Sunny Isles Beach Travel Guide
Posh beach boutique hotel Acqualina Resort & Spa already has that classic Miami amenity: an Italian restaurant, Il Mulino. Now it gets the perfect casual accompaniment: a new restaurant serving pizza and gelato.
This is music to our ears. Il Mulino is your typical old-world Italian restaurant--heavy on the pasta and suited waiters. A beachside hotel like this needs more laidback alternatives and that's what it sounds like it will get when Piazzetta Marketplace and Restaurant opens this Sunday, March 18.
For hotels perched along South Florida's coast, a Killer View is essential. For the rooms facing west, many hotels tout their not-quite-killer-but-pretty views of the Intracoastal instead.
Super posh Acqualina Resort & Spa in Sunny Isles is one of them--but when we dropped by the hotel last week we found a much better Killer View on the west side of the property: the one of all the tricked-out luxury cars in the hotel's Porte Cochere.
The Season has not yet arrived in Montauk, so we imagine that things are pretty quiet over at Solé East and sister prop Solé East Beach. But down in SoFla? The Season is in full swing, baby, and whaddayknow, the Solés have another siblingSolé On The Ocean.
Info on the boutique hotel in Sunny Isles is kind of scant--in fact, we had never heard of it until we were leafing through one of those luxury-lifestyle vanity magazines that proliferate in these parts.
The posh Acqualina Resort in Sunny Isles, FL is going green by, er, going blue. Instead of throwing a bunch of brochures and pamphlets into your guestroom every day, the resort has launched a Bluetooth messaging system that delivers daily hotel news and offerings straight to your mobile device. Yes, oh yes. Candidate for our next Geek Hotels list? We think so.
Whether in the lobby, lounging by the pool or relaxing at the beach, guests and residents can power on their Bluetooth device and automatically receive hotel entertainment news, events, or any other informational materials of interest.
The resort will only send AcquaBlue messages once a day and guests will not accrue any charges, airtime or additional fees. In addition, this service is only accessible while on the resort grounds and is independent of any wireless carrier.
Sweet, huh? The messages can be delivered to any Bluetooth-enabled device (cell phones, laptops, etc) and they have even gotten this thing precise enough to launch location-specific messages; i.e., you'll hear about the drink specials if you're by the pool while guests in the lobby might receive announcements about different things.
Rates here ain't cheap the cheapest room we found for a Sunday night in May was $575 but this service is totally free, at least.
Miami hotels are already gearing up for Art Basel next month, and plans go beyond hiring extra housekeeping to clean up the trashed hotel rooms of art buyers and "artists". Le Meridien Sunny Isles Beach is going over the top with art installations throughout the property, as part of Le Meridien's broader, brand-wide One Night program.
In addition to literally covering the property with fine art photography (in the form of appliques on windows), Sunny Isles will have newly designed keycards designed by artist Sam Samore. Besides opening guest rooms, they'll also grant access to a contemporary art space in Miami. A big One Night party is slated for December 2, just a few days before Art Basel starts up.
It's official. Rosewood Resorts will no longer be managing the Acqualina Resort in Sunny Beach Isles, Florida.
On Monday, we got word that RR was pulling out and today we got our hands on the official press release, issued by the Acqualina resort itself. It says:
Acqualina informed Rosewood Hotels and Resorts last month of its decision to end their relationship effective October 31st and to establish its own luxury brand. Acqualina Management, LLC, the hotel management company that has employed the on-site management team supervised by Rosewood,...is to assume complete supervision of the management team.
Hmmm...that sounds like a "We didn't need you anyways" type of release from Acqualina, doesn't it? Nevertheless, it doesn't look like much of the hotel's top management is going anywhere as the hotel's vice president Florent Gateau will stay on as will the sales & marketing director Deborah Yager-Fleming.
The hotel also promises to "build significantly on its membership" in The Leading Hotels of the World program. So we're guessing the resort will do its best to keep returning guests happy.
One last jab in the release: "While retaining its very talented on-site top management group, ownership together with management will focus on continuing to build an even stronger team at Acqualina."
· Rosewood Resorts Bowing Out of Acqualina Hotel? [HotelChatter]
A regular guest of the Acqualina Resort in Florida wrote into us saddened to hear that Rosewood Resorts was ending its management of the hotel. The hotel's website still states that it is a Rosewood Resort so this is not official news. But we thought we'd investigate anyways.
So we emailed a few of our sources to determine why Rosewood would no longer be managing the place, if this is indeed true. While no one could confirm the report, one source said that the Acqualina may have not fit in with the rest of the Rosewood Resort portfolio.
The hotel is way north of Miami Beach on a soulless stretch of Collins that feels more like a highway.
Our source also added that a few managers transferred out of the hotel to the Carlyle in NYC and to Rosewood properties in the Caribbean, a sign that this move may have been planned for a while.
