If you have ever wanted to feel like royalty or experience the lifestyle of the rich and famous in Miami then you should look no further that The Acqualina Resort and Spa.
Acqualina is a 5 star Ocean front resort located between South Beach and Ft. Lauderdale on the white sandy beaches of Sunny Isles. Voted #1 Beach Front hotel on trip advisor, it is an elegant Mediterranean inspired building with 51 stories and 98 rooms and suites. Acqualina has 3 restaurants, 4 pools and an award winning Spa which I will be telling you all about. Their Spa is the epitome of luxury and I was lucky to win a 50 min Spa Treatment valued at $210. Read along and come see for yourself what The Acqualina Resort and Spa has to offer.
A Day at the Acqualina Resort and Spa
Acqualina’s outstanding service began with the booking process. Since I had a gift certificate to redeem I called the Spa directly to book my treatment. They had a wide array of options to choose from and their staff was extremely helpful during the booking process. They were patient answering all my questions. Took the time to describe the monthly specials, and helped me select the perfect treatment for me. While you could simply book online I enjoyed speaking to knowledgeable staff.
Tip: Make sure to book a few weeks in advance to make sure they have availability in the time slot of your choosing. If you are booking during high season or during Spa month give yourself even more time.
When I arrived at the property I had to valet my car. An attendant was there to greet me and make sure I was in the correct place. Security is high and only residents, hotel guests and spa visitors are allowed inside the property. Once parking was taken care of, a doorman let me into the lobby. The decor inside is lavish but traditionally tasteful with elegant and welcoming furnishings. Definitely a WOW first impression.
My Spa Experience
Acqualina is probably one of the top Spas I have ever visited. It is a Five-Star rated spa by Forbes Travel Guide. This rating is for an exclusive and select group, and Acqualina is one of only four Spas in Florida to have this honor. This is quite an accomplishment considering the array of luxury hotels and spas we have all over the State of Florida.
Acqualina provides more than just a treatment. Acqualina provides a full luxurious, relaxing and pampering experience.
My Spa experience started right at the counter. I was given a warm welcome and greeted with some hot tea and a cooling towel. After an easy check in I was given a tour of the facilities and provided me with a Spa Robe and slippers.
I stored my belongings in the combination locker provided and changed into the comfy robe and slippers. Let me tell you those locker rooms are perfectly appointed. The counter has every necessity you could dream of.
Did you forget to shave your legs? No problem. Acqualina provides you with individually packaged razors.
Do you feel like you need to freshen your breath? No problem. Aqualina provides you with tooth brushes, tooth paste and mouth wash.
And this does not even scratch the surface. I promise that should you need anything they will have it or find it for you and best of all they will deliver it with a genuine smile. Everyone I encountered was happy to work there and to help make my day special.
I started my personal journey in the relaxation room. This space has a large Himalayan salt wall which is supposed to purify the air and provide a sense of relaxation while increasing energy. It is also meant to detoxify and provide an overall feeling of well-being.
Not sure if all those claims are true. All I know is that I had amazing cookies, fresh fruit infused water and wonderful tea. All of which I could consume while lying in a comfy lounge chair reading my book.
This was heaven for me and I could have spent all day here. But a little while after my massage therapist DeKendra came to get me for my treatment.
Himalayan Hot Stone Treatment
DeKendra (my amazing massage therapist) took me to my private treatment room and made sure the temperature in the room was adequate for me. I had selected the Himalayan hot stone massage and since I had never had any type of hot stone massage before she took the time to show me the difference between a regular hot stone and the Himalayan salt stone. Then she selected two different oils for me and let me test them both and select the scent that most appealed to me. And then I enjoyed one of the best massages I have ever had. My 50 min session seemed to go by in a blink but in the end my muscles and my mind were as relaxed as they could ever be.
If you have never tried a Himalayan hot stone massage you should add it to your must do list aside from the great massage I loved the way the heat made my muscles melt and as a bonus I got some exfoliation out it.
Steam Room and Sauna
Since I had scheduled 5 hours to be away from family and other responsibilities I took advantage of the rest of the amenities the Spa has to offer. I spent some time in the Crystal Steam Room which has different colored lights that come on in intervals as the steam fills the room. I also spent some time in the Finnish Sauna. Both of these help eliminate toxins and leave you feeling with a sense of balance and peace.
Ice Fountain and Experience Shower
In between the Steam Room and the Sauna there is an Ice Fountain which is a great way to cool off in between these sessions. However I decided to use the Experience shower. The rain setting is a bit cooler and was perfect after the sauna, then the tropic setting was warmer water and they have side jet settings to complete the experience. This was a fabulous way to get rinsed off before heading outside for some pool time.
Pool and Roman Tub
The outdoor area is co-ed and has a beautiful pool and roman tub with waterfall. It is a smaller area compared to the other hotel pools, but it was never crowded and I really enjoyed the intimate feel. Felt more as if I was in an Italian Villa than a hotel and this gave me a feeling of exclusivity.
It was great to spend some time in the roman tub with the pressure of the waterfall falling on my shoulders. A nice indulgence and therefore something you should make time for if you visit Acqualina.
The terrace also provides some space to enjoy a spa lunch (keep reading for my review on the food). It overlooks the ocean and the different pools that only residents and hotel guests have access to.
Tip: If you want to enjoy some sun by the pool I suggest you get there early as the sun rises from the east in the ocean and this will be your best chance for some rays. As the afternoon approaches the sun will be hidden by the towers and the pool will be shaded. So mornings will be your best best for sun.
I opted for the seared tuna bento box for my lunch. The portion you receive is big enough and the box is beautifully arranged. The tuna unfortunately was overcooked but it was seasoned beautifully and paired very well with the kale salad.
While the kale salad was full of flavor the tabbouleh was bland and a letdown. The finishing touch was some fruit which was seasonal and fresh and a perfect ending to the light meal. Overall a decent healthy lunch if a bit on the pricey side of about $43 (service fee and tax included).
If you want to enjoy this lifestyle for a little longer than just a day at the Spa, then you can certainly book a night in one of Acqualina’s 98 beautifully appointed guestrooms. Of the 98 rooms, 44 of them are suites and many of them enjoy unparalleled views of the Atlantic Ocean.
The resort if family friendly and has amazing amenities designed especially for children. They offer a daily program just for kids between the ages of 5 – 12. They also offer special areas geared for children like a sand pit filled with toys, a giant life size chess game, and a family pool.
If you desire time away from the little ones then you can spend time in the adult only pool which has beautiful cabanas for rent.
Acqualina has several restaurants available for the hotel guests and residents. The Costa Grill is outdoors and provides beautiful ocean views. It serves lunch daily from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm and has a casual menu of Hamburgers, sandwiches and salads.
AQ by Acqualina is open daily for dinner only between 5:30 pm to 10:00 pm with a rotating seasonal menu. Il Mulino New York is a beautiful indoor restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with an Italian menu.
In addition to the restaurants above, Acqualina offers a Piazetta Marketplace and The Bar at AQ by Acqualina. Both open at 11:00 am with the Piazetta closing at 10:00 pm and the Bar closing at 11:00 pm.