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“Still the best but not as good as before”

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Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Sunny Isles Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 28, 2014

This was our 6 or 7th time staying at Acqualina Resort and we will return here again. Having said that, some things seem to be changing and not for the best. They are subtle but here it is noticeable. While the service is still the best it seems the management and staff turnover over the past year has had its affect and as the hotel guests we felt a bit of a distance and somewhat less genuine desire to assist with things. For the first time that I can remember, I had to seek out a waiter or needed to remind a manager that they had promised to get back to me on an inquiry and had not.
I started noticing things broken in a room or non-working lights in the bathroom. They never got fixed or probably even noticed by the cleaning staff. The beachfront lunch menu has changed and best items are gone from the menu. The construction of the Mansions building is proceeding and while not super bothersome from noise point of view, it has reduced the sun exposure on the beach to a very limited area in the afternoon.
There are still plenty of things that make the stay in Acqualina superior to pretty much most if not all luxury hotels in this city but the little things I kept noticing throughout the stay make me a bit worried. Especially since all of the rates and amenity prices have been raised significantly.
I hope this trend is temporary and will soon be reversed. It would be a shame that Acqualina become just another nice hotel and nothing more.

Room Tip: There are no bad rooms in this hotel. Both the ocean view and city view are gorgeous. Ask for a hi...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank MidlifeTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AcqualinaManagement, Hotel Manager at Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach, responded to this reviewResponded May 1, 2014

Dear Midlife Travel,

I greatly appreciate the candid feedback posted in this review along with your dedication and loyalty to Acqualina. It is very important for us to ensure that every guest feels comfortable and experiences the highest level of service in this unique and picturesque setting.

Please accept my sincere apologies that you did not feel the service received was corresponding with the previous stays however rest assured, all your remarks are taken very seriously and will be used to correct this image, whether it is tangible or intangible.

Guest comfort and convenience are most precious to every single staff member here at Acqualina and we thrive on feedback and constructive criticism. It fuels our endeavors, our quest for perfection and to constantly look for ways to improve and elevate the experience.

It would be a great pleasure to welcome you back in the near future and I would be delighted to meet you in person. Please feel free to reach out to me directly so I may be of service.

With Sincerity

Christof Pignet
Hotel Manager

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Reviewed April 20, 2014

Heaven on earth. I think the staff goes through some sort of Zen class because although I was there on business travel and super tense and busy, the entire staff made me feel like I was walking on a cloud the entire time. I'm looking forward to coming back on leisure travel. I am just so grateful for the entire staff making me feel so special and important. Thank you for the most amazing product and service staff in the world. Believe me, I have stayed in some of the world's best properties and Aqualina is truly 5Star plus plus.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled on business
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1  Thank Brendan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AcqualinaManagement, Hotel Manager at Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach, responded to this reviewResponded April 23, 2014

Dear Brendan H,

Thank you kindly for this marvelous review highlighting your most recent stay at Acqualina. It was a great pleasure having been able to host you even with little time to fully and thoroughly enjoy all of our wonderful amenities due to it being a business trip. We insist you come back and visit with your family and ample leisure time to soak up the Florida sun and unwind in the most unique and elegant beach front haven or as we simply refer to; "Paradise".

Once again, thank you kindly and sincere greetings

Christof Pignet
Hotel Manager

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Reviewed April 11, 2014

About a week before we were to leave for Acqualina, I received word of the construction and panicked. I debated the pros and cons of this hotel versus St. Regis, which was the contender. One of the Acqualina reviewers used the word "relentless" to describe the construction noise and I came very close to canceling my reservation. I'm so happy I didn't.

Check in was easy, attentive and Rachele was very responsive to my concerns about the construction. I had made an upgrade request, and thank you, Rachele, the upgrade was fabulous and made us deliriously happy. The suite was larger than most nyc apartments. Aside from the size of the space, the room was immaculate and well-stocked. The huge balcony facing the ocean made my trip. We delighted in the sunrise every morning and if you need any more photoraphs, I was out there every morning taking them.

