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“gorgeous place, good service, a bit isolated, spa is only okay”

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Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Sunny Isles Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Philadelphia, PA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“gorgeous place, good service, a bit isolated, spa is only okay”
Reviewed March 3, 2009

Acqualina is quite spectacular---the positives: overall resort is beautiful with great rooms, very clean, good service---an effort is made to be accommodating, good food, beautiful views of ocean, an adults only pool, great sushi bar. Il Mulino Restaurant within the hotel quite is good---
the negatives: an annoying key access elevator situation, the ESPA is only fair at best and not a good value, the resort is isolated in terms of walking to shopping and restaurants outside the resort, narrow beach

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank manoonthego
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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978 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (219)
Date | Rating
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English first
Boston, Ma
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 26, 2009

This property is Heaven on the beach. My husband and I chose Aqualina for a quick weekend getaway and were very impressed with the property. We were upgraded to a suite upon arrival and were given breakfast for 2 with our reservation. The suite was lovely, clean and the ocean view was unbeatable. It is modern yet traditional and the dercor was amazing. We were greateed with smiles and taken care of from the mooment we arrived.The resort has 3 pools. 1 family, one in the middle which I don't know the purpose was and an all adult pool which we went to seeing as we were on a getaway without our children. The pools are all lovely and the jacuzzi's fantastic. We choose to go to the pool on our first day as it seemed a bit wiindy on the beach.The adult pool lacked service. There was not a wait staff to be found as they were all around the family pool which was where they would get more tips... understandable but very disappointing. So we moved to the beach where the service was excellent. The lounge chairs feel like a bed. The cushions are super thick and comfortable. We were given a flag to put up when we wanted a drink. The beach experience was great so we repeated it on the 2nd day. We were carefully attended to and were given smoothie tasters throughout the day. We ate at the oudoor grill both days in big cushiony comfortable couch like chairs. The food was very good and the drinks excellent! The service at the grill was great. The restaurant Il Molino NY was excellent. We ate here our first evening and were not disapointed at all.The service was over the top and the food was great too. Expensive but you get what you pay for. We would have gone both nights but decided we should spend a night in South Beach. If we had another evening we would have dined at Il Molino again. I had 2 services at the spa while my husband found an outdoor couch to smoke a cigar and was pampered.I left the spa with a bag of goods... The services were very good and the spa was clean and modern. I was not blown away by the spa and not quite sure why they think it is so different from any other spa but it was very nice and the services were very good too. The concierge desk was Very helpful during our stay with setting up a car and dinner reservations. They were very knowledgeable and knew what we were looking for. The resort didn't seem very full but I over heard a manager telling someone that there were only 20 vacant rooms so if that is true, you can really get a small resort experience at this beach front hotel. Upon checkout I noticed that we had been charged 2x for our dinner at Il Molino, one was removed without question. When I mentioned that we had been given breakfast with our reservation and were charged, i was questioned 3 times about who confirmed it, who we made the reservation with and I felt as though I was being interrogated. The breakfasts were removed after some huffs and puffs. I will say that the front desk personnel person seemed "new" so maybe she was covering her bases. All in all this is a wonderful resort and I highly recommend it for a romantic getaway. I can also see taking your family as there seemed to be many kids and activities. That being said you can definitely find separation from the families at this resort and have your own private, quiet spots. This resort gets an A+. Having stayed often at the local Ritz and Four Seasons in the area, I can say without a doubt, this resort is hands down better in every category, particularly the service area, attention to detail, property and facilities.

  • Liked — Luxury
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jennaray
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton, UK
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed January 20, 2009

I recently ran a conference at the Acqualina hotel. I can thoroughly recommend it for a beautiful location, first class service, great food and lovely rooms. I was very happy with the hotel, both as a customer and an event organiser. My vip delegates were all very pleased with the hotel too. One night at the bar, on learning that they didn't stock my boss's favourite beer, the staff made sure that they had it in for the following night. Excellent attention to detail and personal service (and the mojitos were fab!)

  • Liked — The location, the staff and the service
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank BrightonBelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed December 12, 2008

This was our second stay at this magnificent resort and we were pleased to see that if anything, it was even better than we remembered. Everything about this resort is truly 5 star. The ambiance is understated elegance. The rooms are spacious and beautifully furnished, with the best lighting I have ever found in a hotel. Staff throughout the hotel are wonderful - friendly and efficient, yet professional and never intrusive. "Do not disturb" signs are scrupulously observed, yet service when requested is prompt. The bed linens are wonderfully soft and of the highest quality. The towels provided are plentiful, large and fluffy. We never heard a sound from nearby rooms.

On this trip, the hotel was not fully booked, so the management kindly upgraded us to a fabulous 1 bedroom suite. This was huge (about 1100 sq. ft) with a fully furnished luxurious kitchen that included a Subzero refrigerator-freezer with ice maker, Wolf range, dishwasher and microwave. All plates, utensils, cookware were provided, including an espresso maker! Granite counter tops everywhere. The suite also included a dining room, large living room, master bedroom and a separate office with a daybed that could easily accommodate a child or third person. There were 1 and 1/2 baths, a large terrace facing the ocean. Both the living room and bedroom had large flat screen TVs, with a small tv in the kitchen. We wished we could stay a month or more!! But even the standard room where we stayed last time was gorgeous and spacious. Though I must admit that having an ocean view greatly enhanced our enjoyment!

