One of the best parts about living in South Florida is taking a staycation on a whim.
We’ve stayed at a variety of hotels and resorts in Orlando and throughout South Florida.
Family Staycation in Sunny Isles Beach
After this weekend, it’s safe to say that we have a favorite spot.
The best part?
We all had a different reason for making Aqualina Resort and Residences in Sunny Isles Beach our new #1 pick.
Living the Suite Life
Our suite at Aqualina left me speechless.
Impressive doesn’t even begin to explain it.
To give you an idea, I sent a video walk-through of the 9th-story suite to my sister and she texted back, “That’s bigger than my apartment!”
We stayed in a 1,660-square-feet one-bedroom oceanfront suite that had everything you could ever need and more, including a
- king-size bed
- separate living room
- modern Italian design sofa sleeper,
- writing desk and ergonomic desk chair,
- private bar,
- Jacuzzi whirlpool tub,
- double sinks,
- sitting area,
- private balcony,
- full gourmet kitchen with built-in Sub-Zero refrigerator/freezer,
- breakfast room, and
- a powder room.
Bedside Reading Program
One of the first things I noticed in our suite was a bookshelf with books.
If you’re new here, Hello. I’m Christina and I’m a bibliophile, a person who collects or has a great love of books.
When I was having breakfast, I saw a woman reading One Italian Summer and I mentioned to her it was a great book.
She said, “This was one of the books in my guest room!”
But you don’t need to wait until you get into your room to start a good book.
Acqualina hotel guests can download up to eight eBooks and audiobooks as part of their Bedside Reading Program.
You can get them before you arrive, while on property, and for your return home.
Genres from both major and indie publishers and authors include
- and classics.
The Kids Club
Nothing gets Julianna, Landon, or Dylan more excited than hearing we’re staying at a property with a kids club.
The AcquaMarine Children’s Program was my kid’s favorite part… I think we have Ms. C to thank for that.
She was amazing with my little ones.
They made things from perler beads, enjoyed with other toys, went outside to play sports, and chowed down on some ice cream.
There’s no chance of boredom here.
Swimming with the Fish
The beach was the star of the show.
Dylan used the red Aqualina beach bucket and shovel, Julianna and Colin played volleyball, and Landon body surfed.
Acqualina’s got a whole lineup of water activities you can do too, like paddleboarding, kayaking, and snorkeling.
My husband Colin is very particular about his beaches, and this one exceeded his expectations.
We were able to hit up two of the three pools during our stay.
There is one just for adults, one that’s family-friendly, and another one my kids call the #1 pool because they say it’s shaped like the number one and was their #1 pick of pools during our stay.
Acqualina also provides noodles, tubes, and even mermaid tails to play with in the pool.
One of my favorite things to do is get a massage… and one of the best massages I’ve gotten was by Natalia at the Acqualina Spa.
After changing into my rob, I waited in the relaxation room.
It’s a great name for the space because I almost didn’t want to leave to get my massage.
When my amazing massage was over, I had to go back to the relaxation room for a bit because I was in such a sleepy trance.
Natalia is a Belarusian magician.
I even left with some goodies for my own home bathroom.
Time to Eat
There are a few restaurants and bars to choose from at Acqualina.
Outside, Colin and I enjoyed drinks and an appetizer outside from the Costa Grill while the kids had fun at AcquaMarine.
For dinner, we ate at Il Mulino New York, an Italian restaurant with a patio by the pool.
The decor has an Italian vibe that looks over the pools and beach.
The kids loved their pizza and I was a big fan of my rigatoni bolognese.
Before hitting the #1 pool the following morning, we enjoyed the breakfast buffet outside Ke-uH (which serves Japanese fusion cuisine for dinner).
Anything you can think of can be found in the buffet line.
So there you have it, folks – my whirlwind staycation at Acqualina Resort.
Whether you’re there with your family, your significant other, or your BFFs, this place is a haven of good times and even better memories.
Trust me, your inner traveler will thank you… but it doesn’t have to stop there.
Other Things to Do in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida
Before or after you check in or check out, I suggest making your way around Sunny Isles Beach.
It’s right in between the Atlantic Ocean and Intracoastal Waterway, just south of Aventura.
Being in between Miami and Fort Lauderdale is an ideal spot if you want to take a short drive to either city during your visit.
I would start off by recommending the obvious – easy access to the beach, but you’re already going to experience the powdery sand at Acqualina, so let’s see what else there is to do.
In South Florida, you’ll find a treasure trove of high-end boutiques, quaint shops, and swanky malls.
To the northwest, you’ll find Aventura Mall – the third largest mall in the United States with more than 300 stores.
To the south, you can visit Bal Harbour Shops with 250,000 square feet of open-air shopping.
Newport Fishing Pier
The historic Newport Fishing Pier is like a portal to the past, offering stunning views and a glimpse into the area’s fishing heritage.
If fishing isn’t your jam, no worries – it’s a prime spot for a walk with friends, family, or even a solo adventure.
Find the fishing pier at 16501 Collins Avenue in Sunny Isles Beach, FL 33160.
Town Center Park
The Town Center Park has playgrounds, interactive water features, and lush green spaces perfect for picnics and playtime with the little ones.
You’ve got green spaces where you can just chill – think picnics, reading a book (my favorite), or maybe even practicing some yoga moves if that’s your thing.
They’ve got these awesome events happening too, like outdoor concerts for example.
Visit 17200 Collins Avenue in Sunny Isles Beach, FL 33160.
Pelican Community Park
Pelican Community Park has a two-story Community Center with classrooms and a fitness center, and a variety of seasonal programs for children and adults, in addition to after-school programs and camps.
This is a dream for locals at 18115 North Bay Road.
Take a mid-week break at Gateway Market at Gateway Park with delicious food, local produce, hand-made crafts, live music, family-friendly games and activities, and more.
This happens every Wednesday from 5:30 PM – 10:00 PM at 151 Sunny Isles Blvd. in Sunny Isles Beach, FL.
So, if you’re looking to stay at what my family is calling the best resort we’ve ever stayed in, enjoy the Atlantic Ocean coastline, take a dip in a variety of outdoor swimming pools, or just eat fresh fruit reclined in chaise lounges, you’ve found your spot!