What could be more exquisite than always having fresh flowers? People began decorating their homes with blooms as early as the XV century. Flowers can tell a lot about the place, its host or a character of a luxury hotel. But 600 years later, where have all the flowers suddenly gone?
Spending more time in Singapore than he had ever planned, the Sybaritic Single noticed that there were barely any decent florals in the hotels to speak of. The Regent, The Ritz-Carlton Millenia and Four Seasons did not have a single floral in the rooms. Even the iconic Raffles had just some dime a dozen small red carnations here and there. Not that the Sybaritic Single expected extravagant Jeff Leatham grade arrangements in his bedroom, but a decent vase with flowers would have been a nice touch – especially with the nightly rates consistently above a thousand dollars.
Sipping a morning oolong, he shared his observations with the manager of Four Seasons who immediately sent a few abundant blooms to the room. The florist at The Millenia was much less agreeable or talented and charged the Sybaritic Single a few hundred dollars on top of the rate before sending upstairs a sad dozen of wilted roses.
Curiously, it wasn’t just hotel accountants cutting cost, but apparently the entire world is facing an unprecedented shortage of fresh flowers (a lame excuse for Singapore though). Floral growers lost so much with all the wasted or unsold product from the global shutdown in 2020, and were apprehensive on how much to plan for the years ahead. Some even switched jobs completely. Apparently, the wedding industry got hit the hardest.
But what surprised the Sybaritic Single beyond words was a soulless plastic orchid in his Singapore Airlines A380 suite. That on a departure from Changi, the airport famous for its own orchid garden with more than 700 plants. Accustomed to generous flower arrangements onboard Emirates (pots of orchids), Qatar Airways (abundance of roses) or Lufthansa (a stiff single red rose at every seat still makes a difference), he perfumed his suite with the frangipani room spray that he got from Raffles Hotel and prepared for take-off feeling superficially disappointed.