I met with Robert Cohen, who co-owns the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills with his older brother Joseph and their wives Beverly and Sue. Robert and his family were originally in the flower business and the land where the hotel is situated was actually the former home to one of their main flower shops. He actually used to sell flowers on the side of the road as a child and acquired his first flower shop as a teenager.
I have always been impressed with the flowers and beautiful landscaping at the hotel, ever since I had my Bar Mitzvah there. Robert Cohen, also known as "RC" gave me a detailed tour of the garden and patio areas of Culina restaurant, Windows Lounge bar and the pool deck. He is so passionate about succulents, and he said he has a spectacular succulent garden at his estate in Newport Beach.
I was interested to learn how he built the hotel in the '80's. He was able to purchase the block of land where one of his flower shops was, and partnered with Four Seasons to build and manage the hotel. Originally, the Cohen family was going to partner with Le Meridien, but after a trip to the Four Seasons London on Park Lane, they were so impressed with the service, that they decided to have Four Seasons manage the hotel.
What's most impressive to me, is that RC brings his personal landscaping crew down to Orange County to select the succulents and lemon trees for the hotel. He's personally looked at hundreds of lemon trees to select which ones he wanted at Four Seasons. At his Newport Beach house, he creates succulents to be mounted with copper wire into various shapes, leaves them for two weeks and then brings them to the hotel to mount.
He showed us succulents in the shape of hearts at the Windows Lounge bar patio and a gigantic succulent wall above the fire-water patio at Culina.
He was impressed that I remembered when he had special plant displays on the balconies of all suites 10 years ago! It is unique for the owner of a hotel to live on property and the hotel really feels like a home in many respects, especially with the well-attended to gardens.
Know of another hotel with awesome flower power? Send us a bouquet! Er, we mean tell us who!