Four Seasons + Three Kids = Fifth Birthday

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The Four Seasons chain has always been known for high-end service (in order to build a clientele of happy repeat customers), which means that there are as many as five staffers (doorman, greeter, three valets) standing in the porte-cochère to greet your taxi or limo. You'd expect nothing less in an establishment that charges upwards of $450 a night.

ART Four Seasons.jpg

Above: The Cotton Candy Kids (Sam Harley, Sebastian & Oliver Sear) with some of the Four Seasons' toys; restaurant manager Jorge Castillo pours the signature cocktail: the Alpine Martini.

Paying close attention to guests' preferences is important. Times are actually pretty good for luxury hotels these days, occupancy running at 70 percent. Ilse Harley, general manager of the Four Seasons in downtown Seattle, says that summer is always busy, "but we've seen an uptick in the off-season this year." That means corporate and group business, to be sure, but preparing for the high season is also a year-round project. To that end, Four Seasons is positioning itself into an urban resort (pool, spa, fine dining). And one big aspect of resorts is taking care of kids, training the staff to tune into what kids want.

Chef Kerry Sear-001.JPGKids aren't business travelers, of course, but once the weather gets better, once summer rolls around (Memorial Day until Labor Day), it's leisure travel that fills the rooms. So taking care of kids is paramount. If a server in the dining room notices that the kids at the table are getting restless, the youngsters are whisked off to the kitchen for a treat from the cotton-candy machine. Mmm good.

The restaurant's fifth birthday isn't until November, but they're already celebrating with specials every night of the week (for example, steak night is Saturday).

There's a lot more to this, though. Kerry Sear, who's been running the food & beverage side of things at the Four Seasons since he closed Cascadia in Belltown five years ago, loves being in Seattle and raising his family here but finds our vaunted Pike Place Market--just a block from the hotel--to be on the simple side. "Bangkok, on the other hand, has a vast market with fabulous fresh produce and amazing street food," he says. What impresses Sear locally is the rise in craft distilleries. His bar features 55 locally produced spirits, a real attraction for the hotel's adult guests. Almost as good as cotton candy.

ART Restaurant, Four Seasons Hotel, 99 Union St., Seattle, 206-749-7000  ART Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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This page contains a single entry by Cornichon published on May 29, 2013 9:00 AM.

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