The Envoy Hotel, Autograph Collection

The Envoy Hotel, Autograph Collection

The city of Boston is on the rise with a flourishing scene in hospitality. Hotels like The Envoy prove just the spectacular possibilities Boston is capable of. Located in the heart of Boston’s innovation district, discover a hotel with a pretty unique set up. Bold interiors, interesting art pieces and easy style are set in contrast to the city’s New England traditions.

Modern and stylish, yet efficient, rooms are oriented to the water, and have a quintessentially urban view of Boston. Simple layouts that provide floor to ceiling windows, give you the sense you are floating over the harborfront. Perhaps the most unique aspect is the rooftop of the hotel, where you will find The LOOKOUT Bar & Grill boasting views of Boston. In the summer this is obviously one action packed spot, but it does not compromise its location in winter either, when unique bubble tents are erected, so you can still sip, savor and keep warm.

Downstairs in the lobby level of the hotel, you will find The OUTLOOK Kitchen + Bar American, which draws its inspiration for cuisine from the unique Boston landscape. There are of course seasonal variations to dishes, locally sourced food, all resulting in a “one of a kind” approach to their food and drink. Highlights include sharing dishes like the Blue Bay Hill Muscles (in thia curry with cilatro, served with fresh sourdough bread) or the Grilled Italian Eggplant (sprinkled with sunflower and pomegranate seeds and served with Green Goddess naan bread.) Mains vary from seafood dishes like the Seared Atlantic Halibut (served with grilled baby bok choy, barley and mushroom broth) to their Kurobuta Pork Chop (served with sunchokes, carrot puree and warm baby greens.)  Dine away all while overlooking the wondrous waterscape the hotel sits on.

The bar highlights hand made craft cocktails, infusions and micro brews including a special beer brewed specifically for OUTLOOK Kitchen + Bar, small batch bourbons, single malt scotches an interesting, carefully selected wine program. Cocktails like Elevation (New Amsterdam Gin, Limoncello, White and Vine, topped with soda and watermelon) prove the bar’s unique mixology menu. Even if you just come for the food and drink, be sure to stay to experience the live entertainment offered at least 5 nights a week.

All in all, The Envoy raises the bar of exciting things to come in this ever growing city.

The SLS Hotel South Beach


Miami has been turning up the heat for decades, but on my recent visit to stay at the SLS Hotel South Beach, I can honestly say I was truly impressed by the perfect combination of sunshine chic meets urban beach.

If you happen to be a city dweller – or even if you don’t – The SLS South Beach provides just the right amount of ‘chill’ to unwind in one of the world’s most vibrant cities. The hotel features an artistic blend of Latin, Asian, contemporary and art deco influences; with its rooftop design depicting a lantern reaching toward the sky, the old queen (originally built in 1939) is the tallest art deco building in South Beach.

In the rooms, modern decor meets a twist on French flair, where designer Philippe Starck has channeled the ghost of Madame de Pompadour with naughty nods such as mirrors on the ceiling and a box marked “sinners” keep things historically accurate.

Exterior wise, pass two glittering pools on your way to the turquoise waters of South Beach, where flamingo pink beach chairs await you. However, you won’t do so without passing a magical garden that plays host to the famous Hyde Lounge; a playground of day and nightlife, boasting the artful mixology and José Andrés cuisine, all inspired by the flavors and culture of the local community.


Located in the SLS hotel, the world famous Bazaar by José Andrés, provides a vibrant mix of sophisticated cuisine and a playful indoor-outdoor environment, blending Andrés’ Spanish heritage, tradition and ingenuity with influences from South Beach’s local Latin flavors.

Set between the glowing patio of Bar Centro, and the indoor glamorous space of the hotel, this AAA Four Diamond Award Winner, does not fail to please on any level in ambience or cuisine.

Start off the evening tapas style with mouth watering highlights like the Traditional Sui Mai (mouthfuls of pork, shrimp, peanuts, water chestnuts) Japanese Tacos (composed of grilled eel, shiso, cucumber, wasabi, pork chicharrones) or truly unique Frozen Blue Cheese Sandwich (featuring lemon marmalade, walnut bread.)

After grazing through these exceptional dishes, you cannot go wrong with their Dragon Fruit Ceviche (that seamlessly blends tuna, pecans, lemon, hibiscus) or their Patatas Bravas (fried potatoes, spicy tomato sauce, alioli.) Then there’s the meats, such as the exceptional Jamón Ibérico de Bellota ‘Fermin’ (hand carved acorn-fed, free-range Ibérico ham) which I would recommend pairing with the Pà amb Tomàquet (Catalan-style toasted bread brushed with fresh tomato.) Still have room for more? Finish up with the Black Rossejat (a tantalizing paella-style pasta, featuring squid ink, shrimp and aliol.)

Paired with a smooth glass of Malbec, or really your drink of any choice, the above is a soaring explosion of flavor and artful cuisine. Oh, and be sure to top the night off outside at Bar Centro with a Salt Air Margarita; a drink that always seems to throw a little magic in the air…..

UNICO 20˚87˚ Hotel Riviera Maya

Set on the stunning white beaches of Riviera Maya, UNICO 20˚87˚ Hotel Riviera Maya combines local culture with cutting edge hospitality and chic modernity. Inspired by the region, guests arrive to be greeted with locally influenced cocktails, and a sense of ‘luxury-at-ease.’

