During one weekend, a beautiful wedding is held on the eighth floor terrace of the Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis, overlooking the Gateway Arch. A couple days later, the area is transformed for an evening of wine and cheese pairings as part of a company retreat. With a variety of spaces and options for a multitude of events, the hotel aims to accommodate every client who steps through the downtown hotel’s doors. “We run the full gamut: from weddings to social gatherings to corporate events,” says director of catering Marianne Moore. “Clients have the freedom to customize their event however they’d like.”
The Four Seasons prides itself on combining that flexibility with the quality that comes with being a AAA Five Diamond property, Moore says. The hotel, which opened in 2008, offers both traditional, as well as unique areas to plan an occasion around. Hosts can choose from the grand ballroom for weddings and galas, smaller tech-equipped rooms for business meetings, the pool area or terrace for outdoor events, and the fireplace in the eighth-floor lobby for intimate gatherings. “We can accommodate everyone from two people at the fireplace to 500 in the ballroom,” Moore explains. “We’re never locked into a set style because we can transition the spaces in many different ways.”
While the Four Seasons’ reputation as a luxury hotel evokes a quality experience in people’s minds, it also creates the perception that the venue may be out of their budgets—a mindset that the hotel is working to eliminate, Moore says. “A common misconception is that we’re expensive and that’s not necessarily true. With such a talented culinary team and a variety of resources, we have the flexibility to meet our clients’ goals and their budgets.”
Once a venue is chosen, the Four Seasons team can assist with the planning to stick with that budget. While most brides utilize a wedding planner, the hotel can arrange details for smaller events, or provide clients with its preferred vendor list. “We can be involved as much or as little as they’d like,” Moore says.
One of the most important elements of any event, the food, is prepared in-house by the culinary team behind the hotel’s Cielo restaurant. With executive chef Fabrizio Schenardi leading the way, the team creates tailored menus, while sourcing local products. “Everyone expects us to be a big corporate entity with standard food, but our chef is building relationships with area farmers, and bringing the food from farm to table. We’re not taking the easy way out,” Moore notes.
Whether it’s a 13-year-old’s karaoke birthday celebration or a lavish gala, the Four Seasons works to ensure a successful party. From adjusting a menu to meet a guest’s dietary needs, to sewing a bride into her gown, the hotel team navigates any last-minute obstacles, Moore says. “We try to make sure everything is perfect, and we’re willing to do whatever it takes to make it right. We want the experience to be great.”