40th Anniversary!

40th Anniversary!

Photo credit: Janet Donovan

If any scandals birthed at The Four Seasons in Georgetown, DC since it opened forty years ago, the walls weren’t talking; nor were the many managers both past and present that showed up to celebrate the 40th Anniversary. There have been no Eliot Spitzer-like hookups as in Room 871 at The Mayflower, no toe sucking presidential advisors like Dick Morris at The Jefferson – at least that we know of, but then again, the walls weren’t talking.

Here’s what we do know: Around 500 guests showed up and plucked Champagne from a model’s dress, food stations were abundant and overflowing, artists sketched enthusiastically, the entire lower floor was taken over for the event and everyone had a blast.

Here’s a story they did tell: “So I’ll leave you with one story about an employee who told us something extraordinary. A few years ago this gentleman worked here and he had a guest. We’ll call her Mrs. Brown and she used to come every week here for business. One night she checks in very late and she’s very tired and she calls room service and she’s like: ‘I’d like a cup of soup and with gluten-free bread.’  And the employee didn’t know if we had gluten-free bread and so he said: ‘Look, I’m not sure if we have any.’ And Mrs. Brown said, ‘Don’t worry, just send the cup of soup up to the room and I’m gonna go to bed.’ So they did.”

The Story Tellers: Christian Clerc – Worldwide President of Hotel Operations – Four Seasons;  Wolf Hengst – Original General Manager of  the Four Seasons Washington; David Bernand – Regional Vice President & General Manager  Photo credit: Paul Morigi

“That same employee meets Kali who works the telephone line and she tells this story she says: ‘You know Mrs. Brown called me. I was embarrassed. I didn’t know if we had any gluten-free bread.’ And this friend of hers, pal of hers says: ‘Look, my mom has this great recipe for gluten free bread and you know how gluten-free doesn’t taste very good? My mom’s bread tastes amazing.’ So they called the mom that night at 3 o’clock in the morning, they take the recipe, they take it to the overnight baker who bakes a loaf of gluten-free bread and they send it to Mrs. Brown with a note that says: ‘Mrs. Brown, we’re so sorry we didn’t have any gluten-free bread last night but we baked a loaf for you, hope you like it. If you like it, the recipe’s attached.’  To me, those are the moments; it’s not about the champagne, the caviar, all that beautiful stuff I really like. The Four Seasons is about people that make us feel like heroes and today’s about celebrities that come to Four Seasons and all of us normal people that come to Four Seasons to feel like celebrities.”  Sweet!