More than just a place to sleep, the best hotels have lifestyle at their core. We check out three diverse offerings in Miami, Venice, and Hong Kong, which provide such a variety of enticing options on-property that the only time guests will think about leaving is at checkout.
At one time, luxury and lifestyle hotels were separate categories. Nowadays, the lines have blurred, with modern hotels needing to be both to stay relevant. This is largely driven by what the guest-of-today seeks in a stay – more than just a place to sleep and a marble bathroom. Topping the list of trending guest demands in this new era are recreation, unique experiences, and wellness. In turn, leading hotels are responding, including these diverse offerings in Miami, Venice, and Hong Kong.
PASSPORT TO A GOOD TIME
The Goodtime Hotel in Miami describes itself as “your universal passport to a good time” and “committed to creating emotional good”. It also promises an escapist, transportive atmosphere through its reimagined pastel-led art deco aesthetic, which unwinds over nearly 100,000 square feet of public space.
Opened in April, it’s the first collaborative lifestyle hotel brand from Miami nightlife entrepreneur David Grutman and multi-hyphenate Pharrell Williams. “The Goodtime Hotel promotes an active, balanced lifestyle of equal parts happy pursuits and relaxed escapism, all within an everything-at-your-fingertips tropical oasis,” says Grutman. “The result? The hotel is a place for both hedonistic revelry and laidback R&R.” Upon its opening, Williams said, “We want The Goodtime Hotel to impart a feeling of both revitalisation and that rare, exciting thrill that takes over when you discover something special. It’s that adrenaline-fuelled sensation of entering a whole new setting and a whole new mindset. This place will provide a natural good time for all who come through.”
The centrepiece of the hotel is the delightful Strawberry Moon, which features a restaurant, a 30,000-square-foot pool club, twin pools, shaded bungalows, and striped cabanas. A perfect gathering place for guests, Strawberry Moon’s indoor-outdoor atmosphere and palette of pale mint, coral, and white grants an immediate mood elevation, setting the scene for a carefree good time. Serving classic and casual Mediterranean fare and speciality cocktails, the space’s design amplifies Miami’s crossroads of culture and energy, channelling the heydays of Havana and Acapulco. Beyond the pool deck, a second DJ-ready outdoor bar and garden is shaded by lush trees.
On the weekends, the pool area transforms into a high-energy day club – the perfect place to relax, dance, and let loose with top celebrity DJs. Those to have graced the decks so far include the internationally renowned David Guetta, the Grammy-winning Cedric Gervais, and award-winning EDM producer Marshmello. You may even run into Williams himself, who regularly posts photos of himself at the hotel on Instagram.
For those who want to move their bodies in a different way, there’s an indoor-outdoor gym featuring MyBeast and Peloton equipment, as well as meditation and yoga classes. There’s also the glossy peach-hued Library, perfect for anything from coffee to cocktails to casual business meetings, or the all-day Cafe with outdoor terrace that’s proclaimed “the go-to spot for revitalisation”.
When it’s time to rest, the whimsical rooms and suites feature custom bedding, bespoke drapes, leopard-print benches, and a pastel rotary-dial phone. Many rooms also provide Insta-worthy views of Biscayne Bay or the Atlantic Ocean, with stunning sunrises and sunsets to behold. The hotel is a total playful package, with recreation and happiness at its core.
ART AND SOUL
Housed in one of the city’s eight great monumental palazzos on the Grand Canal, complete with rare private gardens, Aman Venice embodies the same sumptuousness as the city itself. Being housed in such a grand historic building that dates back to the mid-16th century means it’s brimming with art and cultural references. In the public areas, this includes one of the “great treasures of the Palazzo”, according to the hotel’s general manager, Licinio Garavaglia, who refers to the Lepanto lantern that towers over the ground-floor hall.
There are also important items by Michelangelo Guggenheim and stunning frescos by Cesare Rotta to be seen in several areas, plus the Library, showcasing an eclectic neo-baroque style that dates back to the 18th century. Private tours of the Palazzo can be arranged for guests, including ones led by one of the restoration curators. All of the art and important works are protected by the National Trust and restored in line with its strict authenticity guidelines. “Aman Venice’s appeal is also down to magnificent design work by renowned architect Jean-Michel Gathy, who perfectly blended contemporary touches with the Palazzo’s history while keeping the art at its heart,” says Garavaglia.
