More about Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach
This truly has been an exquisite and outstanding experience, for our whole family. Although we only had a few days at Acqualina, the very first impression after our arrival was confirmed during the days there: this hotel has beautiful staff with indeed exceptional dedication to service and special attention to every possible detail. We particularly loved the fact that inspite of a giant building, it is not a crowded place and hotel guests blend neatly into the community of the property owners, an evidently impeccable clientele.
We can only congratulate you for what Acqualine has achieved.
For us, it is a must to repeat this experience. So, we are planning to visit you again in June.
The Most Beautiful Wedding!!!
Our guests told us that ours was the most beautiful wedding they'd ever attended.
Aside from our being very happy, the hotel grounds and natural beauty
of the ocean serving as a backdrop was probably a great contributing factor to the rave reviews everyone gave us about the event.
We had a small, intimate affair of only 14 people. The ceremony was outside on the hotel property, just by the beach. We had a private section of grassy area where everything was set up. Cocktails were served in an adjacent area shortly after. All this served as a spectacular venue for our happy occasion.
Drinks and food were provided by Aaria, one of the two restaurants in
the hotel. Prior to our arrival, we were a bit concerned that we haven't read any reviews (good or bad) about the restaurant but the food turned out to be amazing! We did try Il Mulino as well, which was excellent, but we couldn't figure out why there wasn't the same buzz for Aaria. It is a very airy and open space, done up in neutral tones - a great setting for our sit down dinner. Our preordered menu selections were served platter style and everyone loved the presentation and taste. The ambience was beautiful, too.
We had breakfast in the Aaria restaurant a couple of times and this was very well done also.
Overall, the hotel grounds are in great condition (being as new as it is) and it truly is beautiful. There are amenities galore and the service is exceptional. We used the concierge services extensively and were so impressed with the attention to detail and effort made to accommodate our requests.
I would highly recommend the Acqualina for any occasion because of the care of the staff and their willingness to provide outstanding service. You will feel very catered to here.
And, above all, we loved our room more than anything. We were in a Rosewood Suite, overlooking the ocean. The decor is fabulous but the view alone is priceless. Housekeeping is phenomenal!
A note about Sunny Isles - this area is experiencing explosive condo growth with lots of construction going on. Because we were there for our wedding, we made very little use of the beach or other activities. Sunny Isles is not like South Beach - there is very little "action". From what we saw, it's a great place to hang out...
especially when you're staying at a fine place like Acqualina with its many pools and outdoor atria. You might even end up spending most
of your time in the room because it is so stunning!
All they say and more...
We stayed in the Acqualina last April and had a great time. The hotel is magnificent and the service is outstanding. The staff have been a great help in creating a very enjoyable holiday experience.
The hotel amenities are superb. In contradiction to what an other reviewer wrote I think the three pools are big enough. One (big) pool is the tranquillity pool which doesn't allow children. The others are sometimes a bit crowded but there is always enough space to swim and relax. The beach service is great too - the guys are working hard to set up your chairs and now and then treats (like fruit lollipops) are being served.
Aaria's (the hotel restaurant) deserves more positive reviews as the food is great and waiting staff is superb. The ambience of Aaria's could use some attention; sometimes you feel like eating in a lobby (too big) and not in a restuarant. We did not like the DJ. This place deserves live jazzy or classical music, not triphoploungywhatever music. For that you can book a restaurant in SoBe. As the other restaurant (Il Mulino) is getting raving reviews everywhere I can understand that it is hard for Aaria's to set out a unique identity. Work the ambience (music, table setting, lighting) a little better; your chef, kitchen and waiting staff deserves it!
We have had a great time at Acqualina and will certainly come back in the near future. I can recommend it highly to anyone visiting the Miami area who is looking for a unique hotel with top notch service.
