We say a jetset hotel has to have a great pool, a fabulous bar and some pretty fine suites. Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach, a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, fits the bill on all counts.
The Miami Beach resort, in fact, has three pools, one geared toward kids, another for adults only, and a “Beachclub,” designed for everyone.
If you’re a globetrotter who is short on time, we suggest checking in to your room, adorning your Prada flip-flops and heading to the resort’s Costa Grill for a cocktail crafted within a Thai Coconut. (The bartender carefully cracks open the coconut and adds your spirit of choice. Yes, please).
After a stint of suntanning and adult beverages, we say it’s time to request that the house car take you to the Bal Harbour Shops, which are just three miles away. The outdoor mall has a luxury Florida vibe, made all the more posh by retailers such as Chanel, Prada, Jimmy Choo and Saks Fifth Avenue. Seeking something unique to the destination? At Neiman Marcus, Alexis brand is a high-end women’s wear contemporary line by Miami designers Ana & Alexis Barbara (think chic frocks, off-the-shoulder lace tops and sleek jumpsuits).
Back at Acqualina, the top digs are the two “Deluxe Three Bedroom Suites” (Nos. 3104 and 3503). They’re oceanfront, natch, with private balconies. If you’re short on time and just want to relax in luxury, this is the place. They have full kitchens and plenty of technology to keep anyone occupied. Two-bedroom suites also have full kitchens, as do the popular one-bedroom suites.
Acqualina provides beach umbrellas, lounges and butler service for guests to picnic on the beach.
Those with special requests can contact Caitlyn Stroup ([email protected]; 212-845-0565), the resort’s director of sales and marketing. Based in New York, she handles the Tri-State Area, Los Angeles and European travel agents. Alina Tsinkevich is the sales manager for the Midwest, Southeast and Southwest of the United States, along with group business and Russia.
Note: Travel advisors can also contact the resort’s general manager, Christof Pignet ([email protected]; 305-918-6801), directly.
Want to charter a yacht or a helicopter ride around Miami? The chief concierge, Maya Frenkiel ([email protected]; 305-918-6860) can make it happen. She and her team can also book you into one of the resort’s 59 Rolls-Royces or get you into a fully booked restaurant around town, including Il Mulino New York, which is located at the resort. We suggest snagging one of the very private Romeo and Juliet balconies with views of the pool and ocean; we also hear that the Ravioli ai Porcini is the dish to order. For large private groups, contact Elizabeth Giordano ([email protected]; 305-918-6843), catering director.
The resort has 54 guestrooms and 44 suites with views of the Atlantic Ocean.
After all this shopping and dining, we say it’s time to visit the ESPA at Acqualina where the ESPA Time program allows you to book in increments of two, three or four hours and plan as you go with the spa therapist. If you’re opting for just one treatment, we hear the deep-tissue massage is very popular (Hint: Request Orlando Basulto). For facials, we hear that DeKendra James is tops. The spa reception supervisor, Tommi-Ann Dove ([email protected]) can help with reservations, which should be made at least a week out for high seasons (Christmas, New Years, Hanukkah and Passover) and weekends. Cynthia Bell ([email protected]), executive spa director and Jocelyn Farmer ([email protected]), spa director, can assist with special requests at the facility that has 11 treatment rooms and a new Royal Spa Suite, which is 820 square feet in size. The new spa suite, which has a terrace, is meant to be super private and has two treatment beds, a rainforest shower for two, as well as a lounge with Fendi furniture. It works very well not just for couples but also for friends who want to hang out and be pampered.
Acqualina is 20 minutes (14 miles) from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and 30 minutes (19 miles) from Miami International Airport. Book in advance for busy times, including the Miami International Boat Show, the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show and Art Basel Miami Beach.