After undergoing property-wide renovations, the Four Seasons Hotel in Palo Alto, California has rebooted, if you will, its lobby bar and lounge, bringing it up to date to reflect its position in the heart of Silicon Valley. And, in true Silicon Valley fashion, the hotel has added a new feature with an inscrutable named that comes pre-loaded with plenty of hubris and technobabble. Called [esc] (get it? you get it) the new lobby bar is more than just a random assortment of letters and punctuation: according to a press release, it’s also “a dynamic and multifaceted lounge-style lobby and dining space, the very first of its kind in Palo Alto.”
While we’re a little skeptical of that last claim (surely there are other lobbies in Palo Alto?), [esc] offers the usual locally sourced bonafides, but it dresses them all up in tech-centric decor that’s “inspired by the communal and collaborative open-concept offices used by well-known Silicon Valley start-ups.” Highlights include: a 10-by-7-foot video wall, bespoke music playlists and “check-in pods” instead of a reception desk.
On the food front, things are a little bit more straightforward and even a little bit nicer than you’ll find in your standard startup kitchen. The lounge, which is separate from the hotel’s full restaurant Quattro, will offer coffee from Caffe Umbria and pastries baked in-house, plus tartines and charcuterie for midday bites. In the evenings, it will pivot into a wine bar, with weekly oysters and caviar nights, and its own technological aspect: PLUM’s on-demand, wine by the glass touchscreen system will be pouring selections from several local wineries without the need for unfortunate human interaction. The hotel also intends to install PLUM devices in “select rooms” starting this summer. So, in Silicon Valley at least, the hotel lobby bartender has now been replaced by technology.
Finally, Eater confirmed this is not, in fact, an April Fool’s joke.