Christof Pignet, Austrian GM of one of the most classy luxury hotels in the USA, Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach, is extremely clear what his role is. He is dream maker, he told the gal, creating memories both for staff and guests (he knows that successful business leads to great service which leads to inspired employees). Right now, this signature Sunny Isles Beach resorts consists of a 51-floor block with a total of 97 rooms and 188 residences, plus an adjoining Mansions block, with 79 apartments. But there is more coming up – including lobbies by Karl Lagerfeld, as above.
The year 2020 will see the unveiling of Acqualina Estates, two more 50-floor blocks, which will between them house 270 residences, plus Villa Acqualina, with such all-ages indoor sports as ice-skating. Acqualina, it seems, is taking over this entire 178th block of Collins Avenue, yet how many know that its name, Acqua-lina, was coined by Sophia Loren who pointed out that this is near the water: apparently the grande dame of Italian style is a good friend of the complex owners, brothers Eddie and Jules Trump, no relation to the incoming President.
What I love about Acqualina is the attention not only to detail but to changing trends. From the start back in 2006, the Trumps wanted to do Italian cuisine, but not any-old Italian. They chose to partner with the New York-based Mulino, as a result of which the hotel restaurant is simply fabulous. They realised they were going to attract families, so they put in three pools from the start, one of which was reserved for adults-only. They knew they would have a unique selling point in the entire north-of-Miami area – they are truly on the beach, with no boardwalk or road in between.
Now, looking ahead, they are ready for future luxury. But even before the Estates are ready they will be offering kosher cuisine, not only in the hotel but as a to-go facility, which should substantially increase the hotel’s popularity with locals even more. They are also, says the fabulous Deborah Yager Fleming, CEO of the entire luxury complex, adding an 850 sq ft Royal Suite to what is already a flourishing spa: book the Royal Suite as a couple for half a day or a full day and, particularly if you choose a 24-carat facial, feel like royalty for hours on end.