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.
GW – Edward, you are obviously best know for your investment in film, so what provoked you to invest in hospitality, and why in Deerfield Beach?
Edward – I 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.