The food was excellent in this hotel. Expensive, yes - but we expected that - and really, truly delicious. Andrei helped us at every breakfast and knew what my kids wanted to order before they even had to say anything. That kind of attentiveness - where you get the feeling that the staff "knows" you and anticipates your needs - is very much appreciated.

The grounds are immaculate and also very beautiful. The ocean was a shade of blue that I thought only existed in the caribbean. The sand was clean and again, immaculately maintained. The staff at the beach was very attentive as well.

As for the construction, here it is..... The first time we heard it was at our first lunch outdoors upon arrival. My thought was, "Oh boy, this is pretty bad - wonder if we will stay or try to get a room at the St. Regis. Then a funny thing happened. I just stopped hearing it. Yes, it is pretty constant, and yes, you can hear it from all pools and the beach, but it simply became background noise and we literally stopped hearing it. There are so many other (pleasant) noises - music, waves, wind, people, etc., that it blends into the mix and was not bothersome at all.

One day, by the way, we did take a drive to the St. Regis to see what we didn't choose, and I was very pleased that we didn't. Yes, it is an impressive property, but ultra-modern and all stone, glass, hard edges and reflective surfaces - not my taste at all. Acqualina was more traditional in decor, with actual fabric and color and warmth. St. Regis struck me as intimidating. However, this is just my opinion of what makes a beautiful decor.

If I HAD to find anything wrong with this property, I had two minor complaints. The kids club is disappointing. While the staff there were very nice and my kids did wind up going and enjoying it, what you see on their website is quite misleading. It looks like there is a culinary program with a picture of kids in chefs uniforms and everything, but there is one hour, once a week, where, if there are enough kids, they have their "culinary program". We apparently missed that hour. Also, the "marine biology" program is really not so much. The kids get a mini education about beach patrols, sharks, etc., none of which my kids experienced or desired to. They made crafts and went outside but their experiences at past kids clubs (They love Ritz Kids) has been more impressive.

The second complaint is really just attentiveness gone overboard. What started out as, "How nice that they know my name", very quickly became, "How can I dodge the next staff member so as not to be greeted for the fifth time on my way from the lobby to the beach? Some staff actually do know your name, and the person who opened the elevator for me pressed the number of the floor that I was staying on without my saying anything. That was nice. However, the rest simply pass your name along through their mics that they are wearing so that they can announce that Mr. and Mrs. so and so are coming down to the beach or the pool. The next three people that you see appear to know your name but they have been told that you are coming. It was no unusual to be greeted with a lengthy greeting 5 times on your way in or out of the back of the hotel. Somewhat invasive after a while. But then again, if this was my biggest complaint.......

Overall, a wonderful stay and we would certainly return.

Room Tip: We stayed on the 7th floor facing the ocean and loved it.
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank JLPBergenCounty_NJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AcqualinaManagement, Hotel Manager at Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach, responded to this reviewResponded April 18, 2014

Dear JLPBergenCounty_NJ,

Thank you very much for your detailed review and account of your most recent stay at Acqualina. It is wonderful to read that you thoroughly enjoyed your experience and our team of dream makers, particularly Rachele was able to exceed your expectations and make you comfortable.

I am very happy you were able to take advantage of all the luxurious amenities we offer and at the same token, the intermittent noise emanating from the project next door did not negatively impact your vacation. At the same token, I am very grateful for your feedback respective our team members attentiveness as in their eagerness to serve it sometimes can be perceived as "too much".

We are also continuously looking for ideas and ways to improve our Acquamarine program and hope that we will be able to provide you with an even more enhanced experience on your future stay.

Our team is very much looking forward to welcome you back in the near future already and please don't hesitate to contact me personally if I may be of any service.

