A peony in the sink: flowers, florists and hotels
Notice to readers: the following lines may touch the cursilería. And much honor. In cynical times, cheesy is a beautiful refuge. When you talk about flowers, you run that risk, but here we love the risks of all things.
The flowers in the hotels, what a great theme. They are necessary? No. Do you define the hotel experience? Neither. Will we choose a hotel based on its floral centers? Absolutely. The flowers at first sight, are zero functional, a huge investment and nobody demands them. But there is its charm: the useless is useful. Let a guest do the check-in Having witness to some peonies is unnecessary but, thanks to those delicate little things called flowers, something starts to happen there. When flowers enter a space, life enters and forgiveness for this poetry of "everything to 100". If we feel that someone has taken pains to place a cut and fresh flower on the bedside table, we will feel that this person has been careful before in many other things. To get to the flower you have to go through other stadiums. The flower is a guarantee.
Tivoli Palácio de Seteais: flowers and good taste © Tivoli Palácio de Seteais
There is a hotel that has taken the role of flowers to the extreme. Is called George V (Four Seasons) We know it and we have it written down in that Evernote notebook that says: "Hotels where to sleep before you die". This Parisian hotel is the world reference in flowers and if it isn't, we just named it. Behind is a person, Jeff Leatham, who is an absolute wizard. Each week he decides on a topic and with a team of seven attendees he carries it out. The great Leatham (a guy from Ohio who has finished on the right bank of the Seine), buy 15,000 flowers per month and 150 bouquets per week. We must forget everything we know about flowers and hotels when crossing the lobby of Georges V.
Floral arrangement of Jeff Leatham at the Marble Courtyard in George V © Four Seasons George V
In Spain we have a couple of very interesting examples. The Arts Hotel has to Donna Stain after his flower arrangements. Donna, thanks for leaving Australia and coming to Barcelona, because they are fabulous. This woman has been working at the hotel since 2004 and also teaches workshops throughout the year. The next one will take place on June 1. In it he will teach to play with flowers in centers with water. That the Arts would be another (sadder and less nuanced) without Stain's flowers we have it clear.
Donna Stain behind the scenes © Hotel Arts
In Madrid there is a good example of a hotel that uses flowers with subtlety but with enormous awareness. Is the Hotel Villa Magna; It is a great hotel and it is for details like these: that glass vase that appears as-who-doesn't-want-the-thing with yellow flowers next to the sink, by the restaurant's dwarf orchids or by the orchid tree that is from January to June in the lounge. All rooms have orchids. Customers already expect it, as they expect the welcome fruit. The hotel has a history of VIP clients and knows which flowers each one likes. For example, Japanese or Chinese never offer white flowers. The rest, what they like best. The flowers of this hotel also come from Holland, but in this case, they do not make as much noise as those of the Arts or George V. But there they are, massaging our subconscious and sending us a clear message: "I take care of you and surround you with beauty."
Hotel Villa Magna: floral subtlety © Hotel Villa Magna
Flowers are delicate material and that is why not everyone dares. Neither can nor know. They are not heritage of luxury hotels, this is important. Sometimes some coves in a room, or a cove, are enough to generate a good memory. And isn't that what travel and living is about? I already warned you: this text was going to touch (to go through) the cursilería.
Vases and flowers that warrant a trip © Anabel Vázquez