This also extends to the fabulously resplendent suites – each of them unique. The Alcova Tiepolo Suite, for example, features theatrical 18th-century frescoes by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, known as the greatest decorative painter of his time. The Sansovino Stanza Suite, meanwhile, features a 16th-century fireplace by sculptor Jacopo Sansovino and a carved ceiling.
The art continues on-property. Currently showing is a large sculpture by Wallace Chan (until October 31) to accompany the artist’s first major exhibition in Venice. “Exclusive to guests is the opportunity to discover the entire collection through an expert-led personal tour,” says Garavaglia.
There are also culinary experiences galore. “In Italy, gastronomy is an art form and an important part of Italian culture,” says Garavaglia. “Experience Italy’s rich culinary heritage at Arva, explore Venetian cuisine by taking a private cooking class, or savour private dining in one of our hidden rooms.”
The Architecture Tour explores some of the city’s most impressive structures, with guests returning to enjoy a limited-edition cocktail menu that pays tribute to the Biennale Architettura 2021, with each cocktail inspired by one of Venice’s famous buildings. Alternately, the Artisans Tour includes private visits to the ateliers of Bevilacqua and Orsoni.
Fabulous harbour views and Hong Kong’s most stunning outdoor pools, Michelin-starred restaurants and an award-winning bar, a luxurious spa, five-star service, a refreshed lobby, a new cocktail bar and a new cafe, gorgeously redesigned rooms – there’s so much to indulge in at the Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong. The hotel is a pioneer in total wellness, launching its Well Feeling initiative in 2018 to recognise that a guest’s wellness goes beyond the spa, offering options that holistically integrate into all phases of a stay. This five-star wellness experience nourishes mind, body, and soul, with time seeming to slow in this urban oasis.
It begins with the accommodations and the elegantly redesigned rooms and suites, which have a contemporary residential feel – particularly the corner Grand Harbour-View Suite. After a restful sleep, embrace the blissful feeling by opening the curtains (from the comfort of bed) to reveal breathtaking harbour vistas. These magical views can also be enjoyed from the daybed, the living room, and even a glimpse from the bath. Follow this with a relaxing swim in the pool and lunch at the Pool Terrace, which offers an enticing range from wagyu burgers to “Well-Feeling” (nutritionist-certified) choices, such as Hokkaido scallops. The Well-Feeling dishes are available in all dining venues, including three-Michelin-starred Caprice, where chef de cuisine Guillaume Galliot and team present exquisite culinary masterpieces to remember.
Wellness also allows for a little indulgence – so for sophisticated seasonal cocktails, fine wine, and a light gourmet meal, there’s Caprice Bar. The bar received a Highest Climber award from Asia’s 50 Best Bar 2021 awards, catapulting to number 10, thanks to the creativity of talented Asia-Pacific beverage ambassador Lorenzo Antinori and his award-winning team.
Antinori is also the mastermind behind the cocktail programme at the striking new bar Argo, which will also serve food. “Argo will take guests on a journey into the future of a luxury hotel bar unlike any other, with cocktails driven by innovation, highlighting new-wave spirit makers and unexpected collaborations, and with a vibrant, sophisticated ambience,” he says. Also opening in July is the cafe Gallery, taking centre-stage in the lobby, which will offer comfort food with an Asian flair and a bespoke coffee and tea programme.
For original holistic wellness, there’s the famed Spa for luxurious body and face treatments or expert practitioner-led classes (including private sessions) in subjects such as meditation, breath work, gong baths and vibrational sound therapy, mindfulness workshops, tai chi, yoga, and tension-releasing exercise.
For a transformative stay, book the Wellness package (available until December 23). In addition to accommodations and breakfast, it includes a two-hour Reawakening Ritual body treatment for two, breath work and chakra meditation for two, a Subtle Energies kit, and a Sweaty Betty voucher, plus the option to include a tai chi class and a wellness cooking class with an expert from the culinary team.