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“Mixed Bag”

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Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
31 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“Mixed Bag”
Reviewed 2 June 2007

Other reviewers are showing this place a lot of love - and there is a lot that works, particularly the restaurants, the spa, and most of the staff. For the price, and the league these folks want to play in, they're not scoring 4s or 5s in my book yet. Here are a few things (most readily fixable) that could use some attention:
1. Ocean and pools: Mediocre service. Once we were set up in our lounges or chairs, staff never came by to see how we were doing or what we needed, and there was no easy system to get their attention. Contrast that with our recent stay at Four Seasons Las Vegas, where at poolside we were offered everything from cold water to Evian spritzes to a sunglasses cleaning to fruit ices and more, all graciously and without unnecessary interruption. There are three good-sized pools, but the "serenity pool" was largely abandoned by staff and had the same disco-era music blaring as at the other pools. If you're selling serenity, choose appropriate music! Oh, and the beachside cafe has a terrific setting, but the food is three notches below the indoor restaurants.
2. Rooms: Please do something about the slipperty marble floors in bathrooms and showers - tumbled marble would be much safer. And we had to give up a perfect room for a less-perfect one because of a gang of four cigar smokers on an adjacent balcony whose exhaust was blowing into our room. Also, some of the finishes are already showing wear (peeling molding in the elevators, e.g.).
3. Design and layout: On the whole, pretty good, but one significant flaw -- for whatever reason, the doors facing beachside have been designed so they are almost impossible to open against the wind -- and when you do open them, the wind rearranges a lot of the artwork on the walls. As a courtesy, I spent the first couple of days trying to set the frames straight, then I gave up.
4. Location: This is an area in transition from low-end motels to high-end high-rises. There's a huge empty lot next door on the south side(where Acqualina II will allegedly be built some day) and there are still some tatty motels as you walk along the beach (which is the only place you'll walk, because Collins Avenue at this point is not pedestrian-friendly). Time and development dollars will change some of this, but for now it cheapens what is otherwise a very expensive experience.

  • Liked — Large rooms, almost all with beautiful ocean views
  • Disliked — Poolside and beachside service
  • Stayed April 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank highway_song
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Toronto
Level Contributor
210 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 319 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 May 2007

My husband and I stayed at the Acqualina for 3 nights in May. We've stayed at many beautiful hotels around the world including Las Ventanas in Cabo (another Rosewood) and this hotel ranks right up there with the best. But what we really notice about this hotel and Las Ventanas is how incredibly friendly the staff are. They're always so happy to assist with anything and they're always smiling. We've never seen another hotel besides these two with such great employees. Rosewood does a great job in this area. Also, we find the Rosewood hotels are so beautiful due to their architecture and detail.

We loved hanging out by the pool. We've stayed at the Ritz in South Beach but we love the pool at Acqualina much better.

The only negative for us is that there aren't very many restaurants near the Acqualina and it's a 20-30 minute cab ride from South Beach. We both love South Beach so we'll probably go back to the Ritz for our next visit. But I'll definitely miss the pool area of this hotel while I'm at the Ritz.

I definitely recommend this property to anyone who is looking for a gorgeous hotel with super friendly employees and a great pool area.

I also recommend Las Ventanas in Cabo San Lucas. Las Venatans is actually our favorite hotel we've ever stayed at in the world.

  • Liked — The pool area and the friendly staff
  • Disliked — Location
  • Stayed May 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Vickie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 May 2007

I don't even know where to begin with my review of this unbelievable property and it's staff. I have to admit that a part of me wants to post a negative review so that it doesn't gain popularity and lose it's charm ;-)

My husband and I decided to try out the Acqualina as a honeymoon of sorts. We had been to Little Dix Bay (another Rosewood property) for our mini-moon after our wedding and didn't have a great experience. Since we never took a honeymoon, we opted for the Acqualina and are thrilled to have experienced it.

We were upgraded to an ocean front suite that was simply gorgeous. I could have easily moved into this suite and been quite content. They don't miss a detail! Everything was spotless, comfortable, and it had a view that you could never grow tired of.

Eventhough the resort is gorgeous, the staff is truly what makes it. From our check-in, the spa, and the beach staff - all were truly fantastic. There is a genuiness there that you don't often find at larger, upscale resorts.

In particular the ever so gracious concierge, Chauncy (I know you're reading this! ;-)), arranged for my husband and I to have a terrific dinner at Grazie in South Beach. The meal and company at the restaurant made for a great experience that we won't forget. We had such a great time with Chauncy, and her and Karine always greated us with great smiles. Gershwin at the Beach Cafe was someone else that went out of their way for us.

We plan on returning soon, and I'm already counting the days. This place is truly five star in every respect.

  • Liked — everything
  • Stayed May 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank starbucksaholic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ohio
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 15 May 2007

Stayed with wife and 15 month old son in April. The resort is first class all the way. Excellent facilities - great staff - awesome rooms. The property sits on a wonderful stretch of beach with clear blue water. Somewhat expensive - but I felt that overall it was a good value.

The only negative has nothing to do with the hotel - Sunny Isles just ain't there yet. Lot's of ocean front / mega-development going on, but the area is just OK. It's a great place for a 3-5 day stay, excellent for families and relatively close to South Beach.

  • Liked — Rooms / Beach
  • Disliked — Town / Sunny Isles
  • Stayed April 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank BMCOhio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach

Property: Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach
Address: 17875 Collins Avenue, Sunny Isles Beach, FL 33160-2718
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Florida > Sunny Isles Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Sunny Isles Beach
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Sunny Isles Beach
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Sunny Isles Beach
#1 Romantic Hotel in Sunny Isles Beach
#1 Luxury Hotel in Sunny Isles Beach
#1 Family Hotel in Sunny Isles Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach 5*
Number of rooms: 98
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

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