The pools and beach areas are immaculate. The pool water is heated so that swimming was delightful even though the outside temperature did not exceed 78 degrees during the entire week of our stay. Both lounge covers and wonderful large towels are provided at the pools and beach.

Breakfast was included in our American Express Platinum travel package and was beautifully served in the lovely Il Mulino restaurant. Everything was fresh and delicious. A buffet is available or one can choose from the menu. Juices, fresh fruits, cereals, yogurts, breads, bagels, pastries, are always available on the buffet. On some days, waffles and french toast were also available. If not on the buffet, one could order these or pancakes, lox, eggs, etc. from the menu.

We had dinner once in the Il Mulino. The food and service were fabulous. We had the Dover sole, which was outstanding! The meal was pricey, but well worth it for the exceptional quality.

I used the spa several times and was delighted with the facility and wonderful services.

Across the street from the hotel are several new mini-malls with many shops and restaurants of all types and price ranges. There are even 3 kosher restaurants for those who observe kashrut. There is a Walgreens, open 24 hours. The hotel is located about a 10 minute drive from the Aventura Mall and about 15 minutes from the Bal Harbour shopping center.

We have stayed in many 5 star hotels around the world, but the Acqualina is the best overall experience we have had. We hope to return to this lovely hotel as frequently as our schedule permits.

  • Liked — Spacious, immaculate, quiet, luxurious, great ocean view
  • Disliked — nothing we didn't like
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank bewtrip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed October 21, 2008

I picked the Acqualina because I was visiting friends in North Miami. While it's not in the center of the action -- South Beach -- it's a great alternative for anyone looking for a quiet, beautiful, clean and upscale resort type hotel in the Miami area.

The hotel is a high-rise literally on the beach with large, clean, well furnished rooms and balconies facing either the "city" or the ocean. I recommend spending the extra money for an ocean view room. An ocean view room makes you feel as if you're on vacation in a tropical resort, while a city-view room feels as if you could be in any large US city. How do I know this? When there was a problem with my city-view room the hotel went above and beyond the call of duty and switched me to an ocean view room in less than an hour. That's the difference between a standard hotel and a hotel that understands service.

The beach was clean, the beach service good (make sure you get a flag for your lounge chair), the food above average. I noticed that some people didn't tip the beach service people, which is unfortunate.

On my first day there was too much seaweed in the water, but that cleared up by the next day. The water was relatively calm and swimable. I didn't use the pools, but they appeared sparkling clean and the adult pool pretty quiet.

The amenities in the room were quirky and a nice touch -- a rubber duck with goggles! The mini-bar included all the makings of a mojito, although it was prohibitively expensive.

There isn't much in the area, which is a little industrial (strip malls, etc) -- you definitely need a car if you plan to see Miami -- but cabs are plentiful. There is a lot of construction in the area, but it's not bothersome.

The only complaint, although it's not a complaint just a taste issue, is that the hotel tries a little too hard. There are what seemed like bentleys, jaquars, and ferrari type cars in the parking lot in front of the hotel that never seemed to move. Were they their just to impress? The flat screen TV that pops up and down into a chest at the foot of the bed is unusual, but is it necessary to be considered an elite hotel?

  • Liked — Beach access and service
  • Disliked — Not understated enough
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank fultonferry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, TX
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 25, 2008

This hotel is fantastic. It's easily the cleanest hotel I've ever stayed at, by a long shot. The price is high, but worth it- I was able to find the best price on traveldealzone.com.

  • Stayed November 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank SteveFromDallas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
97 reviews
71 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
Reviewed September 2, 2008

Acqualina is a physically beautiful property very finely appointed rooms. High quality linens, marble baths, dual sinks, luxury carpet. My husband most enjoyed the flat sceen tv mounted on swivels which arises on call from a box at the foot of the bed, as well as the well equipped health club.

What set the hotel apart in my opinion was the truly exceptional service, especially the personal touches and efforts of the housekeeping staff to assure that everything was in order in the room -- night and day. Special thanks to LaBelle in that regard, complete with her classic French maid uniform.

My two hour treatment in the Espa was a delight, as were our hours lounging by the extravagant pool. All in all, a good stay despite the hazards of passing tropical storms.

  • Liked — The luxury appointments and attentive service
  • Disliked — The beach was dirty beyond the area directly in front of the hotel
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank SusanGlobalGallop
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:
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 Luxury Hotel in Sunny Isles Beach
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Sunny Isles Beach
#1 Spa Hotel in Sunny Isles Beach
#1 Family Hotel in Sunny Isles Beach
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Sunny Isles Beach
#1 Romantic 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 & 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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