Two small critical notes: the hotel should start discouraging people to call with cell phones on the beach and around the pools, or at least prohibit it around the tranquility pool. At times half the pool deck or beach was yapping business talk (loudly on handsfree mode!) and this is frustrating and irritating when you try to relax without the use of an iPod. Simply putting up a sign (or jam mobile signals) might help. Also, a resort should not force it's guests to listen to music everywhere. Around the main pool and bar it is logical there is music, but they have placed speakers everywhere in the resort on which you can almost only hear the bass content. You also hear this around the tranquility pool and even on the beach.
A resort should be a place where you should be away from everydays noise and find peace so this is certainly a thing the management should evaluate.
A Step Above
I recently stayed at Acqualina for a 3 night weekend getaway (April 13-16). I often go to Miami for quick getaways and I tended to stay at the same hotels (Ritz Biscayne, Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental). I wanted to try something different this time so I booked Acqualina through American Express Platinum, which gives nice perks such as 4pm late check-out, free daily breakfast, and a $100 spa credit.
Simply put, the service at this hotel is a step above other luxury hotel chains like the Ritz and Four Seasons. The service here is more in line with Mandarin Oriental hotels, where I find the service to also be exceptional. Every single employee whom I encountered here was pleasant, well-mannered, and very helpful. Kudos to the managment and their training program. Little details made the difference. For example, when I approached the Concierge desk to make dinner reservations the Concierge was on the phone, but she asked me to have a seat and look through a book of restaurants. Rather than summon me over when she was done, she came and sat down with me and it felt more like a consultation than a conversation. Chauncey did an excellent job and I appreciated her recommendations. Also, when you arrive at the hotel you are whisked away to your room and the check-in is completed in your room so you don't have to stand in the lobby.
Not only was the service exceptional, but the rooms here are phenomenal. Rosewood obviously invested a lot of money into the rooms. I stayed in a bay view room and although I was hoping for an upgrade to an oceanview, the bay view room was fine. The view looked over the city and the bay and it was lovely. The room was larger than any standard room at the Ritz or Four Seasons, and had a large balcony. The bathroom was huge. It had a glass shower and deep soaking tub. The tub was equipped with a bath caddy-- ready for you to take a bath with bubble bath gel and a rubber ducky! Another reviewer expressed discontent with their bath products but I loved them. They use Lady Primrose products which come in glass containers, rather than small disposable containers. I loved the line so much I bought the after sun lotion that came in the room.
The beds were very comfortable and linens were very nice. By far the coolest thing in the room was the 40 inch plasma television that was encased in a piece of furniture. The television sat at the foot of the bed and you could make the television swivel around 180 degrees so that you could also watch the television from the sofa at the opposite end of the room.
I booked a 3 hour "Espa time" service at the in house Espa Spa. To keep this review shorter than a novela I will just say that it was divine.
I dined at Il Mulino, the NY based restaurant located in the hotel. The food was amazing just like the one in NY. However, the girl at the front desk was rude, rude, rude. Obviously, she was an employee of Il Mulino and not the hotel.
The only negative thing I can say is that the pool area is small. There are 3 different pools but all are small and sometimes loud. However, the beach is beautiful and the chair service is great. No need at this hotel to get up at the crack of dawn and reserve a spot. That was my pet peeve at the Ritz and Four Seasons. I showed up at 11am and was able to get a spot at the pool or beach with no problems.
If you're hesitating and don't know whether to try this hotel...don't! It's a great place to go if you want to relax. Do not come here if you want a party scene. The clientele here is more refined than I have experienced at other hotels. Come here if you want try try something better than the Ritz and Four Seasons.
Nice HOTEL for a SHORT STAY
The Acqualina hotel is situated in a sleepy part of Florida right between Miami and Fort Lauderdale. (Hollywood, FL) I flew in with my partner into the Ft Lauderdale airport. It's about a $50 cab ride from there to the hotel.
You can't miss the Acqualina. It resembles a mammoth, garrish Vegas type of hotel that's sky-high, on a small plot of land. With the yellow/orange exterior, it's somewhat tacky looking, and feels a bit circus-like in the small lobby areas. The best thing about this resort is that it is steps away from the ocean, and that's what makes it super attractive for a quick getaway when you're craving the beach and the oceanfront.
