While every month is magical in South Florida, February’s pristine weather and quiet respite make it a popular choice for couples seeking a romantic retreat on the beach. What better occasion than Valentine’s Day, then, to pen the next chapter of your love story in the Magic City?
With February 14th quickly approaching, couples heading for Miami will discover a bouquet of romantic opportunities around every corner at Acqualina Resort & Residences. With the five-star beach resort’s Couples Retreat package, sweethearts can enjoy three nights in a luxurious classic suite, which sets the tone with a bubbly champagne welcome amenity and thoughtfully arranged rose petals at each evening’s turndown.
After settling into your elegant hideaway in the afternoon, prime your itinerary with a couples’ session in the Royal Spa Suite, a stunning oceanfront sanctuary designed for guests seeking the pinnacle of privacy, extravagance, and relaxation. Step into an exclusive oasis complete with cushy robes, a terrace with sweeping Atlantic views, a mother-of-pearl steam room, plus a rain forest shower for two. Make the experience even steamier with the intimate After-Hours Private Royal Spa Suite Experience, which grants you and your lover exclusive access to the mood-lit facility’s signature Heat Experience areas, pool, and the cascading Roman Waterfall Spa. While you indulge in two hours of custom treatments, you’ll nibble on petit fours and chocolate-covered strawberries while sipping on champagne.
As the two of you emerge relaxed and renewed, take a walk hand-in-hand on Sunny Isles Beach while the moon illuminates the sand and receding waves in a soft white glow. Then retire to your suite for a nightcap and blissful night’s sleep before awaking to an inspiring Atlantic sunrise. Early birds will rejoice with a full breakfast spread on the sea-facing veranda at AQ Restaurant, served every day from 7 to 11am.
When appetites are satisfied, Miami is your oyster. Kick off your day at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, which sprawls over 83 lush acres in an astounding collection of plants and flowers originating from tropical regions the world over. Morning guests to this verdant paradise typically have few others to contend with besides the singing birds as they explore the spectacular grounds on foot or via narrated tram tour.
While you’re there, visit the Wings of the Tropics exhibit, a stunning sanctuary housing some of the world’s rarest botanical beauties and fluttering with thousands of exotic butterflies. Follow it up with a mid-morning coffee or snack on the grassy patio of the Lakeside Café, which overlooks the scenic Pandanus Lake and offers its patrons a glimpse of Fairchild’s diverse wildlife, including the occasional turtle.
Photo: Murray Foubister via Wikimedia Commons / CC BY
After you’ve harmonized with nature, continue the day’s whimsy with a stroll through The Villa Casa Casuarina, otherwise known as the Versace Mansion. Built in 1930 and allegedly designed after Christopher Columbus’s Genoa estate, this opulent palace was once the residence of famed fashion magnate, Gianni Versace. If you can reserve in advance, opt for the omakase experience at the mansion’s Sushi by Boū restaurant, where the chef meticulously prepares each course right before your eyes.
If you’re both in the mood for dancing, make your way to Calle Ocho, a vibrant district in Little Havana. There you’ll find Ball & Chain, a legendary venue that hosts live salsa and jazz shows on the regular. You’ll also find Café La Trova, known for its live Trova music, salsa dancing, world-class cocktails, and James Beard Award-winning bites.
Photo: Phillip Pessar via Flickr / CC BY
No matter where your romantic endeavors lead you, the sweetest part of a day of Miami discovery is knowing that all paths lead back to your waiting respite at Acqualina Resort & Residences. Finish a storybook day with an equally enchanting dining experience at Il Mulino New York, the resort’s Italian restaurant offering five-star service, market fresh daily specials, and a thorough selection of fine Italian wines.
When you rise and shine the following morning, a fresh slate of sentimental experiences is undoubtedly in order, so why not let Acqualina do the heavy lifting with its curated collection of lifestyle offerings? Designed with luxury in mind, the resort’s Acqua Experiences grant you the opportunity to explore South Florida’s diverse culture and natural splendor through one-of-a-kind activities, like a private kayaking tour through Oleta River State Park, an insider tour of the city’s food, art, and fashion scenes, or the beloved Wildlife Experience.
After your adventure, unwind in total tranquility aside the Adult Pool as you sunbathe in South Florida rays from your pool bed, or lounge with the resort’s food and beverage service from your personal cabana.
As the morning’s endeavors wrap up, head back into the city for the Miami Yacht Show, happening February 13th through 17th just north of downtown, where you can admire hundreds of state-of-the-art yachts and super yachts moored at the docks and peruse more than 100 food vendors in attendance. Glamorize your experience by gaining access to the show’s Windward VIP Club, featuring gourmet eats, an open bar, and a climate-controlled lounge complete with champagne tastings, mixology lessons, designer pop-ups, and an in-house watchmaker.
If you find yourselves on the docks on Valentine’s Day, climb aboard the Yacht of Love for an upscale soirée of live music, local food offerings, and a couple glasses of Whispering Angel Rosé. Then scoot right next door to Art Wynwood (also held the 13th through the 17th), a prestigious annual exhibition of contemporary artists showcasing their latest and greatest works.
Photo: Bill Sumner
Bookend another perfect day in Miami at Villa Vizcaya, an 18th-century Italian country estate on the mesmerizing Biscayne Bay that brims with fine European art and antiques. Plan to be there post-twilight to catch the uber-romantic moonlight tour, which welcomes guests for a ramble through its 10 acres of breathtaking garden scenery.
Return to Acqualina Resort & Residences in time for an intimate beachfront dinner for two where you and your love can unwind amid an alluring ambiance of tiki torches, flickering votives, and crashing waves under a night sky which brings new meaning to the term, “starry-eyed.”