This time last year, Miami, Florida would be in the throes of preparation for its yearly Art Basel bacchanal. These days, while the sun seekers still find their way to socially distanced pools and beaches, there’s a noticeable hush surrounding the city’s usually glitzy haunts. But for Pharrell Williams and David Grutman, it has set the stage for a triumphant return—and reimagining—of their beloved home base.
Three years in the making and produced in association with lead developer Eric Birnbaum of Dreamscape Companies, they’re introducing The Goodtime, a refreshing addition to the Miami hotel scene. Just don’t call it a hotel: With an expansive third-floor pool deck, lobby lounge, eatery, outdoor workout area, recording studio, and 45,000 sq. feet of retail space, it’s designed to be a play-land for visitors and locals alike (with 266 guest rooms to boot). “It’s good vibes, good energy, good karma, good food, good music, good environment, good vibration,” Williams explained during our chat via Zoom, a noticeable beam of South Florida sun reflecting onto the wall behind him. “Come there one way, and then you leave vibrating. We call it spiritual Wi-Fi.”
He’s joined today by Grutman, a master of this type of intangible alchemy with a decade-long track record of mainstay nightclubs, restaurants, and watering holes that have also earned him a seemingly endless Rolodex of friends and collaborators, Williams among them. As a longtime Miami resident, this first introduction to the hotel space came with a chance to revitalize a forgotten corner of town. “One thing I’ve noticed in my life is that places that were amazing at one time always have a great chance of being amazing again, because there’s something about the energy of that latitude and longitude where The Goodtime is located that just works,” Grutman says. “To me, it was the best block, and to be able to be part of it coming back, is just so special to me.”