#1 Best Resort in the U.S. by U.S. News & World Report and 2020 #1 Luxury Beachfront Hotel in the U.S. by TripAdvisor. You have to admit, impressive credentials. I was looking for a Miami staycation and wanted to go to a part of Miami and a beach I don’t usually go to. Good friends went to Acqualina Resort & Residences in Sunny Isles Beach for a staycation not once, but twice, and raved about it. I had been to the spa for Miami Spa month and had lunch at Il Mulino a few years ago and was impressed. Then there was a chance to try the cryotherapy facial. So no contest, off we went for a 3 day/2 night holiday. Tomorrow look for my post on things to do and see in Sunny Isles Beach.
We pulled up to the resort and the valet took our temperature, part of extensive safety protocols that made us feel safe and comfortable. Surrounding us at the entrance were a dozen Rolls Royces and Bentleys which, it turns out are just part of the collection of 58, property of the owners of the condos of Acqualina and its sister resort the Mansions at Acqualina. It’s the highest concentration of Rolls Royces anywhere.
Our base was a luxe oceanfront suite, one of 98 guest rooms and suites in the 51-story Mediterranean inspired towers which also has 188 residences. The suite was complete with dining area, full kitchen, living area, bedroom, home office, grand bathroom and powder room. What most impressed me were the details.
A pet peeve is a bathroom countertop with little space for putting creams, cosmetics, meds, etc. Not only did the bathroom have a his and hers sink and countertop, but a makeup area and—the best yet, a huge space below the sink with shelves on the doors.
Then there was the gas stove, Illy coffee machine, sub zero refrigerator, ESPA amenities, and much more. The beach view was made for Instagram. I also liked the fact that you can request that your room be made up and turndown service at the hours you want, a safety protocol that hopefully will become the practice.
We could have spent our days at one of three swimming pools and in an adjacent pool cabana, but we preferred the beach where we were spoiled with fresh fruit kebabs, pitchers of ice cold water, and a flag to signal if and when we wanted to order food and drink.
The beach is long and flat, perfect for beach walks, and the water was pristine, redolent of the Caribbean. You can order lunch at your chair or at the Costa Grill beachfront restaurant complete with starched white tablecloths and a Med menu.
Our first night we went to one of our fave restaurants which I’ll tell you about tomorrow. Second night was reserved for Il Mulino New York, the branch of a New York City favorite by the same name. It was a lovely night, and we sat out on the restaurant’s balcony poolside. The menu has welcome Italian culinary classics that one doesn’t usually find anymore – like Dover sole, veal parmigiana and, on occasion, even beef wellington.
Pastas are always a good bet, but we couldn’t afford the calories so that will have to be next time. We thoroughly enjoyed our dinner and the excellent service. Next time we’d like to try one of the resort’s beachside dinners, a romantic setting for the desired number of diners with a fixed gourmet menu and torchlight dining.
On our day of departure I tried the cutting edge cryotherapy anti-aging facial with Italian technology called Pagani Cryo T-Shock, an anti-aging device. The new treatments alternate between hot and cold temperatures using the Cryo T-Shock to achieve desired results such as reducing the appearance of cellulite, treating sore muscles, inflammation reduction and the overall signs of aging. There’s also a crytotherapy blast face treatment and treatments for different parts of the body, My face glowed for five days after the facials, so I deemed it well worth it. As a part of the treatment price, there are experience showers and separate women’s and men’s relaxation lounges featuring Himalayan salt walls. Spa guests may also enjoy the coed, oceanfront sundeck, which includes a heated jet pool and Roman waterfall Jacuzzi. The resort is participating in Miami Spa Month.
I had heard about the $1.8 billion Estates at Acqualina two tower real estate project next door and how incredible it was. We checked out the sales gallery with a sample residence, all the finishing choices and video. Incredible with a capital “I”. Check out the features—lobby designed by Karl Lagerfeld; furniture and lighting package worth $800K by Fendi and Baccarat; suite amenities including a custom made French oven by La Cornue and pizza oven; recreational amenities ranging from a Wall Street trading room and racing car simulator to a bowling alley, FlowRider surf simulator, ice skating rink, speakeasy and a “hot” restaurant from New York to be announced soon, which will be open to the public. Starting price is $4.6 million. One tower is already 80% sold.
Acqualina offers Staycation, family and fourth night free packages. There’s an innovative AcquaMarine program for children that’s both fun and educational. Rates outside of the packages start at $425 in summer plus tax.
We’ll be back for sure!
Acqualina Resort & Residences, 17875 Collins Avenue, Sunny Isles Beach.