HomeAmericasSpecial Report - Acqualina Resort & Spa, Sunny Isles, Fla.

Special Report – Acqualina Resort & Spa, Sunny Isles, Fla.

Acqualina Resort & Spa is a luxury resort built in Mediterranean-style (2006) located on 4.5 beachfront acres on the beach in Sunny Isles Beach (see map below), with 98 guest rooms, including 44 suites and 188 residences featuring high-rise views of the Atlantic Ocean. 

Acqualina Resorts Florida Sunny Isles
Credit: Acqualina

The resort is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World and is a recipient of the Forbes Travel Guide 5-Star Award and the AAA Five Diamond Award. Last year, Andrew Harper selected it #1 Family Resort In The World. On adjacent land, also on the beach, The Estates at Acqualina, is being built. Many residents in the current complex (62% to be exact) came as hotel guests, and liked it so much, they bought. So in addition to the hotel side of this report we will be covering real estate opportunities in detail at the end.

VIDEO: Co-Owner Jules Trump and Acqualina residents discuss The Estates at Acqualina and offer an insider preview (above).

Last year the owners (The Trump Group as in Jules, Edie and Stephanie Trump — not related to the U.S. president) struck a deal with famous fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld (Chanel, Fendi handbags) to bring his unique perspective to the lobby areas of their new project. Associating with the Lagerfeld name has increased interest in the project multifold as it is his first foray into real estate in the U.S. Since at age 83, it’s not likely he will be adding dozens more design projects, it also likely will increase the value of the residences now being sold. 

Of course, Acqualina is worth going to even if you just want a great vacation spot convenient to South Florida’s extensive sporting and cultural attractions, and a resort that is well-suited for families and pet friendly.

“In any room you feel more like you are in your own luxury Florida apartment than in a typical hotel,” Jack Ezon, president of Ovation Vacations, a top luxury travel agency told us. He says, “Small details show that every comfort was thought out: Elohim blow dryers in the bathroom, safes right at your eye level, oversized walk-in closets, and a most incredible rain-shower with just the right amount of pressure.  The piece de resistance for my two-year old were the rubber-duckies in every bathroom which never left her side.”


Acqualina offers everything from the beach, three oceanfront swimming pools and tennis to its Il Mulino New York Italian restaurant, meeting rooms. outstanding venues for events, both indoors and outdoors, and a marine biology-based children’s program. 

Acqualina Spa by ESPA, the first ESPA-branded spa in the United States, provides guests with a 20,000-square-foot, two-story area with 11 multi-functional treatment rooms, and a new Royal Spa suite for two, along with an outdoor terrace with a spa pool, heated jet pool, and Roman waterfall, all with ocean views. “I can honestly say it was one of the best spa experiences I have had around the world,” Ezon says, adding, “The treatment menu is creative and complete, and the decor is just fabulous.”

Situated between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Acqualina is just five minutes from the Bal Harbour Shops (Chanel, Brioni, Dior, Gucci, Graff, Harry Winston, Hublot, Kiton, Ralf Lauren, Neiman Marcus, Richard Mille, Salvatore Ferragamo, Tom Ford, Tiffany and more) and a short drive from the nightlife and day scene of South Beach and Ft. Lauderdale. Ezon says it’s a good location if you want to dip into the craziness of the SoBe lifestyle and then retreat to Acqualina’s more sophisticated and relaxed environment.

Acqualina rates five stars on Trip Advisor across 887 reviews and is #1 in Sunny Isles. There were only four Poor/Terrible reviews in the past two years, including one where the guest requested three children’s car seats for an airport pick-up and there were only two. That’s certainly a problem, however, according to the review, the hotel comped the first night’s stay, a reported $1,000 credit, which shows a proclivity to make things right when they go wrong.

Ezon says the resort’s only downside is some people may feel it is “too residential” if you are looking for a traditional hotel feel, and it’s a solid 30 minutes to South Beach and Miami Beach if either are going to be a significant part of your plans. 

Hotel Accommodations

Forty-four (44) of the 98 units (detailed below) are suites.

The guest rooms were redesigned in 2015 and utilize zebra wood, walnut, champagne bronze and smoked glass. Textural notes were incorporated through the use of chenille velvets, plush satins, bouclé’s and exotic woven textiles. The palette has been painted in sun-bleached hues of gray, taupe, sand, and celadon, which combined with gilded metals, brings a jewel like image. Chinchilla “fur” throws contribute an exotic touch. Bathrooms are outfitted with imported marble flooring, double sinks, a bathtub and separate glass-enclosed shower.