Have your own thoughts to add about the Acqualina and Rosewood Resorts? Comment below.
· The Regent South Beach No More [HotelChatter]
We are suckers for a room with a killer view. We find that we are even more likely to forgive some minor hotel inconveniences if we can stare out the window at something pretty--yeah we are that shallow. Let's help out our fellow hotel mavens by uploading rooms with killer views to the HotelChatter/Flickr photo pool, or by sending the photo along to us. We will feature our favorites in this space from time to time. Remember to tell us the name of the hotel and the room number of the hot view.
Lately, we've beeh in a rut thinking that Killer Views had to come from a hotel abroad. However, QuirkyGal shows us on Flickr that a great room view can be had here in the states. Specifically, the 25th floor of the Le Meridien Sunny Isles. With floors so high, no wonder the service is pokey.
· Le Meridien Sunny Isles is Pokey With Service [HotelChatter]
If your New Year's Resolution is to crank up the romance in your life, then you need to know what about.com's Susane Breslow Sardone considers to be 2007's Best New Hotels for Romance. With tips spread from downtown New York (luckily this time avoiding the yet-to-open Downtown Hotel) to Rio and rural Ireland to the charming Czech Republic, there's a find for everyone, but the big gold medal goes to North Miami Beach's Acqualina.
Less than a year old, the Acqualina is described as "romantic fantasy come to life". Of course, everybody's got their own individual ideas of romantic fantasy (and some of them we just don't want to know about), but if an adults-only tranquility pool and marble showers built for two fit into your imagination, book now.
If you're trying to use it for that special moment, the concierges are even equipped to give you hints on how to propose! (On top of that they're multilingual and can arrange for your pets to be walked, too). Just twenty minutes from Fort Lauderdale airport, and you can let the romance begin.
Also on the list are Gramercy Park Hotel, for the scary gothic sex freak in all of us.
Hey guys---you've heard of the four c's when it comes to buying an engagement ring, right? Er, you know, color, cut, clarity and carat. Right? Never mind, because now, thanks to Acqualina (a Rosewood Resort) there are five c's---the fifth one being concierge. Huh?
That's right, the swank Sunny Isles Beach resort is offering a service that will come to the rescue of many a man--or very forward thinking woman.
The hotel's Proposal Concierge, Samuel Garcia, provides the perfect rescue plan to the time-deprived or creativity-starved individuals ready to pop the question. Whether the occasion is exclusive to the couple or a surprise family and friends event, the resort's dedicated Proposal Concierge is ready to offer ideas or assist with the planning and timing of this once-in-a-lifetime moment.
Whether it's an elaborate formal dinner party or an intimate candlelit picnic for two on the resort's private beach with the proposal scrolled in the sand or a specially built wedding cake sand castle, (but let's hope it's not that cheesy) your spouse-to-be will never know you received any help in executing the perfect proposal.
Seems like the only thing Garcia can't do is make her--or him--say 'yes.' Then again, if you need that sort of help, maybe you're just rushing into things and need to slow things down just a bit, dontchya think?
Image via Coed/Flickr
· Acqualina Reviews [TripAdvisor]
Because it's a condo-tel, most rooms have amenities that you would find within an apartment such as two televisions, a kitchen stocked with cookware and utensils, stainless steel appliances and a living room with a sleeper sofa.
However, while the hotel scores points for accomodations and beachfront location, the service is described as pokey (slow and inattentive) and the hotel has high prices for cheap stuff. Like a breakfast with the quality of Dennys and a $16 resort fee for the use of the hotel's small hot tub and pool. Valet parking at the hotel, which is in a town still full of retired elderly people, costs 25 bucks.
And if you want some nightlife, forget about staying here as there's no scene. Miami is only 30 minutes away, but you're better off fronting the money to stay there. Otherwise, you'll have to rent a car and put up with some of Florida's worst drivers--the old people in their cadillacs wearing ginormous sunglasses and visors.
Summer rates are currently offered at $209 to $639.
A new hotel is hitting the Miami area, and just in time for spring break.
But Sunny Isles Beach's newest addition, The Acqualine Resort is not your average spring break hotspot.
The resort bills itself as an "oceanfront masterpiece," possibly because it is located on 400 feet of oceanfront property, or else because it is designed to look like an Italian palace-- think Baroque fountains, and columns.
Obviously the place is a good choice for families with its various activities for children, and a swank swimming pool. For those skittish of kids, rest easy. There is an adult-only pool.
The hotel itself is relatively small with 54 rooms and 43 suites, all with ocean views and private terraces. Many suites offer full kitchens, for those who are inclined to cook or who just like add-ons.
Expect to pay around $675 for a room during the high season.
· Near South Beach, a Luxury Hotel Caters to Families [NY Times]