Thank you kindly

Christof Pignet
Hotel Manager

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Reviewed April 10, 2014

I am not sure why everybody so impressed with their customer service. We will be staying at the hotel from the 27th till the 30th of April, I contacted their reservation agent and explain to him that this is going to be our honeymoon and I would like it to unforgettable and would appreciate his special attention and help. He just told me to look up the rooms online, well great advice but I needed special suggestion when I contacted someone from the hotel, what room he would recommend based on our requirements. Ok, I just booked it online. then my husband said that we will have a very special occasion during our honeymoon stay and would like to have a private dinner on the beach, they said the date is available and we received email confirmation. Now we got another email that the date that we've been booked on is no longer available!!! how is it possible and what's the point to make a reservation then?? well look like we are having really good treatment from the beginning. This is not the service I was expecting paying all that money for our very special couple days after wedding.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Birichie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AcqualinaManagement, Hotel Manager at Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach, responded to this reviewResponded April 11, 2014

Dear DonnaChe,

I am terribly sorry to read that your experience with Acqualina pre-arrival is anything but the level of service we pride ourselves with. Particularly since you will be celebrating a very special occasion which if you allow me, I wish to congratulate already upfront. Please know that we will work very diligently to turn this experience around and ensure that your honeymoon will be nothing short of spectacular. I will be personally reaching out to your shortly to further discuss how I may be of service. Thank you kindly
Christof Pignet
Hotel Manager

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Reviewed April 10, 2014

I couldn't wait to go to the spa at this property after all of the positives reviews that I had read. I was looking forward to spending the day at this beautiful resort as well. Unfortunately, my experience didn't go so well. After checking in, I went and sat out by the spa pool to have lunch. After waiting an hour to be waited on, I was told that I had to go inside to order lunch. They also told me that someone should have told me that while checking in. It was a gorgeous day, so I was looking forward to some time in the sun before my 4:00 appointment. The only problem with that, the sun falls behind the property at 2:00pm and spa guest are not allowed to use the resort pool or beach chairs that the Aqualina offer their hotel guest. This did not sit well with me especially since the spa representative assured me that there was full sun at the spa pool until 6:00pm, not to mention the amount of money that I was spending at their spa. I asked to speak to the hotel manager who in turn allowed me to use their beach chair on the beach. Finally, I had a wonderful 1 hour and 50 minute spa treatment with the fabulous Bernard. But, the few hours before had really put a damper on my day. I went to check out and was very disappointed when they didn't offer any percentage off for my trouble. I would not go back here for one reason. I believe when your spending as much they charge for services in this spa, that they should allow you full access to their pool and beach for the day. Especially when the Florida sun doesn't shine on the spa pool for most of the day. I also don't think that you should have to go inside to order lunch (which was fabulous) when they have servers delivering your food to you. I was really looking forward to my day at this spa. I just wished it lived up to its reputation.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled solo
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Thank MCKNJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AcqualinaManagement, Hotel Manager at Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach, responded to this reviewResponded April 11, 2014

Dear MCKNJ,

I profusely thank you for the candid feedback and sincerely apologize for the inconvenience respective your spa experience. I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed the treatment and particularly Bernardo exceeded your expectations however at the same token I am disheartened to read that it was not the restful day you were hoping for.
Rest assured that your comments are taken very seriously and will be addressed internally to prevent a future re occurrence. I am also terribly sorry for the delay in your lunch service and understand that in lieu of the circumstance it was extended on a complimentary basis.
I also appreciated your note regarding the pool & beach access which is indeed reserved exclusively for guests staying at the resort, residents and beach club members and therefore we are unable to provide spa patrons access. The beach in Sunny Isles however is public and accessible to all.
Thank you kindly and please don't hesitate to contact me personally if I may be of any further assistance.
Sincerely
Christof Pignet
Hotel Manager

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Reviewed April 4, 2014

At the end of March we had our wedding weekend at the Acqualina. What a good choice.

Their facility plus, more importantly, their great staff created an event that many of our friends and family said was the best wedding they have ever attended.

