Happiness is in no short supply at The Goodtime Hotel in Miami, the vision of music icon Pharrell Williams and Miami nightlife entrepreneur David Grutman, who unsurprisingly know how to have fun. Good times come in the form of pool parties at weekends with sets by superstar DJs, Margot Tenenbaum-pleasing decor in every shade of pink by the hotel's dapper designer Ken Fulk and meals at Med masterpiece, Strawberry Moon. The uplifting design extends to the elevators and their alligator-patterned fuchsia wallpaper, murals on the walls, golden pineapples and a giraffe in the library. The double pool has a pastel-striped runway to strut down and there's a bar attached for cooling cocktails in between.
11am, but flexible, subject to availability – the first hour’s free, after that a fee will be quoted. Earliest check-in, 4pm, also flexible if your room’s ready.
Double rooms from £181.39 ($221), including tax at 14 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional resort fee of $39.90 per room per night prior to arrival.
Rates don’t usually include breakfast.
Understandably for a town with an area called Muscle Beach, the gym goes all out: along with two Peloton bikes inside, there’s a MyBeast playground outside (one of only three in the US).
At the hotel
Day club, indoor and outdoor gym, library, coffee shop and beach club a few blocks away. In rooms: 55” TV and Ortigia bath products. Suites and King rooms have Beats Bluetooth speakers, too.
Our favourite rooms
Each room has a similar signature style of all-pastel perfection, with green leopard-spot benches, handy storage hacks, velvet corner headboards and bathrooms with white subway tiles and gold vanity stands. Guests can choose between a view of Biscayne Bay or the ocean in the distance. Luckily for the good-time-hunting groups, there are rooms with two queen-size beds that sleep four.
The 25,000-square-foot pool deck has two pools, a bar with pink lanterns and cabinets, a DJ booth and assorted (all pink and pastel green) areas to sit: curtained cabanas (the best seats in the house during the live DJ sets), daybeds with pink and white awnings, and chairs beside peppermint parasols. The daytime raves take place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and are free to guests.
The Milk & Honey spa is set to arrive in spring next year.
Whatever you think you’d want to be wearing if you ran into Pharrell in the lobby – the co-owner has (sadly blacked-out) studios on-site. Amend as applicable for one of his protégés.
The hotel is fully ADA approved and there are several rooms that have been adapted for disabled guests and for those with hearing impairments.
The hotel is more suited to teenagers who may be impressed by the scene-y setting. Children aren’t allowed on the pool deck Friday to Sunday after 11am.
You won’t find any single-use plastic on the property. The hotel donates leftover food to a local charity, and hosts quarterly events with the Florida initiative Style Saves to help supply Miami kids with school uniforms and kit.
There may be air-conditioning inside, but the Strawberry Moon terrace is definitely where it’s at (and there’s a lot of competition).
Keep up with the Kardashians.
The party never stops at Strawberry Moon, where the Mediterranean meze, Turkish pizzas and creative kebabs (harissa prawn, swordfish shawarma) keep flowing – just be sure to book early, just in case the Beckhams beat you to it. Everyone in town wants a ticket to the weekend brunches, so book that too. The café serves pastries, juices and breakfast bagels. At weekends, there’s a snack station by the pool for sustenance during the legendary pool parties.
To help the good times roll, there are several places to order alcohol throughout the hotel, including, of course, a bar right by the pool. Purple Reign is the Pharrell-approved (and brilliantly named) cocktail of choice.
Grab and go breakfasts and snacks are available all day from the café. At Strawberry Moon, lunch is served between 11am and 3pm, and dinner hours are 6pm to 11pm (midnight on Fridays and Saturdays; 10pm on Sundays). Weekend brunch is from noon to 4pm.
Food can be packaged up for you to collect from the café and take to your room. Full room service will be available from next year, though it will be more of a drop-off than a cart-and-cloche situation.
The hotel is in South Beach in Miami, a block from South of Fifth and steps from the shore.
It’s around 20 minutes by car to Miami’s international airport. The concierge can arrange transfers on request.
In a move that would make Cher from Clueless proud, there’s only valet parking at the hotel – it costs $45 a night plus tax (with a surcharge of $10 if you’ve gone full monster truck and arrived in an oversize vehicle).
Worth getting out of bed for
There’s a whole city being built on the block, which means you’ll never have to go far for food, fun, shops and more gyms, but there’s lots to leave the party for, including highbrow (and possibly not-so-hangover-friendly) trips to the Wolfsonian in the art deco district, or the contemporary-art-packed Bass Museum. Continue to feel cool in Miami’s Design District, or you can just travel the few blocks to the hotel’s beach club, source a sunlounger and resume full Goodtime mode.
Another restaurant hit for Goodtime co-owner David Grutman, Papi Steak matches Strawberry Moon’s cool-crowd levels and adds huge hunks of meat, Maine lobster and Alaskan king crab. Maki Mondays are exactly what everyone needs on the worst day of the week – free-flowing sushi awaits every Monday at Planta, along with ceviche, poke bowls and pizzas the rest of the time. A Miami Beach institution for a century, Joe’s Stone Crab is where to head for Florida favourites like stone crab (obviously) and Key lime pie.
In the (unlikely) event that the hotel’s club scene is a little tame for you, head to Story or Liv nightclubs instead.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this fun-loving hotel in America and unpacked their glow sticks and souvenir Stan Smiths, a full account of their beach break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside the Goodtime Hotel in Miami…
You might think of Miami more as Will Smith’s favourite city, but Pharrell Williams knows it’s where to come for a good time, too. Along with his business partner and local nightlife legend David Grutman, the superstar producer has created a hotel where the good times keep rolling. And trust us, there’s no better spot in Miami Beach for hair-of-the-dog hangovers than the pastel pool deck and one of its candy-coloured cabanas.
Margot Tenenbaum would approve of the pretty pink and green room, with retro telephones on the walls, and genius storage hacks like cubbyholes for water bottles built into the bedframe and suitcase-shaped space under the bed. You’ll be up against some stiff competition to secure a booking at Strawberry Moon (the Beckhams and Kim Kardashian are fans), but all guests are VIPs at the weekend pool parties, soundtracked by visiting DJs from Tiesto to Marshmello. South Beach is still bringing the heat, clearly.