Acqualina Is the Decadent Staycation Resort We All Need Right Now
A 15-minute drive can take you a world away
Tucked away a few neighborhoods up from the hustle and bustle of Mid-beach and South Beach, Acqualina is located up in Sunny Isles, and though it’s within a 15- or 20-minute drive of Miami’s nightlife, it might as well be a world away. If you’re looking for an ultra-luxurious experience that pays close attention to even the smallest details, then a stay at one of Acqualina’s oceanfront suites is the way to go.
Whether it’s for locals who want to splurge on a pampering staycation or out-of-town visitors ready for a taste of Miami hospitality, this secluded resort is full of dining options, beachfront service, a world-class spa and pools galore. Here’s our rundown of the property’s standout amenities and features.
All luxury everything: The one-bedroom suites include ocean views, marble bathtubs and massive beachfront terraces
Get ready for Old World glamour at this more traditional resort, where resort fees are a thing of the past. Acqualina includes residences as well as the resort, so the service is next-level and plenty of the guests on property have been there before or liked it so much they bought a place. This informs the room layout, which is sprawling and plush, residential style with lots of floor-to-ceiling windows, crown molding and marble everywhere. Definitely splurge for the ocean-view side of the building, and spend any time you’re not down at the pool on the massive terrace gazing across the water from above. These are truly million-dollar views, but if you want to feel even more pampered, the marble standalone tub will take you there. Go one step further with a treatment at the property’s stunning spa, complete with private pools, a relaxation lounge and several steam and sauna offerings.
Three separate pools, private beach access and wristbands to keep everything exclusive
Though plenty of families vacation at Acqualina, the resort is very mindful of those who don’t wish to be around children, with a serene, adults-only pool staked out on its own. All three pools are right on the water, and there’s also a private beach area with manicured sand and chaise lounges. If you want the views but don’t want to deal with the sand, stick to the pools or the grassy lounge areas that can be reserved with 24 hours’ notice. And if you’re hungry during the day, Costa Grill offers food and beverage service to any of the pools, along with seated table service right on the beach. All of these offerings are completely private, and guests check in at the pool entrance to get their wristband — only hotel guests and residents can dine or swim at Acqualina, offering a welcome layer of privacy that’s rare in Miami.
Check out classic Miami restaurants like Villa Azur or Le Petit Maison for destination dining while you’re in town
Along with elegant on-property dining at Il Mulino New York, a very traditional, very excellent Italian outpost, heading into town for dinner is a great way to break up the lazy resort daytime hours. Villa Azur is a great spot for visitors who want to get that signature Miami “clubstaurant” experience. Their open-air garden is excellent for an idyllic golden-hour dinner, but soon evolves into sparklers on Champagne bottles when darkness falls. Blaring DJ sets, boozy cocktails, and an elegant plate of steak or fish are the ultimate complement to an evening of controlled nightlife chaos.
For a different spin on a night out, head all the way into downtown Miami to Brickell for the upscale French-Mediterranean menu at Le Petit Maison, or LPM. Reserve a table ahead of time for a white tablecloth, fine-dining experience, or just grab a seat at the bar and dig into their classic French delicacies like escargots, beef carpaccio and prawns with olive oil. For mains, the marinated baby chicken with potato gratin on the side can’t be beat, though a local seated at the bar swore up and down by the duck l’orange.
Stopover in mid-beach for the retro-glam vibes of The Confidante if you want a few days closer to the action
After a few days of relaxation up north, a few nights closer to the party might be in order. The Confidante is the place to set up shop for that; it’s located right on the main drag of Collins, and their reasonable rates will leave plenty left over for going big on a poolside cabana. Indulge in this bustling hotel’s pool and private beach scene, where the DJ is bumping from afternoon to night and the drinks come in custom coconuts, cracked open right at the bar. Make sure to check out the property’s on-site restaurant, Ambersweet, for a relaxed mix of local favorites and Miami classics, like big eye tuna tartare with pickled onions or the incredibly fresh Chilean sea bass.
After a night of partying, skip the hotel’s buffet breakfast and hit up Bakan’s classic Mexican fare over near the Wynwood Walls for an early lunch — and one last margarita before you go.
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