January 11, 2022 By Andrea Whittle W Magazine
What makes a hotel great? It’s more than just the setting, or the luxurious amenities, or the speed at which a club sandwich and a Diet Coke can be delivered to your room. A great hotel needs good energy—that hard-to-define feeling of being transported and delighted, but also very much at home.
Miami Beach is home to plenty of examples of hospitality done right, but a newcomer, towards the Southern end of Washington Avenue, brings something particularly fresh to the mix. The Goodtime Hotel, a collaborative endeavor between David Grutman of Groot Hospitality and Pharrell Williams, is set to become a neighborhood-defining destination.
The duo tapped designer Ken Fulk, known for his ability to bring just the right amount of theatrics to comfortable, inviting spaces, to build out the 266-room property, which takes up an entire city block and also features a buzzy restaurant, Strawberry Moon, and a 30,000 square foot pool club.
Part of the hotel’s charm comes from its eclectic, lived-in feel. Fulk and his team deftly layered elements from different eras and movements, including Art Deco plasterwork, custom surrealist-inspired wallpaper, vintage books and objects and hand-painted murals, “to create the sense of stumbling into a grand old residence,” Fulk says.
The hotel’s communal spaces invite guests to sit down and stay for a while: the lobby, set back from the street by a breezeway, is less of a check-in-and-check-out sort of spot and more of a laid-back lounge. On the third floor, the library, café and restaurant are packed from morning to night with guests taking meetings, working on laptops, or kicking back with cocktails. There’s also an indoor-outdoor gym, where guests can hop onto a Peloton bike or lift weights en plein air.
The design is heavy on the pastels, but it’s never precious. References include the original architecture of Miami classics like The Fontainebleau and The Delano, as well as lighthearted 1980s summer movies like The Flamingo Kid, Caddyshack, and Fast Times at Ridgemont High. “It wasn’t so much about the look as the feel of these spaces,” Fulk noted. “We kept going back to the idea of how design impacts good times.”
The look of Strawberry Moon, the restaurant that anchors the communal floor, is meant to emulate “the classic styling of a 1950s Riva wooden motorboat” meets “the look of a retro Miami living room.” The space is grounded by bleached wood floors, while turquoise grasscloth walls, fringed rattan furniture and scalloped barstools add playful touches.
Upstairs, most of the rooms are quite snug—a standard queen is just 180 square feet—but they make up for it with thoughtful, highly efficient design elements, like beds with built-in storage, and truly lovely finishes, from the untreated brass hardware in the bathroom to the custom Pierre Frey fabric on the curtains. Bathrooms are stocked with full-sized products from the Sicilian beauty brand Ortigia, which makes freshening up all the more pleasant. And, this being a city known for its nightlife, the windows are also fitted with highly effective blackout blinds.
“Our space is a respite to recharge in and prepare for your next fabulous outing,” Fulk says.