by Lissa Poirot
Many families visiting Fort Lauderdale and Miami miss out on some of the great stretches of beach that lie between. On the small island known as Sunny Isles awaits Acqualina Resort, a luxurious high-rise complex with two towers dedicated to residential and visitor rooms and suites. Decorated in a modern dÃ©cor with shades of grays and heavy use of chrome and glass, the property is quiet on the interior. You won’t find loud crowds spilling out of its restaurants or bars, nor will you hear the other families in neighboring suites. Where you will find families will be outdoors, during the day, enjoying the expansive stretch of beach, multiple swimming pools, and kids’ programming and club.
From the resort, it’s easy to travel between Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Miami, and South Beach. Families can enjoy the full experience of South Florida’s attractions, or choose instead to be pampered at the resort. Its suites with full kitchens make it a great condo-style resort, where families can stock the pantry and fridge and choose to make meals themselves, or visit the onsite dining, or even have food delivered to the room, the beach or pool. Acqualina works hard to ensure families feel they have escaped and eliminates all the stress of traveling. Here, your family will just sit back and enjoy the Florida coastline in a beautiful setting.
Our Editor Loves
- Quiet, beachfront location
- Suites with full kitchens
- Water Sports
- Children Programs
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Free Wi-Fi
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
Rooms for Acqualina are divided by standard rooms and suites, as well as views.
These rooms are 600 square feet and the smallest of the options, with room for four people. Intracoastal Views has city views, while Deluxe Intracoastal Rooms provide bay views and can be up to 740 square feet. The rooms feature terraces and either a king bed with sleeper sofa or two double beds. Oceanfront options are 615 square feet and feature ocean views.
Starting in size from 1,010 square feet for a classic suite that sleeps four, suites grow up to up to three bedrooms and 2,031 square feet and sleep nine. Suites feature ocean views and offer full kitchens, dining areas, living room space and separate bedrooms. As the bedroom size increases, so do bathrooms.
I recently stayed for five glorious days and nights at the Acqualina for a business meeting. This property is honestly magical in every way! The ENTIRE staff went out of their way in every detail. As a guest you are treated like a VIP! The food everywhere was delicious. The restaurant Il Mulino was one of the best Italian restaurants I have ever eaten in. The grounds are like no other..imagine beautiful open green spaces that lead seamlessly to a tranquil expansive beach? That is Acqualina. The property is immaculate and it is a hidden gem worth every penny! Acqualina is privately owned. I feel this is why it is run like a family who invites guests to their home and wants to make sure they have the most amazing experience. I definitely did!
by Life T
Freshly back from a week stay at the Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach; what a lovely time. I was there for a week of professional development so was able to enjoy many aspects of the hotel experience from the excellent food offerings of catering through to the careful attention of my room attendants.
I love that this is a privately owned property and I was so fortunate to meet the CEO and other members of the executive team who themselves - as well as their staff - absolutely execute on their vision that each client is unique and special and thus their time at the property should be as well.
It's a tremendous experience from start to finish. Pre-arrival you receive an email confirming your arrival time and any specific details that are important to you. Upon arrival you can expect to be warmly greeted and served a glass of bubbly, juice or cool water and towel. Within moments at reception you will be whisked off to your lovely one, two or three bedroom suite. This is a very classically beautiful hotel with attention to details via rich fabrics, soothing lighting, beautiful artwork and of course all of the other amenities one would expect such as amazing beds, warm and comfortable furniture, lovely linens and superb bath amenities (ESPA).
As I often say; one's idea of luxury or star ratings is extremely subjective. I can say that I felt listened to; attended to; remembered; and treated with the utmost consideration from every person I interacted with. As well, each time I returned to my suite - whether for a brief respite during the day or sinking into my luxurious bed after an evening of food and wine - was like stepping into a calm and soothing sanctuary. I love to be surrounded by beauty and my Suite at Acqualina Resort and Spa personified that experience for me.
The clientele at the property was diverse with many multi-generational families; mature couples, honeymooners and friends travelling together. The beach was beautiful; the relaxation lounge in the spa was so restful, pets are permitted, the two and three bedroom suites are equipped with a full kitchen (with Wolf Appliances no less) and grocery service can be arranged if that is a preference. Daily newspapers, complimentary wireless internet, a children's program, 24 hour room, valet and multi-lingual concierge service, 3 restaurants and a small gourmet takeaway offer wonderful food and beverage service. The bar is a wonderful place to meet other like minded guests and I enjoyed a few perfectly chilled glasses of prosecco there!
