be found here.
GSTP was a guest of Marriott Bonvoy, but to be fair, we’ve used Marriott Bonvoy Points for Marriott Moments on numerous occasions. This allowed us to ‘save some points’.