“We’re leveling up,” Pharrell Williams declares, as we sat poolside in a pink trim cabana. Miami’s entertainment guru, David Grutman, chimed in, “We’ve been training our whole lives for this.”
The business partners are talking about The Goodtime Hotel — their first collaborative lifestyle hotel brand and second joint venture following the celebrity-favorite Design District eatery, Swan. The hotel just opened its doors in South Beach, Miami, and good vibes only are promised at this stay-and-play oasis for visitors and locals alike.
The 266-room property evokes an escapist atmosphere through its reimagined Art Deco aesthetic, which unwinds over a whopping 100,000 square feet of public space. For size, that’s about a New York City block. The hotel stands prominently in a central, historic section of South Beach along Washington Avenue — a street that was once an iconic neighborhood drag, peppered with Miami mainstays but has since lost its luster and been somewhat abandoned. When presented with the opportunity to revitalize this neck of town, Williams and Grutman simply couldn’t turn it down.
“We knew we had an opportunity to bring something new and unique to the neighborhood, and we didn’t want to lose sight of that for anything,” Williams explained. “Not even the pandemic.”
This has been a three plus year project for the duo, who truly complement each other in business, creativity and passion. As Grutman described, they have a common goal for greatness with acute attention to detail, and were laser-focused on pushing forward through global calamity. The journey, though curvy and eventful with a pandemic to boot, culminated in a triumphant grand opening of a hotel that breaks the hospitality mold, and one poised to energize South Beach for the years to come. After all, it’s serendipitously named The Goodtime Hotel, and who knew how much we’d need that optimism now.
To enter the property, guests are guided through a sprawling, airy atrium, filled with potted palms and sun-bleached furnishings. Once inside, you’re welcomed by exotic hand-painted hothouse murals, Deco plasterwork, surrealist wallpaper, and playful elements all masterminded by famed designer, Ken Fulk. The vibe feels nostalgically opulent and very Miami Art Deco, which is emphasized by the resort’s color choices – a palette of peach and green – and cheeky design touches throughout each space.
Inside, the standout shared space is the natural oak library, which Pharrell divulges was partly inspired by the Wes Anderson character, Margot Tenenbaum. The library, intended as a multi-purpose space for coffee or cocktails, is festooned in tones of pink with coffered ceilings, book-lined walls, and quirky details such as animal lamps, pineapple-motif cocktail tables, rotary dial phones and tufted sofas. Dave Grutman and Pharrell Williams wanted it to feel absolutely impossible to not feel happy upon entering.
“I have such a romantic notion about Miami and what it might’ve been like,” the inimitable Ken Fulk shares in our same poolside cabana, describing his cinematic creative process in designing Goodtime. “I wanted it to be evocative of the past, but also something like people have never seen or experienced before and that is the secret sauce. When you’re able to have people come somewhere and feel comfortable yet take their breath away.”
The hotel’s indoor-outdoor restaurant is dubbed Strawberry Moon, named for the lunar phase before summer solstice. The full-service restaurant and bar offers Mediterranean cuisine day-to-night with an array of festive cocktails, and is the true centerpiece of the property. The restaurant is outfitted in a Miami Vice palette of pinks and teals, with pinstripe awnings, scalloped chairs and wicker light fixtures.
The restaurant leads right to the extensive rooftop deck which stretches across an entire acre, highlighted by two parallel pools with candy stripe tiles and surrounded by lush cabanas, lounge chairs, an outdoor bar and a pathway of palm sculptures. “There are all these things you can’t do in pools!” Ken Fulk quipped, sharing anecdotes of what it was like to try and turn his dream pool into a reality. “I thought what a great idea, until you realize that public pools have insane restrictions around what color they can be. But, we got through that hurdle and we got a pink and white striped pool, which may be my favorite single silly thing.”
Pharrell Williams knows they’ve created something special. “It’s that adrenaline-fueled sensation of entering a whole new setting and a whole new mindset,” he said. Grutman – who owns Miami celebrity-favorite nightclubs LIV and Story, and restaurants Komodo, Swan and Papi Steak – is excited to translate his expertise in nightlife and entertainment to his new stay-and-play resort. To no surprise, the opening week has already drawn celebrities like David Guetta and more. And when asked what we could expect in terms of programming, Grutman fittingly countered, “Come on, it’s us.”
Guest rooms range from Queen bed accommodations to suites, boasting direct views west to Biscayne Bay or east to the Atlantic Ocean, guaranteeing Instagram-worthy sunrise and sunsets. Each of The Goodtime Hotel’s guest rooms were conceived as “all you need and nothing more” but come complete with all the essentials, like custom bedding, bespoke drapes (including a blackout option, in the event you need a few more hours to recharge), Sicilian Ortigia bath amenities, and a leopard print bathrobe. Throughout guest corridors, a green carpet woven with lattice and mock wet footprints evokes the playful charm of Miami Beach.
Through the alchemy of David Grutman and Pharrell Williams, The Goodtime Hotel promotes equal parts hedonistic revelry and laidback R&R, all within an everything-at-your-fingertips tropical retreat. To use a very Pharrell word, the hotel is simply “Happy”.