“Florals? For spring? Ground breaking.” We hear you, Miranda Priestly. But strolling through a half dozen or so hotel lobbies, we couldn’t resist whipping out a camera and celebrating spring with flowers.
In the early and mid 20th century a flower shop was a must at large urban hotels. Besides eye-catching blooms for the lobby, weddings and parties on the premises, the shop sent flowers to guest rooms on behalf of friends and associates (guests checked in for longer than a night or two in the years before air travel). The shop also stocked the boutonnieres and corsages that were the mark of the well dressed.
Such shops are a rarity today, but the custom of dressing the lobby with fresh blooms lives on.
As New York’s economy has revived, we’re seeing hotels all over town springing for big bouquets delivered each week.
Here’s a look at what’s blooming in lobbies around the city.
Twin urns bursting with spring blooms flank the entry to the lobby sitting room at the Ritz Carlton New York Central Park. The flowers sit at the top of a pair of tall pedestals, so look up as you enter.
The round glass-topped Regency table in the entry alcove at the Plaza holds the most-photographed hotel buds in town. (We waited our turn next to three other photographers to snap these beauties.) The Plaza won’t let you take pictures once you enter the lobby, but the flowers aren’t as abundant once you get past this table, either.
Prior to the Pierre‘s 2009 refurbishment you could have drinks and afternoon tea in the Rotunda. No more (and we miss that). But this windowless signature room at the Pierre is now a flower-lover’s haven, with tall, flashy blooms on view year round. The murals enveloping the room are the work of Edward Melcarth (1914-1973), who painted them in 1967 (which explains the man in the Nehru jacket and the woman resembling Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis with two children).
A single vase from the Pierre Rotunda table.
At some hotels flowers indicate a special occasion. Not so the Jumeirah Essex House. The round mirrored table in the center of the lobby is piled high with flowers all year.
The Ace sells fresh flowers in the lobby vestibule (sometimes). So small surprise big buds are usually on view amidst the laptops and coffee cups. (Black makes such a dramatic backdrop.)