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Starwood Hotels Rewards Its Regulars With An Exclusive Ben Folds Concert [Photos]


ben folds five starwood event

This past Friday, Starwood invited us to the opening of its newest hotel, the Westin at Grand Central in New York City.

Coupled with the opening of this brand new Westin, Starwood Preferred Guests (SPG) — the hotel chain's guest rewards program — hosted an event as part of it's "Hear the Music, See the World" series of exclusive concerts around the world.

Friday's artist was Ben Folds Five. The performance was the sixth out of nine that Starwood is hosting in the series, which also includes shows by Natasha Beddingfield in Dubai and Thievery Corporation at the W Santiago.

Friday's event was particularly special for Starwood because this was one of the first performances Ben Folds had put on from their newest studio album, the band's first in 13 years.

Click here to jump straight to photos of last week's exclusive Starwood event >

Before the show on Friday, we got a chance to speak with Starwood's Senior Vice President of SPG Chris Holdren about some of the hotel company's perks, like the "Hear the Music, See the World" series, which is part of its partnership with Live Nation.

"Events like these are part of Starwood's SPG moments effort. SPG moments is a way for our members who spend a lot of their life on the road to be able to redeem the points they earn on sort of 'money can't buy' experiences to share with their loved ones," Holdren said.

SPG's Moments campaign revolves around three key passion points for members: music, sports, and the arts.

"Hear the Music is our signature series, but we also offer different VIP experiences such as exclusive access at big concerts, where people can go backstage, and meet the artist," Holdren explained.

In the past, Starwood has offered members singing lessons with Natasha Beddingfield in exchange for points. And during the recent U.S. open, members could redeem points for a tennis lesson with Andre Agassi.

It seems as if the SPG perks are endless.

This event was to celebrate the Grand Opening of The Westin. Located just blocks away from the bustling Grand Central Terminal, the hotel is certainly convenient. A Westin spokesperson told us that $75 million was placed into renovations for the building.

Before the party started we got to view one of the guest rooms. Most guest rooms start at 300 square feet. Here is the Corner King Room.

Each room also includes a new Starbucks Verismo machine.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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