Why Families Will Love Acqualina Resort & Spa in Miami

Acqualina Resort & Spa is a super kid friendly luxury seaside sanctuary located on 4.5 beachfront acres in pristine Sunny Isles Beach between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale. Acqualina is a recipient of the coveted Forbes Travel Guide Five Star Award and the AAA Five Diamond Award.

acqualina resort & spa
The resort is inspired by a Mediterranean villa atmosphere. Photo: Acqualina Resort & Spa

Acqualina offers luxurious accommodations, impeccable service, varied dining options, three oceanfront swimming pools, and unique, inventive programming for toddlers, children and teenagers.

We stayed in a suite on the twenty third floor so we had a breathtaking view of the Atlantic Ocean. All hotel suites feature an ocean view, a king size bed, separate living room, custom sofa sleeper, dining table , private terrace and spacious bathroom with the all-important bath tub for bathing the little ones and glass enclosed shower. A feature I loved about the suite was that it had a full gourmet kitchen with a refrigerator, microwave and even a dishwasher.

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Because kids will be kids, we had to try out all the pools before even setting foot in the ocean. Three outdoor swimming pools provide hours of fun. Cabanas are available for rental in case you want cover from the sun or a place for baby to nap while the big kids are swimming.

acqualina resort & spa
Play a game of giant chess by the beach. Photo: Acqualina Resort & Spa

Forget your swim diapers? No worries, you can get some at the Beach Club Pool kiosk. Yes, they’ve even thought of that.

Launched in 2016, the AcquaMarine program for kids ages 5-12, teaches children about the sea through educational, fun activities. The avant-garde Children’s Center, is the headquarters for all indoor programs. Its décor encapsulates the deep-sea, including a “liquid effect,” turquoise-colored ceiling giving the illusion of being underwater.
AcquaMarine themes include: Arctic Fish and Friends, the Colorful World of Reefs, Gentle Giants, Pinniped Pals, Predators of the Sea, Save the Sea, and Sea Turtles. Campers can learn everything about the world of whales to the world of sharks through games, crafts etc.

acqualina resort & spa
The children’s marine biology inspired program, AcquaMarine, is available to guests on a complimentary basis. Photo: Acqualina Resort & Spa

In Sea Turtles, the most popular theme of the AcquaMarine program, kids learn about saving the turtle species and nesting behaviors through a variety of ways. If kids are lucky, they can even watch sea turtle nesting and migration right on Acqualina’s shore! Hundreds of thousands of threatened and endangered sea turtles nest on Florida beaches every summer. In fact nearly 90 percent of sea turtle nesting in the U.S. occurs in Florida from March through October of each year.

AcquaMarine is an awesome feature for kids to have fun and learn and for mom and dad to relax and get some beach time! Nervous to let the kids fly solo? The AcquaMarine program has “WatchMeGrow,” a Streaming Video System where you can check in on the littles.

acqualina resort & spa
The separate women’s and men’s relaxation lounges feature Himalayan salt walls Photo: Acqualina Resort & Spa

While the kids are occupied, make sure to take a beach break and check out the Acqualina Spa by ESPA. The spa is a two story serene refuge of relaxation! There are multiple treatment rooms as well as a magnificent outdoor terrace complete with a spa pool, heated jet pool, and Roman waterfall all against the stunning backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean. Let your stress melt away in crystal steam rooms, release impurities in the Himalayan Salt Walls and refresh your skin in experiential showers that include cool arctic or warm Caribbean mists.

Got toddlers? Acqualina’s Strider Adventure Zone, is a stimulating activity for children ages 18 months to 5 years old where they will learn balance and coordination skills while riding a Strider Balance Bike. Parents can encourage their little ones to ride the bikes on a path lined with race cones and flags along the shore.

And let’s not forget about the teenagers! The Teen Scene, at Acqualina, offers a menu of classes for ages 12 to 16 from arts, dance & hip hop to a make-up tutorial and volleyball clinic while the Learner’s Permit Certification gives teen fitness enthusiasts a 60-minute fitness class by a certified personal trainer.

acqualina resort & spa
The entrance Photo: Acqualina Resort & Spa

Acqualina offers ample dining opportunities. Should you stay in a suite, you have the kitchen which is a big plus for any family. 24-hour In-Room dining is also available. We ordered room service for breakfast and it was lovely to sit outside, watch the ocean and just enjoy the moment for a bit.

The casual Costa Grill, is spot-on for enjoying a beach/poolside lunch or snack. This is where you can get your sandwiches, burgers, wraps etc. AQ by Acqualina offers Modern American cuisine presenting the ideal balance of laidback yet stylish. You can either sit inside or outside on the AQ Veranda, where glimmering tree lights set a fairylike mood. It’s a perfect place to dine with friends and family.

Need a date night or have extremely well behaved kids? Check out, Il Mulino, New York City’s highly praised Italian restaurant inside Acqualina. I can honestly say, Il Mulino, is one of the best Italian restaurants I’ve been too outside of Italy. The food is amazing and service impeccable. My husband and I opted a solo dining experience but perhaps in a few years, we’ll consider bringing the kids along!

I walked into Acqualina and was afraid it might be too stuffy for our little ones but nothing could be further from the truth. From the foosball table by the pools to the gelato bar near the lobby, this resort is a must for any family visiting Miami Beach.

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About Guiomar Ochoa

Guiomar Ochoa works in the arts and is a freelance travel writer. She has called both Rome and Paris home but is settled, for now, in her hometown of Washington, D.C. with her husband and two young children. Fluent in Spanish, Italian and French, she is adamant about passing down her love of languages, travel and cultures to her kids.. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

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