Hydrotalcite-like compounds (HTlc), belonging to the large class of Layered Double Hydroxides (LDH), have excited wide interest owing to the incredible number of their potential and achieved applications in physical, chemical and bio-chemical fields. This perspective review deals with recent advances in the application of physical–chemical techniques for the study of HTlc structure and for the design and synthesis, using intercalation chemistry routes, of new hybrid materials. Firstly, a rapid survey on the most common synthetic strategies for the attainment of HTlc with different crystallinity degree and crystal size and for their modification to obtain hybrids has been made, and the use of coupled techniques (XRPD, luminescence, Solid State MAS NMR and Molecular Dynamics) to gain structural information is reported. Then, the design, synthesis and photophysical characterization of azoic dyes-intercalated and co-intercalated HTlc hybrid materials are described. Hybrids constituted of ZnAl–HTlc, co-intercalated with stearate anions and methyl orange or methyl yellow dyes, have been used as nanofillers of hydrophobic polymers. The polymeric nano-composites obtained have been characterized by means of XRPD patterns, Thermo-Gravimetric Analysis and Confocal Fluorescence Microscopy. This latter technique has been found to be an excellent, complementary and non-invasive tool to probe the dispersion degree of the fluorescent fillers into the polymeric matrices and their stability in the compounding process. Finally, the synthesis and spectroscopic characterization of nanoparticle (NP) decorated HTlc for advanced antimicrobial and photo-catalytic applications are also reported. The review terminates with a concluding short note and future trends.