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
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
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
Booked 2 rooms for a friend and I. Neither room was ready upon arrival. (we got there around noon, so not unusual). We went and ate lunch and checked again on rooms at around 2pm. No Luck. We sat outside and enjoyed the sunshine. Finally around 4 I went back to check again, 1 room was ready. Finally, after 5 pm the second room was ready. They put them both in one name and confused our rooms and billing information. Once that was all sorted out, it was fine. The staff here is really very nice. Almost everyone that worked there was super friendly. Our only issue was there was a wedding in the late afternoon into the evening on the property. So we were first asked to move off of a particular sofa which we did. We went down to the beach and sat on some loungers there. Then about 20 minutes later the staff came down to the beach and told us we had to move so we went back to the grass on another sofa. 10 minutes later the staff said we had to move again because of the wedding. At that point I went back to my room. This was a bit ridiculous. The guests are paying to be be on the beach and hang out outside. I understand the hotel has weddings, but you can't ask paying guests to move from every single location outside the hotel. It was really the most bizarre thing ever !!! The breakfast in the morning was decent. Buffet or menu service. We went with the buffet. The first day our waiter was amazing and on top of everything. The next 2 mornings were a disaster. 20 minutes for coffee (there were only 2 other tables I eat early around 7/7:30). There were at least 5/6 guys working, but they were all slow and seemed to not know what to do. It was crazy. then 20 more minutes for milk. I finally got up from the table and went inside to the self serve coffee in the lounge and made my own cup ! I finished my eggs well before the brought ketchup and hot sauce after 25 minutes. Truly a disaster. The in house restaurants are fine. Il Mulino is a chain. The staff was a bit rude. They told me they were out of champagne. I said let me guess everyone from the wedding drank it. Then they finally found a bottle. I ordered a bottle of red wine, guess what they didn't have that either ! It was fine, not great and not up to Il Mulino normal standards. The chop house was not good at all unless you get some of the visiting in house sushi. The waiter was nice enough but the food was subpar. Beach service was ok, the guys were super nice but I tipped $5/$10 per day to get me towels set up loungers, so most of the time they were nice. No one really comes around to check on you , though they come around with small cups of fruit during the day. Overall, this hotel is fine for a quick weekend getaway, I would skip breakfast if you can and go out elsewhere to eat. The gym was fine, decent. The hair salon was a disaster. Paid $95.00 for a blowout. The woman had no idea what she was doing. She put 5 products in my hair after washing it before blow drying it, and then wanted to put more after she was done. I got up and told her not thanks, I already have every product in the salon in my hair. YUK !!!! Had a pretty decent massage in the spa. Although the layout is quite strange, lots of walking in between spa room and changing areas and bathrooms etc. The overall room was very nice. Large and comfortable. Not too noisy at all and beds were comfortable. Nice size bathroom.
I recently traveled to Miami and spend a day at the stunning Acqualina Resort & Spa in Sunny Isles. The Resort is known for its five star service and perfect beach setting. Wow! really is the way to describe my experience. I started my day with breakfast on the Patio, overlooking the beach and pool area. I love their option of having a buffet or a la carte offering and decided to go with the buffet. The food was delicious and of great variety. Especially their oatmeal bar was stellar. All the fixings you dream off. The omelette / egg station is always a winner and with all the fresh ingredients provided you can really create your dream breakfast. My server was a wonderful woman named Patricia, who made sure I had what I needed and offered beverages along with other meal options. She engaged me in pleasant small talk and every time I got up, made sure upon my return, my coffee was refilled and the napkin delicately placed on the table.
The weather was so inviting that I opted for the beach and was greeted with a big smile from the staff who look after your chairs and towels. I was promptly escorted to the front row and offered a beach chair with a direct view of the ocean. Heavenly! The young gentlemen was quick in setting me up with fresh ice water, plenty of towels and a stylish chair set up which makes you believe you even got a pillow. Awesome! During the next couple hours someone from the staff stopped by to make sure I was still enjoying everything and provided complimentary fresh pressed juices or fruit. What an amazing idea and a real extra touch!
I had lunch at the wonderful Coastal Grill. Beautifully put together and right by the beach and pool area, you could spend hours here. I had the Tuna Poke and can highly recommend it. Great to look at and even better to taste. My true highlight was my waitress Edlin. What a charming and bubbly personality. She truly made my visit memorable and had such a warm and genuine persona - I wish everyone would be like that. She is a true asset for the Hotel!
Earlier I had booked a deep tissue massage at their ESPA Spa and after a little down time, I was welcomed at their reception and shown around the facilities. Truly beautiful and very attention to detail. From the private pool, relaxation room with daily changing tea and cookie offerings to the luxurious sauna and steam rooms - a spa you want in your own house. My therapist Aika walked me to the treatment room and made sure to consult me and my needs and preferences before letting me choose my favorite massage oil, from a variety of products. She changed the music to put me in the right mood and began our session with a scent of lemon verbena for me to breath in. Simply amazing! She had the magic touch and really worked some areas where I need a more stronger hand. Outstanding. Right before I walked into the room she noticed that I had forgotten to put slippers on, so when my massage was finished and she gave me the privacy to get dressed she made sure a fresh pair of slippers were waiting next to the table. That is attention to detail and not missing out on providing a wow moment. I could have not been more satisfied with this or the entire day I spent at the Acqualina. It's a first class establishment and everyone who I encountered was a big part of making this a wonderful visit. When can I come back?!
We enjoyed our stay in this hotel, the room is very confortable, even if the decoration is a little old fashion.
We had our first dinner in the Italian restaurant at the hotel, let’s say it, we both were disappointed by the food.
Service is good and the food at the beach is tasty, specially they’re Tacos.
Beach area is big and seats are very comfortable.
I am baffled by the love for this property. Pool service was awful. We, along with so many other guests, were left searching for a pool attendant to set-up chairs/towels. The lovely gal whom we finally recruited to help us (after a 20 minute wait) admitted that the pool area was terribly understaffed. Once we settled poolside we ordered lunch. It came to us with plastic utensils. The pizza was presented in a pizza box, a la Dominos, with paper plates. We were absolutely shocked. You won't be surprised to hear that the pool and beach areas were filthy... littered with paper napkins, cups, spoons. It was disgusting. And the staff didn't remove any of it. We asked to speak with the general manager about this. He told us that the it was standard practice for an upscale resort to use plastic products for pool and beach service. I responded that I had never seen it prior to coming to Acqualina. He acted as if I were a rube who wasn't worthy of any more of his time. I have never met anyone in the hospitality business as condescending and dismissive as he was.
On a brighter note, the spa services were fabulous. But the spa pool was occupied by a group of women who were literally screaming over top of each other. I mean they were shouting at each other. The spa "relaxation" area faces that small pool. There was no relaxation to be had.
There was construction going on during our stay. Loud. All day.
Our room was average... rather forgettable. I'll say it again: I don't get it. I don't get Acqualina. Probably the most overrated resort we've ever visited.
Great time at this beautiful hotel that has the feel of a boutique hotel run by a very family friendly staff. Our family loved it - we had the best time there. We really liked the pool service from Sarah Garcia and Matt on the beach lounge couches. Il Mullino was as good as NYC - porcini mushroom ravioli was perfect. What a great place for the ultimate family vacation. Also, the sushi bar was amazing for our son - he loved learning about all kinds of fish and also in a very comfortable setting!