|Spend $1M a year on fresh flowers? The Paris Four Seasons George V does. See the monochromatic lobby design for Valentine's weekend. http://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/jeff-leatham-flowers-four-seasons-george-v|
“It never stops,” Jeff Leatham says as he works buckets of crimson ‘Naomi’ roses (named for Naomi Campbell, of course) into slick black vessels in the lobby of Paris’s Four Seasons George V. As the hotel’s artistic director, Leatham and his team change the floral scheme every three weeks, like clockwork. The actual flowers, though, are changed every single day, which adds up to roughly 12,000 stems a week and an annual flower budget of over $1 million.
“We’re big on first impressions,” Leatham says. “When people walk into the hotel, you want to make them say, ‘Wow!’”
But it's more than just the entryway. Flowers are incorporated throughout the hotel—in the restaurant, in the guest rooms, in the spa, and, of course, in the courtyard, where, come spring, orchids will cascade from the sky.
The master plan for today’s assortment of Valentine’s Day–hued blooms—10,000 ‘Naomi’ roses and 2,500 phalaenopsis orchids—was that they be frozen inside glass boxes à la Damien Hirst. But when container destined for the lobby inconveniently shattered, Leatham had to think on his feet. The new plan is no less stunning. Black vessels in varying heights host dense bouquets in the lobby. A Flemish tapestry serves as a painterly backdrop to architectural arrangements in a vestibule toward the hotel restaurant, Le Cinq. And a gleaming silver faceted polar bear—a Leatham hallmark—whose nose stretches up to practically touch the chandelier in a hallway is surrounded by a bed of crimson roses.
And in just a few short weeks, it will all be transformed yet again.
“So many people say they stay here because of the flowers,” Leatham says. “So it’s a huge responsibility. I never want a guest to come in and say, ‘Oh, I’ve seen that before.’