Inside Miami’s Goodtime Hotel & 5 More Openings You Need to Know

Fancy a staycation?

Goodtime Hotel
Goodtime Hotel | Photo courtesy of Carma Connected
Goodtime Hotel | Photo courtesy of Carma Connected

David Grutman remembers when 6th and Washington was South Beach’s center for good times. He remembers an era when Gilbert Stafford worked the door at Liquid while Madonna and Ingrid Cacares partied inside, when Groove Jet and Club Deep were destination nightclubs—and not one of them would hire him to bartend.

“When I first got to Miami, this block had every hot club,” he says of the intersection that now showcases his recently-debuted Goodtime Hotel. “When you know a block was so great, to be a part of bringing that back was a big deal for me.”

Pharrell Williams and David Grutman
Pharrell Williams and David Grutman | Photo courtesy of Carma Connected

And bring it back he has. While the once-glittering stretch of Washington Avenue has sat derelict for what feels like a decade, it received a new jolt of pastel-and-pinstripe-painted life this April when the nightlife veteran teamed up with Pharrell Williams to open the aptly-titled Goodtime, a modern Art Deco gem with a refreshingly upbeat air and a design to match.

The massive 266-room hotel takes up an entire city block, the biggest new-build hotel to hit the district in recent memory. Its crowning feature is Strawberry Moon, a pink-and-aqua day club and restaurant complete with twin swimming pools and palm tree showers out on the deck. The vibe is Vegas pool party-meets-Golden Girls living room—if that living room threw weekly ragers you could hear from the street below.

Pool at Strawberry Moon
Pool at Strawberry Moon | Photo courtesy of Carma Connected

The idea, Grutman says, was to facilitate something that’s been so deeply missed throughout the pandemic era: personal contact. “People want to experience people one-on-one,” he continues. “And we want to create that atmosphere where they can go to the pool deck, or the library, and feel okay. We want to be part of the traveler who wants a community where they’re staying.”

Library at Goodtime Hotel
Library at Goodtime Hotel | Photo courtesy of Carma Connected

That community can stretch out over 100,000 square feet of common space, including a pastel library with wicker parrot lamps and a lobby adorned with murals of Miami’s pre-development jungle wilderness. The gym runs both outside and inside (yes, there’s a Peloton), with monkey bars and MyBeast classes on the weekends. Rooms are done up with leopard print furnishings and baby pink phones. Nearly all have views of the Atlantic or Biscayne Bay. Everywhere you look, the Goodtime has an unmistakable sense of place: You could drop someone here straight from outer space and they’d immediately know they’re in Miami.

“Miami is a 360-degree lifestyle city,” Grutman adds. “We want to push you to experience Miami Beach as a whole.”

Room at Goodtime Hotel
Room at Goodtime Hotel | Photo courtesy of Carma Connected

Though the experience at the Goodtime is about as Miami-immersive as one can get on a trip to the Magic City, it’s far from the only highly-anticipated hotel to open its doors this year. Despite doom-and-gloom predictions for the industry, the past six months have seen Miami welcome snazzy new outposts from the beach to Aventura. So even if the Goodtime’s $600-ish price point isn’t quite as inviting as its beachy-keen decor, there’s plenty of other slick and shiny escapes primed and ready for your next South Florida staycation.

Terrace at Kayak | Photo courtesy of Kayak

South Beach
Opened: April 2021
Online travel giant Kayak opened its first branded hotel this spring, tucked away behind the Bass Museum along the Collins Canal. The 52-room, three story boutique is surrounded by lush palm leaves and tropical landscaping, offering total seclusion from the hectic beach scene outside. Rooms are small, but come with on-demand, in-room yoga classes on TV, plus a desk and rain shower. Layla, its waterside restaurant, might be the most stunning new restaurant in the city, where guests dine on kebab and cocktails like they’re lounging along the Nile—or, at least, on the Disney Jungle Cruise. There’s also a sweet rooftop bar with views peering out over the canal, and it’s open to anyone who knows where to find the entrance.
Cost: Rooms start at ~$183 per night.

Moxy South Beach
Room at Moxy South Beach | Photo courtesy of Moxy

South Beach
Opened: February 2021
Neck-in-neck with the Goodtime for the most ballyhooed South Beach opening is the Moxy, a 202-room stunner on 9th and Washington. The breezy, open-air building keeps the beach vibes flowing throughout, whether you’re getting a drink at the communal center bar on the ground floor or enjoying Scott Linquist’s elevated Mexican creations upstairs at Serena. Linquist is also behind the more-upscale Como Como, which promises to bring some fancy seafood fixings to the Moxy. And between the trippy art on the walls and the LED-lit swimming pool, it’s already become a regular sight on the ‘Gram thanks to droves of visiting trendsetters.
Cost: Rooms start at ~$179 per night.

Kimpton Palomar
Kimpton Palomar | Photo courtesy of Kimpton Palomar South Beach

South Beach
Opened: February 2021
Kimpton opened its second South Beach outpost this winter on the bustling corner of Alton Road and Dade Boulevard. The exterior is easily the most recognizable of any new hotel on the beach, marked by a hulking facade that juts out like a cruise ship embarking on the Collins Canal. The rooms continue the stately theme, which, while a little larger than your standard cruise cabin, offer balconies over the water that give the impression that you’ve just pulled into port. The rooftop pool and forthcoming bar promise serene getaways once fully operational while the ground floor—and its waterside outpost of New York’s perennially popular Osteria Morini—is already blossoming into a standalone destination.
Cost: Rooms start at ~$185 per night.

Pool Deck at Serena
Pool Deck at Serena | Photo courtesy of Hemsworth Communications

Opened: May 2021
Aventura has seen an absolute onslaught of new hotels in the past few years, each one upping the ante even further for the next. This latest entrant from Hilton’s Tapestry collection brings Aventura its second rooftop pool and lounge, as the spacious sixth floor swimming hole offers panoramic views of the area’s under-appreciated skyline. Next to the pool you can dine at Cielo, a Mediterranean spot helmed by a chef who cut his teeth at Chicago’s Alinea. Inside, you’ll find rooms with high ceilings and plenty of storage space, ideal for families doing some international shopping at Aventura Mall. Serena is also setting its sights on longer-term guests, offering suites with full kitchens complete with dishwashers.
Cost: Rooms start at ~$188 per night.

The Kimpton Goodland Hotel Fort Lauderdale Beach
The Kimpton Goodland Hotel Fort Lauderdale Beach

Fort Lauderdale Beach
Opened: April 2021
Kimpton continues its reinvention of mid-century classics with this diamond set inside the 1950s-era Escape Hotel. The 96-room boutique boasts not one but two private pools: One perched on the rooftop and the other stashed in a leafy courtyard. Both have attached bars, with yoga classes on the ground floor and live music on the roof. Rooms are done up in light woods and pastel art, enhancing the beach house feel that permeates the lobby via surrounding North Beach Village. Dine at Botanic, a Latin-Cairbbean-inspired spot that’s long on local ingredients, or get your fill of inventive tipples at the forthcoming Good Bar, the Goodland’s onsite cocktail lounge.
Cost: Rooms start at ~$179 per night.

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Matt Meltzer is a contributor for Thrillist.