Although my professional development time was quite hectic I can say that my "down" time which was spent on site was fabulous and allowed me the perfect opportunity to rest and reset.
An "Acqua-Marine"-themed kids' center features arts and crafts, toys, video games, and computers for kids to enjoy. The supervised center and programming is available for children ages 5 to 12, although children need to be registered in advance. A Kids' Night Out program is also available, providing kids with dinner, games and a movie while mom and dad enjoy a dinner date.
Children can learn more about the Florida environment and the sea life around the resort with various programs offered by the resort. Designed for kids ages 5 to 12, the marine biology-based program includes beach games, lifeguard experiences, and various educational, yet fun programs. Sharks & Rays, for example, is a group exploration where kids will play games and enjoy a scavenger hunt, and the Wonderful World of Whales program includes science experiments, scavenger hunts and more.
The resort offers three oceanfront swimming pools, although one is for adults only. The resort is situated on 400 feet of beach. Cabanas are available for half- or full-day rentals. Water sports can be arranged through concierge, including stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, Wave Runners and Hobie Cats.
Dinner and a Movie
Children can enjoy dinner and a movie with popcorn in the room with this special offering from the hotel. (Additional fee.)
The resort provides private sports and swim lessons for kids through the Children's Center. Lessons are at additional costs.
AQ by Acqualina
This casually chic restaurant provides plush sofa seating in its dining room and outdoor veranda dining. The restaurant is open Sunday through Thursday, 5:30 to 10 p.m., and until 11 p.m. on weekends.
Il Mulino New York
The only restaurant to offer a children's menu, Il Mulino is an Italian-inspired restaurant spawned from its predecessor in New York City. The restaurant is open for breakfast from 7 to 11 a.m., lunch from 12 to 2:30 p.m., and dinner from 5:30 to 11 p.m. Dinner requires reservations.
Outdoor, poolside dining is available at Costa Grill. The beachfront bar and restaurant serves poolside or at its casual spot beneath red and beige umbrellas. It is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., weather permitting.
AQ Sushi by Yakko San
Sushi is available Sunday through Thursday, 5:30 to 10 p.m., and weekends, 5:30 to 11 p.m. within the Piazzetta Restaurant.
This grab-and-go marketplace features pastries, coffees, teas, desserts and gelato. It is open 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and until 11 p.m. on weekends. At night, sushi is also featured here.
Room service is available with breakfast starting at 7 a.m. and all-day dining from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. A late-night menu serves from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. Kids' cuisine includes a grilled cheese sandwich, chicken fingers or a hot dog.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Housekeeping has a variety of items for infants and young children, including bath amenities, infant bathtubs, socket guards, disposable diapers, bottle warmers, high chairs, bottles, booster chairs, cribs, swim diapers, bibs and blankets.
Wi-Fi is available in-room and in all public areas.
Complimentary coffee is provided near concierge daily, from 6 to 9 a.m.
The resort welcomes small pets less than 25 pounds, including dogs and cats. Pets must remain on a leash and a non-refundable fee will be charged.
A fitness center is located on the Mezzanine level with cardio and weight-training equipment. Guests must be 16 and older to use the fitness center.
Check-in is at 4 p.m. and check-out is at noon.
The Art of Smart Timing
South Florida is a year-round vacation destination, with summer months often the hottest and bringing summer thunderstorms, which tend to pass quickly. Fall and spring months have better weather, with spring a popular time for families to visit. For less crowds and the best deals, visit during the fall, as holiday seasons also tend to be busy.
The resort is located on Sunny Isles, which is located between Miami and Fort Lauderdale. The airport will arrange transfers from both Miami International Airport and Hollywood/Fort Lauderdale International Airport for an additional fee.
A house car is available on a first-come, first-serve basis from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. within a 5-mile radius. For those renting a car for their visit, parking is available by valet for a daily fee.
For Mom and Dad
Visit the Acqualina Spa by ESPA, which is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday, closing at 7 p.m. on Sunday.