Hotel Review: Acqualina Resort & Spa

Nestled directly on the unspoiled beaches of Sunny Isles, Florida lies a luxurious Mediterranean-inspired oasis waiting to transport you into vacation heaven. Whether traveling from the other side of the world or embarking on a staycation from down the street, Acqualina Resort & Spa certainly won’t disappoint.

This 5-Star 5-Diamond resort generally caters to families and couples, though I felt right at home as a solo-traveler as well. After pulling up to the elegant porte-cochère, I was greeted by friendly faces ready to attend to my every need.

My bags were whisked away in the blink of an eye and before I knew it I was sipping on a glass of champagne while learning about all the amenities Acqualina Resort & Spa has to offer. From their world-class spa, ESPA, to their three pools, to four restaurants, this opulent resort is ready to spoil even the pickiest of travelers.

After partying it up in Miami all week, I was in desperate need of some R&R and I couldn’t think of a better place to detox and rejuvenate than ESPA. The tranquil waterfall sounds lured me into the serene spa lobby where I enjoyed a pot of delicious hibiscus tea.

ESPA offers separate men’s and women’s relaxation lounges boasting grand arctic ice fountains, crystal steam rooms with color therapy, Finnish dry heat saunas, experience showers, and a Himalayan salt wall. As if that isn’t enough, ESPA also provides an oceanfront terrace featuring a heated jet pool and Roman waterfall spa.

Naturally I made sure to arrive early enough to try everything. My favorite experience was covering myself in ice from the ice fountain while in the crystal steam room. The hot and cold, paired with the color therapy lights dancing in the steam, created an unparalleled and unique sensory experience.

I enjoyed some fresh blueberry and citrus cookies and sipped some more tea while relaxing by the Himalayan salt wall while waiting for my therapist.

The treatment room itself was dimly lit, smelled amazing, and had soft relaxing music playing over the speakers. I was lulled into an almost meditative state as I chose which scent I’d like used during my massage – and  as always, I blindly opted for frankincense.

I selected one of ESPA’s most innovative treatments called the Himalayan Salt Stone Massage, which uses warm salt crystal stones to ground and balance the body. The stones feel like a slightly rougher version of the usual basalt stones used in a hot stone massage, which adds a nice exfoliation aspect.

Everything about ESPA blew me away. This was easily one of the best spa experiences I’ve had to date, and I can’t wait to return.

In my post-massage daze I made my way up to my suite, which overlooked the turquoise Atlantic Ocean. My oversized private balcony showcased the entire beachfront property, which provided the perfect spot to enjoy a cocktail and watch the sunset.

Acqualina Resort & Spa did an amazing job designing the suite by incorporating both classic and contemporary design, while still maintaining the grand luxury that this resort is known for. From fur blankets and metallic accents in the living room, to a full size kitchen and dining room, to the oversized spa tub, there is no doubt that this suite is fit for a queen.

After a relaxing afternoon I headed over to Il Mulino New York, which is one of four restaurants at Acqualina Resort & Spa, featuring classic Italian cuisine. Coming from Italian decent has turned me into quite the Italian-food snob, so I’m always excited to try new Italian restaurants.

The Italian decor would be the perfect setting for a candlelit romantic dinner for two, and the food was to die for to boot.

My favorite thing about Il Mulino New York is that you’re brought out a parade of small dishes to start, which are compliments of the chef. This included Parmigiano cheese straight off the block, salami, bruschetta, garlic bread, and more.

Next I enjoyed melon, berries and prosciutto, fresh made manicotti, and finally a strawberry flambé prepared table side. I’m not sure if it’s seeing the prep or the fire that generally comes along with table side desserts, but I just can’t get enough!

The wine list was also impressive and everything I tasted from starters through dessert was expertly prepared. I will most definitely be returning for another Italian cuisine endeavor.

After my meal I settled into my suite for a nice hot bubble bath (I couldn’t let that spa tub sit empty, now could I?) followed by some of the best sleep of my life. In all seriousness, Acqualina Resort & Spa has the softest towels and sheets I’ve ever felt in my life. They’re that good.

After a restful night’s sleep, I made sure to squeeze in an indulgent oceanfront buffet breakfast on the veranda at AQ by Acqulina. After all, who can turn down a mimosa brunch featuring every breakfast food a girl could dream of? Not this girl!

After a post-brunch stroll around the resort, I was lucky enough to be invited to tour the new residences available for purchase. If staying at Acqulina Resort & Spa just isn’t enough R&R for you, now you could live it every day.

The Estates at Acqualina, with lobbies designed by fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld, boasts the same oceanfront view as the resort next door with all the amenities you could dream of (think ice skating rink, bowling alley, surf simulator, etc.). Starting at $4.2 million and up, The Estates at Acqualina will surely transport you on a permanent vacation.

Sadly my time at Acqualina Resort & Spa had come to an end. Relaxed and rejuvenated it was time for me to head back out on another adventure.

This resort is what all 5-star 5-diamond hotels should strive to be. Every staff member I met was effortlessly friendly and professional and the hotel itself couldn’t have been more gorgeous. Make sure to do yourself a favor and treat yourself to a stay at Acqualina Resort & Spa!


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