All of the staff was extremely positive, professional, conscientious, and helpful. On just the first evening we were pleasantly surprised to find in our car a wedding card from the entire valet staff which was a sign of good things to come. We were also treated so well at Espa, which we have always thought of as top-notch, even when compared to spas we have visited internationally at other five star establishments. In addition to a luxurious, caring treatment on the day of our wedding, we were given gifts and a thoughtful card from the staff there.

In particular, the catering sales manager did a great job organizing so many things over many months that culminated in our outstanding weekend. She was constantly available not just during the week of our wedding but all year to field requests and help solve any potential problems. She made us feel like the ultimate VIP’s. We will miss excuses to be in contact with her, as she is the perfect combination of warmth, professionalism, and perceptiveness.

The catering staff was great. They were enthusiastic and helpful throughout the entire process. Everyone who served us was extremely professional and kind. We absolutely loved Chef Dewey’s food – Friday's rehearsal dinner in particular was great and we had to make serious efforts to pace ourselves.

The concierge staff was similarly strong. Tatiana was particularly helpful with our many requests, so we wanted to mention her.

Housekeeping was great, so little seen but very often felt, especially during our wedding weekend. We understand that we created an extra burden for them and they were always at the ready to make up our room at any time of day our night.

Further, every single employee of The Acqualina made our whole family feel welcome; we felt like we were in our own home for the weekend with most of the staff typically referring to us by name.

We and our friends and family found the facilities worked out so well. The pool staff were so solicitous and helpful, particularly Julian who greeted us each day and made every effort to make sure we were happy and comfortable.

Again, we think the world of Acqualina, are so pleased to have had our wedding there, look forward to returning soon, and recommend it without reservation as a world leading five star property.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
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Thank Scott J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AcqualinaManagement, Hotel Manager at Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach, responded to this reviewResponded April 7, 2014

Dear Scott J.

Where do I even begin to thank you for all the wonderful praise in this review! It was a great pleasure and honor to host your wedding party here at Acqualina and it was most certainly an occasion to remember. Most importantly, not only were you and your guest able to enjoy all of our wonderful amenities but also experience the exceptional service we pride ourselves with, thanks to each and every dedicated and passionate dream maker who went above and beyond to make your wedding magical. They truly deserve all the praise and will be waiting here for you to celebrate your first anniversary and many more thereafter! Once again congratulations and please accept my sincere gratitude for all your kindness. Please don't ever hesitate to reach out of I may be of any service at all moving forward. The pleasure is all mine, fondly
Christof Pignet
Hotel Manager

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Reviewed April 2, 2014

I can not emphasize just how great this place is. We travel often and use several of the "high end" chain hotels and none compare to this one. The service, setting, amenities etc are all top notch. If you are looking for an amazing experience in South Florida (although pricey) please consider Aqualina. Bob L.

Room Tip: If you stay there often, consider requesting an upgrade...you may be pleasantly surpised.
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Bob L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AcqualinaManagement, Hotel Manager at Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach, responded to this reviewResponded April 7, 2014

Dear Bob L.
Thank you kindly for the wonderful words in this review. We aim to please and I am overjoyed to read that we were yet again successful in doing so. It is a great pleasure to host you on future endeavors to South Florida, we are always delighted to have you as our guest. With sunny regards
Christof Pignet
Hotel Manager

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Additional Information about Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach

Address: 17875 Collins Avenue, Sunny Isles Beach, FL 33160-2718
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Sunny Isles Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center 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 Romantic Hotel in Sunny Isles Beach
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Sunny Isles Beach
#1 Family Hotel in Sunny Isles Beach
#1 Spa Hotel in Sunny Isles Beach
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Sunny Isles Beach
#1 Luxury Hotel in Sunny Isles Beach
Price Range: $572 - $1,639 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 & Spa On The Beach Hotel Sunny Isles Beach
Acqualina Resort And Spa On The Beach
Acqualina Hotel Sunny Isles Beach
Acqualina Hotel On The Beach
Acqualina Resort & Spa On The Beach Florida/Sunny Isles Beach

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