The Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) loyalty program – new culinary benefits

Recently we were invited to Le Meridien KL, for the launch of a spanking new SPG ( Starwood Preferred Guest ) card, something the Starwood Group of hotels have revamped, and with added benefits.

This is great news as I have just signed up for my very own SPG Card. This card entitles me to 15% discounts at Prime, Favola, Latest Recipe, Villa Danieli, Celestial Court, Essence, Prego, Splash, The Living Room, Five5enses and Qba Latin Grill & Bar as well as over 300 participating restaurants and bars in Asia Pacific.. not bad if you think about how often I eat out!

SPG Card Starwood Group

At this launch hosted by Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur, we had three great Chefs under one roof, cooking for us. First up was Chef Garth Welsh who cooked for us our starters of Prawns, Haloumi cheese and watermelon. Australian born, Chef Garth Welsh is The Westin Kuala Lumpur’s newest addition to its evolving culinary team. As the new Director of Kitchens, Garth will oversee the overall kitchen operations and menu engineering of the hotel’s six signature concept restaurants. Prior to this, Garth was the Executive Chef of the Sheraton Full Moon Resort and Spa in Maldives. He spearheaded the team in all the hotel’s restaurants –Sea Salt, Feast, Baan Thai andSandCoast. Next with the main course of steak, was Chef Antoine Rodriguez. Born in Bordeaux, France, Antoine has gained his wealth of 30 years experience in culinary knowledge through his travels to Caribbean Island, Sri Lanka, Seychelles, Thailand, Africa and Turkey. As Le Meridien’s Executive Chef, Antoine is responsible for the overall culinary operations, food conceptualization, promotions, menu planning and ensuring high quality service delivery standards of 110 kitchen professionals. Last but not least, was Chef Rajesh Kanna who prepared our dessert for that afternoon. With 17 years experience of professional experience in the food and beverage industry, Chef Rajesh has gained the respect of his peers and recognition from the people within and outside the culinary world. While at the Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel, he has organized and executed various themed and unique menus for celebrities, key socialites and ambassadors.


L-R: Chef Rajesh Kanna of Sheraton Imperial KL, Chef Antoine Rodriguez of Le Meridien KL, Chef Garth Welsh of The Westin KL

This loyalty program just announced a mix of new culinary benefits at over 500 restaurants and bars for SPG members globally to enjoy. In conjunction with this announcement, SPG launched a new website,, where SPG members can take advantage of these exclusive discounts at more than 500 restaurants and bars worldwide, including Prime, Favola and Latest Recipe at Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur, Villa Danieli, Celestial Court and Essence at Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel as well as Prego, Splash, FiveSen5es, The Living Room, Qba Latin Grill & Bar at The Westin Kuala Lumpur.


the new SPG website

The website will also feature an opportunity to register and win an around the world VIP culinary journey with an SPG member only sweepstakes ‘Around the World in 5 Meals’. Members can earn Starpoints for these dining experiences and turn a night out into a weekend getaway. Through the SPG Moments program, SPG members will have access to VIP culinary experiences with world-renowned chefs such as Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud and Masaharu Morimoto. Currently available for members residing or travelling to North America, exciting culinary moments in nearby cities around Asia Pacific will be announced in the near future.


Chuck Abbott, Regional Vice President for Starwood Hotels & Resorts in South East Asia says that this represents a platform that showcases their award-winning portfolio of restaurants and chefs from around the world. Through proprietary programming, content, special access and discounts, they have created a resource that is ideal for their loyal guests.


L-R: Chuck Abbott, Regional Vice President for Starwood Hotels & Resorts in South East Asia and the lovely Cindy Yoong, Director of Marketing and Communications, Starwood Hotels.

In Kuala Lumpur, SPG members can receive 15% discounts at Prime, Favola, Latest Recipe, Villa Danieli, Celestial Court, Essence, Prego, Splash, The Living Room, Five5enses and Qba Latin Grill & Bar as well as over 300 participating restaurants and bars in Asia Pacific, and continue to earn Starpoints on all eligible food & beverage spend to get even closer to their next dream vacation. As part of SPG’s continued commitment to providing one of a kind experiences for its members, will also feature chef cooking classes and videos with SPG chefs demonstrating how to create their signature dishes.

Some photos of that afternoon’s events:


We were greeted by starters – 3 tables representing the 3 participating hotels and Chefs


swanky ipads that showed the menu for the day


the best things in life are free.. or heavily discounted! Get your SPG card today;)


The rather impressive lunch table


Me and Harvey – Harvey John Thompson is the GM of Le Meridien KL


Chef Garth Welsh really outdoes himself with the Starter of Prawn, Haloumi and Watermelon Salad

This Salad was so huge and yet exquisitely delicious, I could have stopped right there, and been happy to call it a day! We each had before us, individually plated starters of 3 huge prawns layered between 3 neatly cut, massive square chunks of grilled haloumi cheese and 3 succulent slices of watermelon. This was then tastefully garnished with pomegranate and a characteristic tabouleh dressing. The best way to eat this dish is to cut a small portion of prawn, cheese and watermelon and eat it in one swift mouthful. Too good for words!


Chef Garth Welsh tells me he saw my posts on the Sheraton Maldives and how he and Chef Sven Cepon were good buddies up in the Maldives!


The fabulous mains of Roasted Beef Tenderloin, by Chef Antoine Rodriguez

This next mains that showcased beef cooked in 3 ways, all served on the same platter was pretty impressive. Provencal crust with crushed pink peppercorn, clear beef jus, poached oyster blade in rich beef consomme (served in a shot glass), braised beef cheeks stuffed in a hollowed-out carrot trunk, fresh goat cheese and pistachio in beetroot jelly tube and apricot chutney and last but not least, a Yukon gold and orange sweet potatoes cake, with garlic & chives cream sauce.


He is my favourite Chef, so of course he can do no wrong in my books! LOL


The final and most beautifully plated dessert by Chef Rajesh Kanna – Tiramisu (from Villa Danieli), Chilled Mango Cream with Pearl Sago, Pomelo & Vanilla Icecream (from Celestial Court), Chocolate Madagascar topped with Poached Vanilla-scented Apricot (from Essence) & Black Sesame Macaron (from Toastina)


Chef Rajesh did a fine job of the desserts.. the sweetest ending to a terrific lunch!


So much fine talent under one roof.. I fear the room will explode!

Around the World in 5 Meals Sweepstakes – Win an Around the World Food Journey

To celebrate the launch of the new culinary benefits, SPG is launching an exclusive SPG member only, global sweepstakes, ‘Around the World in 5 Meals.’ SPG members are invited to create a tailor made ‘around the world’ food experience by selecting five destinations from all participating venues on a world map. SPG members submit their journey to be entered into a sweepstakes and one lucky member will then win their around the world culinary experience. To reward those SPG members that dine in participating restaurants and bars on an ongoing basis, every meal in a participating venue represents an extra entry to the sweepstakes. Register at

For more information about Starwood Preferred Guest please visit


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