This part of town is very sleepy. There really is nothing to do except stay at the resort, walk along the beach, or go across the street to the Wal-Greens, McDonald's, or a couple of restaurants. It's a short cab ride away from the Bal Harbour shopping area. I didn't go, but my partner did, and these are very high-end shops in this area. There is another generic mall nearby called the Aventura, or something like that, but probably not worth the trip. To have fun in the evening, you'll need to splurge for the cab ride down to South Beach, or back up to Ft Lauderdale.
The big plus of this hotel is the service, and the lack of pretension that you get at any of the South Beach hotels. There's no hotel like this that's oceanfront in South Beach. (including the Ritz Carlton which is average at best) All the hotels there lack intimacy, and have that pumping music by the pools and the restaurants. This hotel offers more privacy, better service, & bigger classier rooms... although it is true that there are one too many kids running around screaming, or jumping on the outdoor hammocks rocking back and forth without any adult supervision from parents.
ROOMS: (7 out of 10)
We had an oceanfront room on the 21st floor without a kitchen. The hotel is primarily a condo residence. We had a huge outdoor balcony that you could step out onto from not only the bedroom, but from the living room as well. There is a plasma screen in both rooms that is perfect, with fantastic digital movie service. (There is no DVD players nor stereos in any of the rooms for CDs or MP3s, although there is a BOSE wave system by the bedside)
The bed is nice, but with the $1000+ night spent for the room, you'd think that there would have been softer and better sheets, like Frette linens or a similar standard. The sheets are scratchy and feel like Kmart poly-blend. The bed has a pillow top that is a bit mushy.
The lighting in the rooms, bathroom, everywhere is immaculate with everything on dimmers. The light controls in each room are neverending, in fact, each switch has to have a label corresponding to the designated light since it is so confusing to figure out which switch matches to what.
There is a charming desk area, wi-fi, and a table for eating in a small dining room. WARNING: Cell phones and blackberrys don't work well here when you're inside your room. When stepping out onto the balcony, it's even tough to get a signal there.
The bathroom has a terrible shampoo, conditioner, and bath gel combination. The liquids are each in large glass bottles that are cumbersome to grasp. The hotel opted to not use small shampoo bottles etc (the type you take home) - requiring you to manually pour this out from the big bottles. Hopefully, this will change. A natural sponge and hand lotions are in the bathroom, as well as tons of supersoft towels, and a yellow rubber duckie in the bathtub.
The shower pressure is not strong, but the walk-in shower had two heads, and was able to accomodate two. The bathtub takes forever to fill up, but ultimately, all of this is fine, and the room is spacious and pleasant.
The fridge in the room is small, well-stocked, not very cold. Tons of liquor bottles.
HOTEL AREAS (8 out of 10)
The common areas downstairs are small. It's a bit confusing to figure out how exactly to reach the pool area without stepping through the restaurant areas. The decor, as mentioned, feel a bit circus-like. We opted not to eat at any of the restaurants, but we did eat at the beachside restaurant. It was terrific, and service was professional and immaculate.
There are 3 pools. They are not very big, but the water is warm in all of them. The Tranquility pool is the adult pool, and no one is there...but you'll need to hit this pool early in the day and before 2-3pm. By this time, the size of the hotel itself looms over the pool, blocks the sun's path, and from then on, there's a shadow & shade over the entire pool. There is a small jacuzzi near the pool, and the staff walks around not only to take drink orders, but to serve you free small frozen sorbets on spoons, or frozen grapes. (this applies to the beach area as well)
The workout center is very cold, and blasts air conditioning. Not prime conditions for working out. (more on the spa in a moment)
The hotel areas are meticulously clean..the hotel bathroom areas are florescent and don't live up to the rest of the hotel, including the pool areas.
