Sunny Isles Beach, Florida
Acqualina Resort and Spa on the Beach
What it is
The charm of a Mediterranean villa meets elegance on the beach at this family-friendly, beachfront destination.
What it isn't
A sexy Miami scene.
What we think
An excellent choice for families who want proximity to South Beach without being in the thick of things, Acqualina checks off the boxes for kids and parents alike: Huge rooms (starting at 600 square feet, all have terraces or balconies, walk-in closets and a soothing-but-sophisticated color scheme of white, silver and gold). Four pools and a gorgeous beach (attendants pass by frequently with snacks and refreshments and have shovels and pails, pool toys, even swim diapers on hand for the kids). A spa (the 20,000-square-foot ESPA sits like a calming totem in the core of the hotel). Great food (New York import Il Mulino is a standout of the three restaurants—but note that there aren't many other options within walking distance). Despite having only 98 rooms and suites, it has all the amenities of a larger resort. Staff are friendly and attentive, and the marine biology–based kids' program is fantastic.
You're here because
You want the perks of a large-scale resort—kids’ club, destination spa, multiple pools and restaurants—without sacrificing luxe digs.
With the kids installed in the AcquaMarine program, learning about sea turtles, you let out a long sigh and settle under the red canvas roof of your private poolside cabana.
Restaurants & Bars
Il Mulino New York - An idyllic match for the elegant Mediterranean style oceanfront Acqualina Resort, acclaimed Italian restaurant Il Mulino New York is renowned for its bustling and energetic atmosphere, market fresh daily specials extensive selection of fine Italian wines and impeccably polished wait staff.
AQ Chop House By II Mulino - The moment guests arrive at AQ Chop House, their eyes will be instantly drawn to the giant, 1930s art-deco style chandelier that hangs from the soaring ceiling. Menu highlights include sheep’s milk ricotta with sea salt & extra virgin olive oil, branzino crudo with blood orange & frisee, grilled octopus, short rib ravioli with sage & butter, grilled fish and prime dry-age meats as well as delectable sides from truffle french fries, broccoli rabe to cream of corn and sauté cauliflower with raisins.
Costa Grill - The oceanfront Costa Grill is the perfect spot to enjoy a beachside lunch or a light snack or to relax and unwind with a cocktail as the sun sets. The beachfront Miami restaurant serves an array of gourmet cuisine including sandwiches, burgers, wraps and salads in a casual setting.
The Bar at AQ - Oceanfront signature cocktails
AcquaMarine Program - Acqualina has created a unique marine biology-based children's program designed specially for children ages 5 to 12 years old. The program is offered exclusively to guests, residents, and Beach Club members.
Sunny Isles Beach, about halfway between South Beach and Ft. Lauderdale. The shops at Bal Harbour are about 10 minutes away (there's a free shuttle), South Beach 20 minutes further.