All hotel suites feature an ocean view, a king-size bed, separate living room, sofa sleeper, club chair, smoked glass and bronze metal coffee tables, desk chair and dining chairs, writing desk, taupe lacquer dresser with integrated media connectivity, two high-definition TV’s, entertainment unit, private terrace and spacious bathroom outfitted with imported marble flooring, double sinks, custom vanity area, bath tub and glass-enclosed shower. 

Deluxe Three-Bedroom Oceanfront Hotel Suite (2)

Acqualina Resorts Florida Sunny Isles
Credit: Acqualina

Located on the 35th and 31st floors, the two 2,375 sq. ft. Presidential Suites are Ezon’s choice for families. Both Deluxe Three Bedroom Oceanfront Suites feature three bathrooms, private balconies with views of the Atlantic Ocean. Each suite is equipped with a large living room, two sitting spaces including a media area with a high-definition TV, a writing desk and a wine bar station.

Acqualina Resorts Florida Sunny Isles
Credit: Acqualina

Each suite features a full gourmet kitchen with Sub-Zero built-in refrigerator/freezer, granite countertops, microwave, dishwasher, stainless-steel sink, and fully stocked private bar.

The dining area with bay window and floor to ceiling views of the ocean in each of the suites seats six persons. The oceanfront master bedroom in both of these suites features a king size bed, walk-in closet, high-definition TV, Sony Dash Personal Internet Viewer allowing guests to surf their favorite parts of the internet including weather, traffic, social networking, movies, music and more.

The 220 sq. ft. master bathrooms feature imported marble flooring, double sinks, custom vanity area, bathtub and glass-enclosed shower. The family bedrooms feature a full private bathroom and two twin beds, which can be bridged together to a large king. “Bathrooms are among the largest I’ve seen,” says Ezon.

The guest bedrooms feature a king size bed and are adjacent to a full bathroom that is also accessible from the living room area. Both the family and guest bedrooms in each Deluxe Three Bedroom Oceanfront Suite are equipped with 55″ TVs, Bose Entertainment Units, iPod docking stations and a balcony with a view of Miami’s skyline.

Deluxe Two-Bedroom Oceanfront Hotel Suite

Acqualina Resorts Florida Sunny Isles
Credit: Acqualina

These suites offer king-size beds in both the master and second bedroom, oceanfront views, twin-size day bed, separate living room, private bar, sitting area, private balcony, gourmet kitchen (with Sub-Zero built-in refrigerator/freezer, granite countertops with full back splash, Italian limited-edition cabinets, microwave, dishwasher, stainless-steel sink and garbage disposal), breakfast room, and two full bathrooms outfitted with imported marble flooring, double sinks, custom vanity area, bathtub and glass-enclosed shower. 

Acqualina Resorts Florida Sunny Isles
Credit: Acqualina

The master bedroom offers oceanfront views and the second bedroom offers Intracoastal views. Size is 2,035 sq. ft. enclosed area with 221 sq. ft of balcony.

Two-Bedroom Oceanfront Hotel Suite

Acqualina Resorts Florida Sunny Isles
Credit: Acqualina

The oceanfront hotel suites offer a master bedroom and second bedroom both with king-size beds, separate living room, private bar, sitting area, private terrace, gourmet kitchen (with Sub-Zero built-in refrigerator/freezer, designer granite countertops with full back splash, Italian limited-edition cabinets, microwave, dishwasher, stainless-steel sink and garbage disposal), breakfast room, powder room and two full bathrooms outfitted with imported marble flooring, double sinks, custom vanity area, bathtub and glass-enclosed shower. 

Acqualina Resorts Florida Sunny Isles
Credit: Acqualina

The master bedroom offers oceanfront views and the second bedroom offers Intracoastal views. Each features a convertible den with writing desk and twin-size bed. Size: 2,035 sq. ft. enclosed area; 2,379 sq. ft. with balcony (221 sq. ft.).

Deluxe One-Bedroom Oceanfront Hotel Suite

Acqualina Resorts Florida Sunny Isles
Credit: Acqualina

Deluxe One-Bedroom hotel suites feature a premium oceanfront view, bedroom with king-size bed, twin-size day bed, separate living room, sofa sleeper, credenza with integrated media connectivity, club chairs, smoked glass and bronze metal coffee tables, dresser and desk with bronze glass inlay, desk, desk chair, ottoman, day bed with twin mattress, signature style wingback club chair, high-definition TV’s, private bar, sitting area, private balcony, gourmet kitchen (with Sub-Zero built-in refrigerator/freezer, designer granite countertops with full back splash, Italian limited-edition cabinets, microwave, dishwasher, stainless-steel sink and garbage disposal) and breakfast room. The 220 sq. ft. main bathroom is outfitted with imported marble flooring, double sinks, custom vanity area, Jacuzzi whirlpool tub and glass-enclosed shower. Size: 1,430 sq. ft. enclosed area; 1,660 sq. ft. with balcony.