BEACH SERVICES (9 out of 10)
The service by the ocean, setting up the chairs, moving your chairs, umbrellas, etc are perfect. The staff is immaculate in helping you out, and well trained. Hopefully, this will stay intact, as it's the number one reason for us coming.
SPA (7 out of 10)
The ESPA spa is discussed as the only one in the USA right now, but honestly, it's not THAT unique compared to the Four Seasons, or the Ritz Carltons, or any other high end spa. The decor is dark in a Banana Republic woodsy sort of way. It is peaceful, calming, water runs, but it's annoying to have to take the stairs up and down, (or the elevator) to reach the locker and shower areas, and then back down to the relaxation and massage rooms. The spa is quiet, and you don't hear anyone or hardly see a human being walking around. The men's steam room isn't quite hot enough, although it a stunner on the inside. The showers are great with rain shower heads. The massage itself (deep tissue) was terrific. Well worth the money, but be warned it's very pricy here at $225 for 90 mins. There is a private outdoor spa area with it's own pool, but the water is cold, and the area didn't seem to be functioning at the time I was there. There are some cookies, nuts, and a selection of teas that are provided.
FINAL SCORE (8 out of 10)
Acqualina is a great resort for, at most, a 3-night stay. The views from the oceanfront rooms are stunning. It is peaceful and relaxing....perfect when you must have that beach getaway, even with the steep prices. We didn't try the room service, so we can't comment on that. It seems family oriented...and they don't seem to be from the hotel guests, rather, family members from the condo owners at the resort. Take a walk along the beach to the left once stepping out. You'll see lots of construction going up along this area. Donald Trump is building here, so undoubtedly, this area will continue to grow. There is a sushi/Thai place across the street that is pretty good! There is an Italian restaurant right next door to it, that we tried one night that is incredibly average in quality of food. We would definitely come back, and hopefully, some of the kinks will get worked out. The Acqualina strives for a Mandarin Oriental feel, and it's almost there, and in time, this hotel will only get better. It won't ever match the subtlety of a Four Seasons property, but it's close.
In A Class Of Its Own!!!!
The Acqualina is another Rosewood masterpiece! It is better than any Four Seasons or Ritz Carlton I have ever been to and that is usually my standard. Everything is unbelievable here. We actually walked around the entire three days we stayed here marveling and shaking our head at how wonderful everything was. If this resort was in Miami/South Beach, it would knock the Delano and the Ritz right out of the box. No comparison.
The rooms were the best and largest I have ever stayed in, rivaling the NYC Mandarin Orienal room in term of technology and attention to detail. The room is equipped with an amazing 90 degree angle rotating large screen plasma TV (ladies- your husband will freak out!), a state of the art Bose sound and high tech phone system, a large walk in closet, delicious chocolates and slippers by your bed everynight, the full NY times and Herald at your room every morning.... The beds were terrific- ultra comfortable with goose down covers!
The bathrooms were huge with a large marble shower, terrific large marble soaking tubs, a separate bathroom, and double sinks. Every kind of amentity you can imagine exists.
My advice would be to get an oceanfront room (we had a balcony which was great) because what Rosewood has done with this property is amazing and breathtaking. The grounds are lush and gorgeous, greens everywhere. There are so many wonderful pools on the premises (oh and the beach pool was completely heated- must have been about 85 degrees which was wonderful to us). There are at least four lovely hot tubs as well. When they set you up on the beach or by the pool, the staff takes a few minutes because they put down the pad and towels and umbrellas (as many as you want) and fawn all over you!
The food was terrific. The breakfast selection was wonderful and featured a daily choice of full buffet or a la carte. Beautiful presentation on all the food! We didn't eat dinner in the hotel as we were here for an outside event, but we had drinks and apps in Il Mulino. The service there could not have been better or more wonderful. We went at 5pm, every waiter was cracking jokes with us and fawning all over us.
The spa was amazing as well! 5 of us had a regular massage treatment and all of us agreed it was the best. In the massage room, the therapist has you choose your own oil for the massage and asks you questions about what kind of massage you like- soothing or invigorating, relaxing or deep tissue. They also used stones and aromatherapy throughout the massage.
