May 11, 2009

Four Seasons + Hermès = The Ultimate Rolls-Royce::

The Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris has just unveiled the ultimate luxury automobile - the world's only Hermès-designed, hand-built Rolls-Royce Phantom. The one-of-a-kind car was custom made to the famed hotel's specifications by Rolls-Royce in collaboration with the legendary French fashion house. 

The project, which took a year to complete, was overseen by the luxury hotel's in-house Artistic Director Jeff Leatham. He first selected the car's color scheme to match the famed hotel's "personality". The team at Hermès' Interieur & Design department then conceived and created customized upholstery and accessories based on the aesthetics and rich heritage of the Four Seasons George V. 

Leatham selected two tones of elegant gray for the Rolls' exterior, anthracite and titanium, and a deep rose leaf gray was chosen for the full Hermès glove-soft leather interior. Key elements such as the steering wheel and passenger consoles were finished in Hermès Taurillon Plume calfskin to complement the rest. A romantic touch was added in the form of a "starlight headliner": a canopy consisting of 800 lights on the Rolls' roof liner as a tribute to the City of Lights. 

Leatham followed each step of the fabrication process from the Rolls-Royce motorworks in Goodwood, England to the ateliers of Hermès in Pantin, France. While the car was being hand-built in Goodwood, 39 of its interior parts including the door handles, steering wheel and interior consoles were shipped to France and entrusted to the expert craftsmen of Hermès. As a finishing touch, classic Hermès throws in complementary color schemes were stowed in the passenger area.

"The Hotel's goal in commissioning two of the world's most talented makers of luxury goods to collaborate on the project was to create an experience that is unsurpassed for our guests in Paris," says Christopher Norton, Regional Vice President and General Manager of the Four Seasons Hotel George V. ''This Rolls-Royce represents a marriage of like-minded brands that are single-mindedly focused on the very highest of standards and quality. As it is the hotel's 80th anniversary this year, it is fitting to introduce an experience that is unique in the world and only available at Four Seasons George V." 

When the car was complete, five drivers were appointed by the George V and specially trained by Rolls-Royce to operate the precious vehicle. The car is available to hotel guests for airport pick-up at a rate of about $1,000, and for day trips or business in Paris, at a rate of about $5,000 per day, via the hotel's Concierge desk.

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