One-Bedroom Oceanfront Hotel Suite

Acqualina Resorts Florida Sunny Isles
Credit: Acqualina

The One-Bedroom Oceanfront Hotel Suites feature an oceanfront view, bedroom with king-size bed, separate living room, sofa sleeper, credenza with integrated media connectivity, club chairs, smoked glass and bronze metal coffee tables, dresser and desk with bronze glass inlay, desk, desk chair, high-definition TV’s, private bar, sitting area, private balcony, gourmet kitchen (with Sub-Zero built-in refrigerator/freezer, designer granite countertops with full back splash, Italian limited-edition cabinets, microwave, dishwasher, stainless-steel sink and garbage disposal), breakfast room, and a powder room. The 220 sq. ft. main bathroom is outfitted with imported marble flooring, double sinks, custom vanity area, Jacuzzi whirlpool tub and glass-enclosed shower. Also features a convertible den with writing desk and twin-size bed. Size: 1,430 sq. ft. enclosed area; 1,660 sq. ft. with balcony.

Dining

Il Mulino New York

The New York original is a favorite of President Bill Clinton who has dined there with President Obama, and it is venue of choice for power brokers. But if you are from the Big Apple, Il Mulino New York at Acqualina will have your throne ready. The restaurant serves daily breakfast from 7:00 am to 11:00 am and continues its tradition of preparing authentic cuisine from Italy’s Abruzzi region for lunch from 12:00 pm to 2:30 pm and dinner from 5:30 pm to 11:00 pm.

AQ by Acqualina

AQ by Acqualina offers Mediterranean cuisine rich with Italian influences. The menu crafted by Il Mulino New York  balances casual and chic in an oceanfront resort setting. Salmon Carpaccio and Tuna Tartare, along with fresh salads, homemade pastas and entrees ranging from Grilled Shrimp Scampi to Chicken in Crosta (lightly sautéed with lemon and white wine in a parmigiana crust) are part of a menu that rotates seasonally. A children’s (Bambini) menu is also available. AQ by Acqualina guests can supplement their experience with fresh selections from a sushi bar staffed by masters from Hiro’s Yakko-san. AQ by Acqualina is open Monday through Sunday 5:30pm to 10:00pm.

Costa Grill

Costa Grill, open daily for lunch from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm is the perfect spot to enjoy a beachside lunch or a light snack. Costa Grill serves an array of gourmet cuisine including sandwiches, burgers,  and salads in a casual setting.

Pets Permitted

You can have one dog or cat in your guest room or suite to be limited to not more than 25 pounds and measuring not more than 14 inches. Service Dogs are permitted with proper documentation and there are rules about where your pet can go as well as servicing your room. There is also a $100 charge for deep cleaning the room. Fido does get a “pet amenity” and you get a “Pet In-Room” sign to hang on your door. Pet-walking can also be arranged in advance.

Acqualina Spa by Espa

Acqualina Resorts Florida Sunny Isles
Credit: Acqualina

The 20,000-square-foot two-story Acqualina Spa by ESPA, a Forbes Five-Star rated spa, overlooks the glistening Atlantic Ocean and provides guests and outside clients with a tranquil sanctuary. Acqualina Spa by ESPA combines the best of ancient and modern therapies with the latest and finest skin care advances. The ultimate treatment choice, ESPA Time, commences with a Welcome Foot Ritual where the client’s needs are established, resulting in tailored treatments and a completely customized experience. All treatments are enhanced by a full line of ESPA marine, aromatherapy and plant active products blended using the highest quality organically grown plants, known for their purity, potency and exceptional results in skincare. The spa features his and her locker rooms equipped with sauna, steam room, his and her relaxation lounges, and an outdoor spa veranda with outdoor spa pool.

In addition, guests can utilize the Acqualina Hair Salon by Voi located on the Mezzanine level. The Hair Salon provides a wide selection of professional hair care, manicures and pedicures for men and women, body waxing and makeup services.

Pools and Cabanas

Three outdoor swimming pools provide multiple options. Pools are restricted to residents, hotel guests and beach club members. Cabanas are available for full-day rentals. 

