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August 9, 2022

St. Regis Launches Champagne Sabrage Masterclasses

The private classes will teach the art of the theatrical ritual.

By Kim Ayling

St.Regis has upped the ante of its experiential offering with the introduction of private champagne sabrage masterclasses across all of its northern American hotels and resorts. Available to guests and locals alike, the exclusive classes will guide participants through the theatrical art of sabrage, before inviting them to try their hand at the ritual themselves.

While the art of champagne sabering, which sees a bottle dramatically opened by ripping the top off with a specially-made saber sword, dates back some 200 years and is thought to have been invented by Napoleon during the French Revolution, St. Regis’s longstanding connection to the ritual is also impressive. The hotel group’s founder John Jacob Astor IV is said to have been enamored by the outlandish glamor and sense of occasion of the act and sabered a bottle of champagne nightly to celebrate the close of day.

Since then, the undeniably ostentatious act (in the best way possible) has been ingrained into the identity of the St. Regis portfolio, with hotels and resorts around the world continuing the tradition of night sabrage rituals.

[See also: Tasting Notes: Charles Heidsieck’s Champagne Charlie is Back]

champagne at st. regis hotel
The exclusive classes will guide participants through the theatrical art of sabrage / ©St. Regis

“Champagne sabering has long been a part of our history at St. Regis, dating back to 1904 when our vanguard founder John Jacob Astor IV sabered a bottle nightly to celebrate a spirited transition from day to night,” says George Fleck, vice president and global brand leader, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts. “Honoring our heritage as a house of celebration, we are delighted to offer guests the opportunity to take part in this sparkling ritual and master the most glamorous of all cocktail party tricks at our hotels & resorts across North America.”

While the nightly ritual is a more public one, the new experience promises to be far more intimate with the promise of equipping participants with a new party trick for their next at-home soiree. Each booking accommodates a maximum of just four guests, with an expertly trained St. Regis butler sharing invaluable knowledge on how to saber a bottle not only as captivatingly as possible, but also safely and effectively. Masterclasses are also inclusive of a selection of carefully crafted canapes, and other location-specific extras.

Currently, the experience is available on request across the St. Regis North America portfolio, including hotels in Deer Valley, Aspen Toronto, New York and San Francisco, among others, and is priced at around $500 per group.

[See also: The World’s Most Expensive Champagne Sells for $2.5m]

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