There are a handful of hotels that I repeatedly visit that feel like home. Acqualina Resort and Spa is one of them. My kids would live here if they could! Southern Florida has so many gorgeous luxury resorts. Miami, South Beach, and Bal Harbour offer any discerning traveler a plethora of choices. Acqualina Resort and Spa, located on the beach in Sunny Isles, Florida 5 miles north of Bal Harbor, is unequivocally one of my absolute favorites. Acqualina provides five-star luxury, world class service and spacious, serene accommodations. I have stayed many times, celebrated many special events and never been disappointed. It is clear why Acqualina has been voted the #1 beachfront Hotel by TripAdvisor, #1 family resort in the world in Andrew Harper’s 2016 Reader’s Choice Award and has received the prestigious Forbes Five Star Award and the AAA Five Diamond Award several times.
Sunny Isles, a small town on the Atlantic Ocean, is a great location. If you want to be a part of the South Beach action, it’s about a 25/30 minutes cab ride. Or you can opt for the more relaxed, cool vibe of Sunny Isles, Bal Harbour, or Aventura. Either way, Acqualina makes it really hard to want to leave!
The Mediterranean style architecture inspires a feeling of living in a grand villa.The high-rise building features three elevator bays. The middle bay services the hotel while the outer elevators service residences. The rooms are beyond spacious and comfortable. The oceanfront one bedroom suite is my room of choice. The room consists of a large master bedroom with bathroom, a small den, kitchen, dining area, and living room. Don’t feel like eating out all the time- Acqualina will stock the kitchen per your requests! The white, beige, and neutral colored décor contributes to the peaceful ambiance of the room. Standing on the balcony provides a spectacular, endless view of the Atlantic Ocean.
I cannot write about the resort without talking about the service which is outstanding. The staff, starting with the general manager, Christof Pignet, Giovanna Del Castillo director of guest services, Fernando Garcia at the concierge, Glenda and the staff at the pool/ Costa Grill, all aim to make your stay as enjoyable as possible! Delicious tastes of different refreshing drinks are passed around the pool every hour. Staff are constantly attending to guests even with just a friendly hello. The staff makes us feel like a true part of the Acqualina family.
We asked Giovanna to help arrange a baking class for my daughter (more on that to come). She went out of her way to help; it was a fantastic experience. My kids have also attended Acquamarine, the kid’s club year after year. They say it is the best kid’s club they have ever been too. Activities include art and crafts, water activities, scavenger hunts, sports and a marine biology based program. As a family resort, Acqualina shines. Throughout the entire hotel, the staff are kind, helpful, friendly and truly want to make your stay amazing. It’s nice to return and see familiar faces year after year.
The spa is a must. Acqualina Spa by ESPA is incredible! The spa offers a large variety of services using state of the art facility that is fabulous. It features many treatment rooms, relaxation rooms, a locker room with steam, sauna, and other hot and cold spaces, and an outdoor terrace with a pool. My last treatment, an 80 minute Swedish massage, was incredible. The spa provides the ultimate in relaxation and pampering that it’s easy to spend a whole day there.
This may be a strange thing for me to suggest but if you have the opportunity to walk through the hotel garage it is worth it! When you arrive at the hotel, the most amazing assortment of luxury cars surrounds the entrance- Bentleys, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Aston Martins just to name a few. For any car aficionado, it is heaven. A friend who is in the car industry told me that the garage is well known because of the incredible amount of luxury cars!
The hotel features three pools- one of which is for adults only. Each pool has its own character but all are surrounded by cabanas. The views of the ocean and the resort are beautiful. Don’t like the pool- the beach is spectacular. We love the 5:00-7:00 hour at the beach or pool. Acqualina has the most comfortable couches and chairs on a grassy area between the pool and beach. Grab a glass of wine and enjoy- it’s pure heaven.
The Costa Grill, one of Acqualina’s three restaurants, is located by this grassy area. The food is delicious. The fish tacos are my favorite! This could be the most enjoyable place to eat lunch. The AQ by Acqualina restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. My kids are huge fans of the breakfast buffet but al a carte is also available. The dinner menu consists of a Mediterranean fare with Italian influence as well as sushi. Il Mulino New York provides a high-end dining experience for Italian food lovers. Go ready to eat! Want a lighter fare, prepared salads and delicious gelato are available at the Kosher-To-Go marketplace!
Acqualina Resort and Spa provides the ultimate luxury experience. Any lover of luxury, quality, and service will be in heaven. Every year we so look forward to our time there. Whether you prefer pool, the beach or the spa, any stay at Acqualina will feel too short and like me you will happily return year after year!