This is our second stay at the Acqualina/ Our first trip was shortly after they opened in 2006 (see my previous review). Although the service was very good in 2006, I have to say they have taken their service to an entirely new level. It is very hard to find anything wrong with this resort, staff, location, amenities, etc.
I'd like to update my 2006 review with some additional information:
- The area around the Acqualina has developed further with additional restaurants and shopping within quick walking distance. In addition, there are shopping & food options at Aventura Mall and Bal Harbour Shops near by not to mention Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. I know a number of people mentioning the food/beverage prices at Acqualina. There is a Denny's and McDonalds across the street, a Publix grocery store and several other convenience stores all within the walking distance. A little further down the road (walking) is a Starbucks, Subway, pizza places, etc. Don't let the food and drink prices scare you from staying here. Just plan accordingly and utlize the other food and beverage options around the resort.
- The spa is incredible. If you can only go for one service do the Contour and Firm Body Treatment with Ingrid. Beware you can't drink alcohol for 24 hours following the massage, but it is an incredible. I had 4 services, one each day, and they were all incredible; however, if I could have only done one I recommend the Contour and Firm Body Treatment. Regardless of the service, don't miss the spa.
- I know you might think that tipping isn't necessary when you pay so much for a room, food and beverage; however, a few dollars here and there for houskeeping, beach/pool chair set up, remembering your favorite drink/food order etc. it goes along way for the staff.
What could you do without to save money and still have an exceptional experience:
- Stay in the intercostal room. On our first visit we stayed in a 1 BD Suite. This was a wonderful and luxurious room. However, the price of the room has escalated over the 4 years and we just can't see the value. The intercostal room is lovely and the view is really nice. Unless upgraded for free to a 1 BD room, we found the intercostal room just fine. After all, you don't spend that much time in the room.
- Cabana Rental - save your money. Nothing special and no better service at the cabana's than anywhere else at the pool or beach.
- Sushi in the bar area - expensive for what you get. Great sushi places in the area. If they reduced the pricing for the sushi they'd sell more and throw out less food. We love sushi, but we'd prefer to spend our money elsewhere. Two rolls and two glasses of wine with the 18% service charge (tip) was $81.
- Alcohol at the hotel. You can pick up beverages at the local stores and bring to your room. Bring a collapsing cooler. I know the prices are comparable with other hotels, but again, we'd drink more if we weren't paying $12 a glass of wine for the same wine we buy in DC at upscale restaurants for $8.
- If you wan't to save money on food, but don't want to leave the resort, eat breakfast at Aaria (buffet). It will carry you into dinner and you shouldn't need lunch. However, directly across the street is Denny's and McDonald's if you want to eat less expensive for breakfast or lunch.
- Eat off property if you need to save money; however, don't miss Il Mulino. You have to eat at this restaurant. Good value for the price. The food and service are exceptional (they've calmed down and aren't hovering over your table like they were in 2006). This is a repeat restaurant. We could eat here everynight.
If I had any recommendations for Acqualina it would be:
- Pool staff should be more attentive during the day and automatically bring a menu and drink menu around 11:30 a.m. just to set the stage for eating and drinking at the pool.
- Come up with a way that the guest can signal that service is needed at the pool or at the beach. Otherwise, there is no way to get the staff's attention without going directly up to the Grill to ask for service.
- Turndown service shouldn't start before 7:00 p.m. Turndown service seemed to always occur while we were getting ready for dinner.
There really isn't anything to complain about. The resort is clean, beautiful and is on a lovely stretch of beach. You can walk for miles on the beach or on the street. We've stayed at many nice resorts. The Acqualina is by far the only resort we've stayed that has exceptional and consistently over the top service. You can count on great service, great food, and wonderful amenities each and every visit.
Although everyone provided great service, a special thanks to:
Clint, Emma, Ingrid, Katarina, Kelley, and Marie for exceptional service in the spa.
Juan and Juan Carlos in Aaria for exceptional service in Aaria for breakfast.
Matt, Giovanny, Chris and Chris for exceptional service at the pool.
and Victor at Costa Grill for taking care of me my first day while waiting for my room to be ready.
Room Service for the surprise birthday cake - yummy!
Thanks to everyone at Acqualina for making my birthday a great and relaxing experience. Looking forward to our next visit.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach is a place where the charm of a Mediterranean villa meets elegance on the beach and a recipient of the coveted Forbes Travel Guide Five Star Award, the AAA Five Diamond Award and the Andrew Harper’s Reader’s Choice Award for Top #1 Top Beach Resort, #1 Top Spa Resort and #1 Top Family Resort. A seaside luxury haven located on 4.5 beachfront acres in pristine Sunny Isles Beach, Acqualina Resort & Spa features 98 impeccably appointed guest rooms and suites and 188 residencies with breathtaking views of Atlantic Ocean. Step into a world of luxury at this Miami Beach Resort with unprecedented accommodations and service, world-class dining destinations, including Piazzetta Marketplace, AQ by Acqualina with menus provided by Il Mulino New York and a separate restaurant by the Il Mulino New York, three oceanfront swimming pools, spacious boardroom, a world class fitness center offering the latest Artis technology and an innovative marine biology-based children’s program. A variety of lavish interior and exterior venues provide an ideal background for opulent weddings and memorable events on the lush property grounds boasting 400 feet of stunning Atlantic coastline. Acqualina Spa by ESPA, the first ESPA-branded spa in the United States, provides guests with an exquisite 20,000-square-foot, two-story tranquil sanctuary of excellence and relaxation set in a class of its own offering 11 multi-functional treatment rooms and an extravagant private spa suite for two, along with the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful outdoor terrace complete with a spa pool, heated jet pool, and Roman waterfall – all set against the gorgeous backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Acqualina Resort And Spa On The Beach
- Acqualina Resort & Spa On The Beach Hotel Sunny Isles Beach
- Acqualina Hotel Sunny Isles Beach
- Acqualina Hotel On The Beach
- Acqualina Resort & Spa On The Beach Sunny Isles Beach, Florida