The "locker room" itself is gorgeous- every amenity. My only advice would be to try the relaxation waiting room before- equipped with beds, teas, fruit and cookies. Heaven on earth!!!
OK, I am done gushing! I dont know how Rosewood managed to do it, but in my book they have beyond exceeded my ultra high standards and this place is the most spectacular place ever!
Best Florida experience....but watch out for kids!
This place, especially the rooms, is everything they say and more. Oceanfront suite is to die for! What a view and what a room!
Couldn't be better....but was surprised at the hordes of kids.
Seemed like there were hundreds of them, so if romantic honeymoon or anniversay is your goal (which was ours), you will be intruded on by the kids...they're in the pools, all over the beach, the restaurants, really, they should somehow limit families here!
Just back home after a superb 3 night stay. I arranged a conference for 35 people & without exception we all agreed this was our most sucessful so far. Everybody was blown away by the quality & size of the rooms. I had a 1 bed oceanview suite & it was massive. It had 4 TVs, a fully stocked kitchen, seperate sitting area, walk in shower, jacuzzi hot tub etc etc.
It wasn't just the room quality that impressed us, it was the perfect blend of friendliness & professionalism shown by every single member of staff we met & the attention to detail (for example the frozen fruit deliveries made poolside & on the beach).
The previous reviewers, JunnieNYC & travelman123, have given detailed comments which I fully support so rather than duplicate, I would summarise by saying that if you are looking for that special place to celebrate or just want to be spoilt & pampered, look no further, this is the place to go.
The nicest hotel I've ever stayed at
This hotel may not be well known, but it is truly a beautiful place. From the moment you check in, you are treated like royalty. The front desk escorts you to your room and checks you in there. I was in a standard room and it was anything but that! It was huge, brand new, very modern, with a popup plasma tv and a beautiful bathroom. The bed was super comfy. My only complaint is that the airconditioner was a bit noisy, otherwise fantastic. The breakfast buffet was great and beautifully presented. The pool and beach gorgeous. Food was good and not outrageously expensive like south beach. Great hotel for a romantic getaway but there were some kids at the pool. Although the hotel is a bit pricey, you get alot for your money. Much more than those dingy old hotels on south beach. I would highly recommend this hotel, its only about 20 mins by car to south beach! Also book through whatahotel.com and you will receive a free room upgrade, breakfast and a 4pm checkout.!!!
Oh my goodness! My husband and I celebrated our 25th anniversary here last week. So far, this is our favorite Rosewood resort! (We haven't been to Cabo yet.) This hotel is so beautiful, relaxing and luxurious; exactly what I was looking for! We had an ocean view room on the 20th floor. Their rooms are quite plush with very large bathrooms and TVs that rise out of a cabinet and turn to wherever you are in the room.
The place was very quiet! I guess it is the end of their season so it seemed like we had the place to ourselves! Usually there was only one other couple by the pool with us. The adult pool was empty so we just went there. They must have considered what the other review said about music by this pool because there wasn't any! I used my MP3 for music. However I liked the music that they played in other areas. It was Norah Jones, John Mayer, Frank Sinatra, Diana Krall... all very subdued and relaxing.
The food was very good. We enjoyed their Full Moon dinner outside one night and went to Il Mulino another night. That was one of my all time favorite meals!!
The luxury of this hotel is awesome but for service, nobody does it better than Rosewood's, The Mansion on Turtlecreek! We never had a waiter come by for poolside service or beach service unless we went and requested them. (Lost revenues) Possibly because it is off-season?? This is the only thing that could have improved our visit.
Housekeeping was invisible! Never disturbed you. Magically came in and made it spotless each day while you are gone. No carts in the hall with knocking on doors and such!
Room service was prompt and food and beverages were at fresh temperatures. Complimentary overnight shoe shines, Lady Primrose bath products, Luxury bed linens and "to die for" beds! This place doesn't leave much to be desired!