When thinking about traveling this fall and winter, Hamptonites will obviously be observing a general rule of thumb: there’s no need to be cutting corners, especially if our journeys take us stateside.
And, when discussing where we might be headed stateside, well, there’s another obvious consideration: Florida. So, where do these two thoughts intersect? Acqualina Resort & Residences on the Beach, one of the most exceptional resorts in the United States.
Just far enough north from Miami to escape the traffic jams of Ocean Drive and the cacophony of Collins, but not so far north that you can’t make a beeline for The Shops at Bal Harbor (and one of our favorites eateries, Carpaccio’s) Acqualina, located in Sunny Isles Beach, has been the destination for the jet-set for nearly two decades. And, with new hotels coming online every year, and the resulting competition being rather fierce, this grande dame of the beach has held up remarkably well.
A particular favorite for international travelers who want gigantic digs and Americans who want both luxury and privacy, the property can’t be beaten. The only downside on a recent trip was the frequent hum of heavy machinery. But, it was only mildly distracting and all the less so when one considers that the result will be dozens of luxury residences.
Named No. 1 Best Resort in the continental United States, in 2021, by U.S. News & World Report, Acqualina also recently cemented itself as the quintessential luxury travel destination in Florida by garnering several coveted back-to-back travel awards. Forbes Travel Guide officially announced that Acqualina has been recognized as a five-star hotel, making it the ninth year the property received the prestigious, ultra-exclusive industry accolade. Meanwhile, it also has been recognized as TripAdvisor’s No. 1 Luxury Beachfront Resort in the United States for the seventh consecutive year, placing it in the top 1% of all hotels worldwide.
It’s obviously on the Social Life’s shortlist, and below are our top five reasons why.
2. Acqualina Spa by ESPA
Set against the tranquil ocean and stunning white sands, Acqualina Spa by ESPA is not only an indulgent retreat for relaxation and rejuvenation but is also one of the best in the country.
True relaxation and pleasure are the hallmarks of the world-class, 20,000-square-foot facility, which features state-of-the-art treatment rooms, relaxation lounges, the private and special occasion Royal Spa Suite, and a magnificent outdoor terrace retreat. The spa embraces the legendary European day-spa philosophy that each visit is a journey; every experience begins with a signature selection of Ayurvedic-infused holistic, restorative, and meditative treatment3s for face and body.
Most recently, the resort opened Ke-uH, a Japanese fusion restaurant, featuring a diverse and eclectic menu of tapas-style and shareable plates in an elegant and modern setting. Merely steps away is Il Mulino, which serves authentic Italian cuisine and has one of the best views in greater Miami. Guests can enjoy al fresco dining on gorgeous terraces overlooking the pools and sea.
4. The pools, the grounds, and the sea
This South Florida haven evokes the finer resorts of the Mediterranean. Featuring three oceanfront swimming pools, the lush grounds provide extreme comfort with sumptuous furniture that creates outdoor living-room settings, all on seashore paspalum grass. The environs are dotted with umbrellas in the resort’s signature red, and red lounge chairs punctuate the blue and green hues of the natural surroundings. Drinks and dining are always only minutes away with attentive staff at every turn.
5. The Estates
Yes, this is the ultimate coming attraction for those seeking a Sunshine State abode. When complete, The Estates at Acqualina will offer 248 luxurious residences, of three to seven bedrooms, in two, 50-story towers. Each estate in the sky will be equipped with a La Cornue gas range and Sub-Zero appliances, imported stone countertops, smart-home technology, 10- foot 6-inch ceilings, and a vent-free fireplace.
Each master suite will boast his and her bathroom suites with imported onyx counter-tops and walls, marble floors, a steam mist shower, a free-standing custom tub, and elaborate his and her dressing rooms with a choice of diamond-stitched eco-leather closets.
Villa Acqualina, the centerpiece of the new property, will offer 45,000 square feet of amenities, including a spa and fitness center; a world-class restaurant overlooking the Atlantic Ocean; and Circus Maximus, a full floor of amenities, including an ice-skating rink, bowling lanes, a golf simulator, and a movie theater. For more, connect to estatesatacqualina.com