By Nava and Michael Raviv
Acqualina Resort and Spa, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this past May, is a Leading Hotels of the World property and a recipient of the coveted Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star in addition to AAA Five Diamond awards.
Located in Southern Florida’s Sunny Isles Beach between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal waterways, the resort is only a half-hour drive from the Miami International Airport.
As you pull into the hotel’s palatial porte cochère, you cannot help but notice the numerous Rolls Royce and vintage automobiles parked in the driveway. You are in good company...
As you approach the elevators you take in the elegant lobby, soaring arched windows, majestic chandeliers, and opulent interior.
The hotel’s luxurious 98 guestrooms and suites either face the ocean or the Intracoastal waterway, offering stunning vistas of water and sky punctuated by towering high rises. Rooms are impeccably decorated with champagne-bronze accents, chenille velvets, plush satins, bouclés and exotic textiles. The gray, taupe, and sand color hues echo the easy-living Floridian style.
The huge bathroom features large wall mirrors, imported marble, double vanities, a supersized Jacuzzi tub, and a glass enclosed shower. Fine amenities such as plush towels, silky robes, slippers, and ESPA toiletries spell luxury and attention to detail.
One of Acqualina’s major attractions is its private beach club on the Atlantic Ocean. It offers three oceanfront pools, white canvas cabanas, locker rooms, and “white glove” service. The grounds are meticulously landscaped with manicured green lawns, flowering bushes, and palm trees. Crimson-red umbrellas and cushions add a vibrant accent to the sun washed décor. Pick a shady spot poolside or on the beach and, with an icy glass of lemon infused water in hand, relax and watch the Atlantic waves sweeping the sandy shoreline. If you need a refill, a fresh towel or suntan lotion, the pool butler is never too far. Guests looking for watersports action will find plenty of offerings from windsurfing to jet skying.
Additional recreational activities include tennis privileges at the Turnberry Isle and the Diplomat resorts, golf at five courses within 15 miles from the resort, shopping at the Aventura Mall, and a plethora of museums and major tourist attractions. A complimentary limousine is also available to shuttle guests to most area highlights.
Acqualina offers several dining venues where you can enjoy anything from a light sandwich to an elegant dinner.
Start your day with their generous breakfast buffet, a lavish spread of hot and cold selections, freshly baked pastries, smoothies, fruit juices, and various themed dishes. On weekends, the spread also includes seafood, tuna with black sesame seeds, and filet mignon.
For a gourmet dinner head to AQ, the hotel’s elegant restaurant. It is located in a large oval-shaped room with high ceilings, modern chandeliers and huge windows overlooking the pools and beach. Highlights of the modern American menu include Salmon Carpaccio drizzled with olive oil and lemon, Ahi Tuna Tartare in a citron dressing, Mushroom Risotto infused with a touch of Black truffle oil, and their signature Chicken in Crosta, sauteed with lemon and wine in a Parmigiana crust.
For fine Italian dining treat yourself to Il Mulino, the famous New York restaurant, located right off the hotel’s lobby. A stay at the resort would not be complete without some pampering at the Acqualina Spa by ESPA, an exquisite 20,000 square foot sanctuary on two floors, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The spa has recently installed a detoxifying Himalayan Salt Wall and has introduced new treatments such as the AMA releasing Abyhanga massage and Thai massages. This year, the Forbes Travel Guide awarded the spa a Five Star rating, an honor bestowed on only 47 spas in the world. This is the place to Indulge in a therapeutic massage or a rejuvenating facial.
The hallmark of the resort is its attentive and professional staff. They are friendly and eager to help answering guest requests with only one word: “Absolutely.”
Life at the Acqualina is so alluring that two thirds of the towering building is occupied by residences, and two more buildings are under construction to accommodate the high demand.
For hotel reservations and information, please visit: www.acqualinaresort.com