As an adults only resort, UNICO 20˚87˚ Hotel Riviera Maya offers a property that is both understated yet palatial, with three unique pools, palm tree lined fountained walkways and swim up bars – all located overlooking a stretch of divine sandy beach. Rooms are filled with local inspiration, from the art on the wall, to the patterns of the upholstery, to the handcrafted details throughout. Features such as as balcony bathtubs and marble rain showers, add opulence to the resort suites, while understated color and rustic fabrics bring warmth to the decor.

Dining in the resort is not overwhelming yet diverse, with five exceptional restaurants to choose from, ranging from Japanese to Italian. While locally-sourced ingredients are a staple at every restaurant and bar, the offerings are a diverse mix of international flavors, varying from elevated fine dining to casual beachside buffet. In terms of Mexican cuisine, a rotating chef program has been implemented at the resort’s Cueva Siete, where current chef Christian Bravo serves up modern twists on classical dishes like tamales or enchiladas, utilizing local produce and flavor. Perhaps the most unique feature of the resort is the mixologist-driven cocktail program, that focuses on the art of the drink and the savor of the sip, with naturally infused margaritas and more on offer throughout the property.

Wellness is taken very seriously at the resort too. Esencia Wellness is an immersive experience for the self featuring signature spa treatments, a full-service beauty salon & barber shop, and a state-of-the-art fitness facility featuring classes from ‘Spin’ to ‘HIT’ (great for a bit of detox before any daytime retox.) The spa itself boasts a range of top notch massages and more. It is in itself a piece of heaven, offering a hydrotherapy experience of plunge pools and a deck with floating beds to match.

At UNICO 20˚87˚ Hotel Riviera Maya you might just find yourself asking how long you can extend your trip for, especially when it feel like a blissful slice of how the Gods might live.


Royal Blues Hotel & Chanson

Boutique, exclusive and chic are not the words one would usually use to describe beachy, laid back Deerfield Beach. However, the newest hotel to open it’s doors in Deerfield is all of the latter. Positioned along the waterfront, yet discretely designed, Royal Blues Hotel invites guests from all over the world to experience the beauty of Florida from a intimate and artistic setting.

“The stone is the foundation,” says Mr. Edward Walson – movie producer turned hospitality connoisseur, who owns Royal Blues Hotel. Recently Edward gave GW Travel a private tour, and an insight into his passion behind designing the property.


GWEdward, you are obviously best know for your investment in film, so what provoked you to invest in hospitality, and why in Deerfield Beach?

EdwardI grew up traveling, visiting hotels around the world, and wanted to create the kind of hotel I would stay in. I loved the characteristics of Deerfield Beach – its 60’s California feel and surfing vibe, that attracted a variety of people including sophisticated Europeans. I wanted to create something that combined that sophistication with the beachy vibe of an area I had visited for many years and loved.

GW – What is so unusual/ different about Royal Blues Hotel?

Edward – I have been heavily involved in the design aspect of the hotel. I have tried to blend something unique that stands out yet is very private; modern but doesn’t oppose its surroundings. Features such as the stone I chose to import from Italy and Spain, the petrified wood and real marble elements, make the hotel unique. Positioned geographically so close to the yachting capital of the world, I have tried to combine the luxury of yachts with original artwork and real leather, making the hotel aesthetically pleasing yet utilitarian. The water features of the hotel are my particular favorite; the waterfalls, as well as the salt water aquarium that can be seen from the glass bottom of the rooftop pool, pay homage to the seafront aspect of this property. The hotel also features unique artwork in every room from well known collections, such as that of Elton John. 

 GW – Tell us what we can expect from Chanson, the new restaurant on property? 

Edward – I wanted to take my influence from Relais Chateauxs in Europe, and combine that with local seafood and products. I myself am passionate about food, and always have been, so have worked very hard to create a restaurant that stands out as superior and shows influence from worldwide knowledge. The menu will change frequently, focusing on the most important aspect of cuisine, the ingredients. I also think atmosphere makes a restaurant what it is, thus Chanson features a beautiful salt water aquarium for guests to admire and personal touches such as hand painted menus. My passion for wine is also transparent in the wine list that I personally selected for Chanson. I only choose wines that have produced 500 bottles or less, and I have travelled extensively from Spain to Italy and California to select what we serve in the restaurant. 

GW – Some might say there is a parallel between hospitality and film – both endeavor to cater to an audience. What from your past in film do you bring to the world of hospitality?

Edward – There is definitely a correlation; you have to recognize what will entertain the palate of your customer, just like your audience in film. To be successful, entertainment must be “artistically correct,” as hospitality should be. I have been lucky enough not to have to compromise in either industry. I want to emphasize quality versus quantity in what I produce both in the arts and in hospitality. 

GW –  Any chance of bringing Hollywood to Florida; could you ever see that happening in the future?

Edward – Perhaps in the niche of Hispanic films. I would love to see more filmed here in Florida. 

 GW – What are you most looking forward to with this project?

Edward – To have this hotel respected by others in the world of hospitality. Honestly, I’d love Thomas Keller to say “hey, well done Ed!”

GW – Lastly, are we likely to see the likes of Woody Allen around the hallways of the hotel?

Edward – He’s already been and, yes, he will be a frequent visitor. Andy Garcia’s due to visit this month too.


Looks like a change has come to this little beach town, and it begins with a red carpet rolled out at Royal Blues Hotel. Book your stay today.