The Girlfriend Getaway

By Michelle Payer

With so much time spent engulfed in work, family, philanthropic endeavors and volunteer commitments, it’s sometimes tough to find time to celebrate your best gal pals. Organizing the details to plan a getaway can take up so much time that it’s often overwhelming and leads back to square one, telling your besties: “We need to get together one of these days.” Instead, Acqualina makes it easy to make “one of these days” any day with a quick phone call or click of the mouse to plan easy, chic and fuss-free girlfriend reunions that have all the elements one could want to reconnect.

Bask in stunning, recently refreshed two- and three-bedroom oceanfront rooms, or Intracoastal and Deluxe Intracoastal rooms with double beds for a cozy slumber party. For the ultimate in luxury, the one-bedroom Oceanfront Suite is a chic option in which to gather in monogrammed PJs, sip champagne and order a Japanese fusion dinner from Ke-UH or Italian repast delivered from Il Mulino. To create an even more relaxing ambience, The Five Star Acqualina Spa includes a daily $40 body or facial treatment credit for up to two adults to use within its healing sanctuary. From a De-Stress Spa Journey (that includes a fantastic spa lunch by its private pool) to a Cryo T-Shock Body Treatment for body contouring, the innovative TMJ Release massage or Collagen Sculpting Facial, the spa is a sanctuary that takes “me time” to another level with its transformative treatments.

Its adjacent, oceanfront Fitness Center features a Peloton® bike and the latest Technogym Artis equipment and is closed every morning from 2 to 4 a.m. for a deep clean in keeping with the highest industry standards. Outdoors, weekend AquaMermaid monofin classes are Instagram-worthy way to build core strength, while girlfriends can also learn to Scuba Dive in one of the oceanfront pools, play myriad games or arrange a Painting Experience where they learn to mix acrylic paints, understand depth and effects and paint their abstract masterpieces on 11×17 canvases – all oceanfront on the Great Lawn.

Gather your besties and decamp to the Adult Only pool, newly refreshed with an array of plush Acqualina-red love seats, custom day beds and modern chaise lounges with side tables and wide umbrellas. A dedicated Pool Butler circulates every hour to present frozen delicacies including grapes, flavored ice and watermelon balls, a selection of crudité and fresh-squeezed juices, cold-scented towelettes, sunglass cleaner and aloe gel. Girlfriends can catch up on reading within the Acqualina App, where they’ll find an enormous array of eBooks through the resort’s complimentary Beside Reading partnership and can stay current with digital copies of the largest U.S. daily papers.

Bottle service and the Costa Grill menu are available to satiate cravings, as is an exclusive cocktail, the Acqualina Spritz, created by bartender Franco Amendola. A native of the Amalfi Coast, he channeled its beauty to create a refreshing elixir with St. Germain Elderflower liqueur, prosecco, fresh mint and club soda, garnished with a mint sprig.

For extra-elevated luxury, girlfriends can choose from four newly designed and expansive cabanas as their opulent daytime sanctuaries. Each sumptuous and private red-hued haven has elegant lounge seating, tables with a backgammon set, a refrigerator, television with mainstream channels, privacy curtains, an outdoor portable fan and an umbrella. Gal pals can recline and snack on fresh tropical fruits and international cheeses with local honeycomb, while sipping their choice of Rosé champagne, Whispering Angel Côtes de Provence rosé wine or unlimited iced tea and lemonade. Every cabana is outfitted with sparkling or still water, two Acqualina hats, Hampton Sun sunscreen and sport lip balm. Prices range from $350 to $500 per day. For more information and cabana reservations, contact the concierge at 305.918.6860.

Insider tip: Though the Costa Grill menu is available poolside, it’s de rigueur to visit the private restaurant, only available to Acqualina guests, residents and Beach Club members. Nestled steps from the sand with an unobstructed and mesmerizing ocean view is combined with a masterful, fresh Mediterranean/Floridian menu.

For off-site journeys, girlfriends can get athletic and kayak at the nearby Oleta River State Park, take a walking tour of art, galleries and more in the Design District, visit the tony Bal Harbour Shops or Aventura Mall, then return and be coiffed (or book girlfriend mani/pedis) at the VOI hair salon before embarking on a night on the town – or an evening in. It’s all about being together, and at Acqualina it’s always in grand style. To make a bestie break evening easier to arrange, Acqualina has created the Girlfriend’s Getaway package, a three-night minimum escape, complete with two 50-minute body or facial treatments at Acqualina Spa, a poolside Spa Lunch for two, complimentary internet access and a welcome fruit amenity that’s perfect for in-room snacking. The spa is popular, so be sure to book the package at least one-day in advance to guarantee spa treatment availability.