Fitness Center

Outfitted with strength and cardiovascular equipment, the oceanfront fitness center, located on the Mezzanine Level, is equipped with TechnoGym Artis equipment and free weights.

Acquamarina

For children ages 5-12, AcquaMarine focuses on all things pertaining to the ocean, combining education, exercise and fun to keep kids learning and laughing all day long. In addition to AcquaMarine’s designated programs, kids have a 500 sq. ft. children’s room, equipped with a computer center, video games, toys, microscopes and movies. Children participate in arts and crafts, outdoor games, scrap-booking and other seasonally activities. The Acquamarine program is complimentary to hotel guests.

Services and Activities

Services and activities include basketball by the beach and soccer on the great lawn, 24-hour room service, complimentary wireless Internet access, twice-daily housekeeping service including nightly turndown, 24-hour multilingual concierge services, private Beach Club, 24-hour valet parking, babysitting, butler services, pet walking, tailoring, full Business Center services, access to Williams Island Marina for yachts up to 165 feet and local shuttle service.

Golf

There are five championship golf courses within 15 miles of Acqualina, including The Diplomat, The Club at Emerald Hills (host of the PGA Tour Doral and Honda Open qualifiers), Turnberry Isle Golf (two 18-hotel courses), Miami Beach Golf Club (dating back to 1923), and Hillcrest Golf Club.

Meetings and Events

There are meeting rooms fitting 10 to 40 persons and parties for up to 130 persons. Meeting rooms are equipped for high-speed Internet access, individual sound systems and temperature control. Acqualina’s tented lawn areas can accommodate weddings and other special occasions for up to 150 persons for a reception and 130 persons for a sit-down dinner with dance floor and entertainment.

The Estates at Acqualina

The most striking feature of The Estates at Acqualina will be oversize terraces taking advantage of South Florida outdoor living and Atlantic Ocean views and the lobby designed by the legendary Karl Lagerfeld (below).

Acqualina Resorts Florida Sunny Isles
Credit: Acqualina

Overall, there will be 245 luxury residences from three to seven bedrooms (3,000-17,000 sq. ft. in size) in two, 50-story towers, Via Acqualina 777 and Via Acqualina 888. Thick floors (10.5 inches) mean a high level of soundproofing. There are 18 different floor plans that can be further combined and customized, including duplex residences. 

Each home (beginning in 2020) will be delivered furniture ready, and equipped with top end appliances, imported stone countertops, smart-home technology and 10.5 feet high ceilings. This can save months and as much as a year of having to act as a general contractor.

Acqualina Resorts Florida Sunny Isles
Credit: Acqualina

Master suites will have his and her bathroom suites with imported onyx countertops and walls and marble floors, a steam mist shower, a free-standing tub, an ocean-view shower and his and her dressing rooms. 

Acqualina Resorts Florida Sunny Isles
Credit: Acqualina

There will be a 45,000 sq. ft. clubhouse Villa Acqualina (driveway pictured below) situated between the two towers, including bowling alley, ice skating rink, golf simulator, Formula One racing simulator, movie screening room, Billiard’s room, separate rooms for teens and children, cigar lounge, wine lounge and even a Wall Street Trader’s Clubroom (with Bloomberg terminals and secure Internet). There is also a private park inspired by the gardens of Italian villas. 

Acqualina Resorts Florida Sunny Isles
Credit: Acqualina

Outdoor amenities will provide residents and their families with an array of entertainment just outside their front door. The Estates will have 5.6 acres of grounds and gardens, multiple infinity pools, a FlowRider® for surfers, a basketball court, a bocce court, a dog park, soccer field, and a beachfront restaurant with a 5-star beach and pool services. Additionally, residents have the option to purchase a private cabana overlooking the beach that can be personalized to the fit the buyer’s needs. Each 300-500 sq. ft. cabana is fully equipped with amenities such as a wine cooler, microwave, coffee machine, ice maker, refrigerator, full bathroom and air conditioner, and includes two attached parking spaces that allow residents to drive right onto the beach.

Of course, one of the biggest advantages is being part of a 5-star hotel complex, and enjoying the services that the resort offers in addition to the resident-only privileges. Residences at The Estates at Acqualina are priced from $4 to $9.8 million and $26-30 million for penthouses.

VIP Contacts

Hotel Reservations: +1.844.507.7346 

Real Estate Enquiries: Michael Goldstein, president at +1.786.646.9259 or sales@estatesatacqualina.com 

Doug Gollanhttp://douggollandotcom.wordpress.com
I am Editor-in-Chief of Private Jet Card Comparisons and DG Amazing Experiences, and a Contributor to Forbes.com.
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