Acqualina Resort and Spa
What We Love
- 20,000-square-foot ESPA with Ayurvedic-based treatments
- Coastal location, with ocean views from the spa and three of the restaurants
- Pool concierge delivers smoothies and iced grapes to guests lounging around the four pools
- READ MORE: Find your perfect Miami vacation?
What To Know
- A neighboring addition called The Mansions in under construction; some noise can be expected in the rooms facing the property
- Rooms overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway (as opposed to the beach) get some noise from the road below
- The heart of Miami Beach is about 20 minutes away; you’ll need a car to see the sights
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
A dose of the Mediterranean near Miami with a beachfront location, four pools, and a hydrotherapy spa
At this 98-room resort, chilling out is serious business. Some guests relax at the Recreation pool, with its aqua fitness classes and games are on offer; others unwind at the adults-only Tranquility Pool after dropping the children at the Kids’ Club. The choices continue in the spa: Hot Stone Massage, Swedish, or Deep Tissue? Befitting the architecture, which is modeled on a Mediterranean villa, guests can dine at Il Mulino, an offshoot of the famed New York award-winner, or the more casual Piazzetta Marketplace and Restaurant or Costa Grill.
In the Area
Acqualina is in (and on) Sunny Isles Beach, halfway between Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Which means that once guests finally leave the beach and wash the sand from between their toes they can choose whether to hit Lincoln Road, the pedestrian strip that is the heart of South Beach; the tony Shops of Bal Harbour, a koi-pond and sculpture-filled high-end mall; or the street-art-mecca that of Wynwood, an up-and-coming artists’ enclave centered around the Wynwood Walls.
How to Get There
I rarely write reviews, but I felt compelled to do so this time. This was our first time staying at a 5 star hotel/resort (4 star is the norm), but I found a good deal for our 3-night stay and I was impressed with the reviews of this resort. Overall, even though the property has some nice pros, we are unlikely to return…
Cons: I'll start with the cons, as these made more of an impact than the pros. This is NOT a non-smoking property. They say that they do not allow smoking inside the building, however, they DO allow smoking in all outside areas, including the dining areas, AND on the room balconies (evidence of cigarette butts can even be seen in the drainage area). This honestly shocked us, but we were told by a very irritated concierge that smoking is permitted "everywhere in Miami". We are both very sensitive to smoke and this made a poor first impression. We could not get cold water in either of our double sinks - brushing your teeth using warm water is pretty gross. The rooms are luxurious but they could use an upgrade, as the style, furnishings and fixtures are pretty outdated. Very little is included in your stay and even the normally inexpensive snacks in the room are outrageously priced. The noise of the major construction at the building next door, as well as the on-site beach front restaurant construction, really puts a damper on your R&R at the pools and even on the beach. Lastly, I know this property prides itself on its service, but we found it to be over-the-top. Maybe the wealthy expect to be catered to every second of the day and it is nice to a degree, but we found it to be excessive.
Pros: The location right on a beautiful, private beach is spectacular. As well as the pools and grounds right off of the beach. Our dinner at Il Mulino was wonderful and we loved the atmosphere in the restaurant. We think it is fantastic that the resort is dog-friendly. We didn’t have our dogs with us, but we loved seeing other dogs on the property. The greeters/valets and the beach/pool attendants were all very friendly and likable.
I recently stayed for five glorious days and nights at the Acqualina for a business meeting. This property is honestly magical in every way! The ENTIRE staff went out of their way in every detail. As a guest you are treated like a VIP! The food everywhere was delicious. The restaurant Il Mulino was one of the best Italian restaurants I have ever eaten in. The grounds are like no other..imagine beautiful open green spaces that lead seamlessly to a tranquil expansive beach? That is Acqualina. The property is immaculate and it is a hidden gem worth every penny! Acqualina is privately owned. I feel this is why it is run like a family who invites guests to their home and wants to make sure they have the most amazing experience. I definitely did!
Freshly back from a week stay at the Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach; what a lovely time. I was there for a week of professional development so was able to enjoy many aspects of the hotel experience from the excellent food offerings of catering through to the careful attention of my room attendants.
I love that this is a privately owned property and I was so fortunate to meet the CEO and other members of the executive team who themselves - as well as their staff - absolutely execute on their vision that each client is unique and special and thus their time at the property should be as well.
It's a tremendous experience from start to finish. Pre-arrival you receive an email confirming your arrival time and any specific details that are important to you. Upon arrival you can expect to be warmly greeted and served a glass of bubbly, juice or cool water and towel. Within moments at reception you will be whisked off to your lovely one, two or three bedroom suite. This is a very classically beautiful hotel with attention to details via rich fabrics, soothing lighting, beautiful artwork and of course all of the other amenities one would expect such as amazing beds, warm and comfortable furniture, lovely linens and superb bath amenities (ESPA).
As I often say; one's idea of luxury or star ratings is extremely subjective. I can say that I felt listened to; attended to; remembered; and treated with the utmost consideration from every person I interacted with. As well, each time I returned to my suite - whether for a brief respite during the day or sinking into my luxurious bed after an evening of food and wine - was like stepping into a calm and soothing sanctuary. I love to be surrounded by beauty and my Suite at Acqualina Resort and Spa personified that experience for me.
The clientele at the property was diverse with many multi-generational families; mature couples, honeymooners and friends travelling together. The beach was beautiful; the relaxation lounge in the spa was so restful, pets are permitted, the two and three bedroom suites are equipped with a full kitchen (with Wolf Appliances no less) and grocery service can be arranged if that is a preference. Daily newspapers, complimentary wireless internet, a children's program, 24 hour room, valet and multi-lingual concierge service, 3 restaurants and a small gourmet takeaway offer wonderful food and beverage service. The bar is a wonderful place to meet other like minded guests and I enjoyed a few perfectly chilled glasses of prosecco there!
Although my professional development time was quite hectic I can say that my "down" time which was spent on site was fabulous and allowed me the perfect opportunity to rest and reset.