Ultra-Luxury Acqualina Residences in Miami’s Sunny Isles Beach Offer A Unique Contemporary Brand of Oceanfront Elegance

The name Sunny Isles Beach says everything—almost. It evokes dreamy images of clear blue skies, turquoise ocean waters and endless pristine white sand beaches. And it's all true. Except that there’s much more to this re-imagined destination than one would have thought possible a mere decade or two ago.

Once upon a time in Sunny Isles Beach, stars like Frank Sinatra and the Beatles made this tiny barrier island city a Florida hotspot. Exotically named hotels put the place on the must-see Florida tourist map—until visionary developers realized the untapped potential of an aging tropical paradise in need of a dramatic makeover.

That's when two brothers from South Africa—Jules and Eddie Trump—came on the scene. After creating the now-iconic Williams Island in North Miami Beach, they turned their attention to the town located midway between Miami and Fort Lauderdale...and their respective international airports. Location. Location. Inspiration. The nascent Acqualina luxury brand was about to be born.

“Acqualina has helped shape Sunny Isles Beach as one of the most vibrant and beautiful places in the world to live,” said Deborah Yager-Fleming, CEO of Acqualina Resort & Spa—the flagship of the ultra-luxurious oceanfront Acqualina community in the heart of Sunny Isles Beach.

Today, the city has a modern skyline “that blows the other towns away,” according to City Mayor George “Bud” Scholl. “It’s not uncommon to hear five or more languages being spoken on our beaches or in parks and restaurants around town. We get a lot of visitors,” the mayor said, “and we like it when they stay.”

Among the more notable inhabitants of this resplendent island metropolis are the sea turtles that periodically come ashore looking for a place to nest and lay their eggs. Many species, it turns out, feel at home here, including bicyclists, joggers and boaters, along with foodies and fashionistas who all take advantage of the outdoor and indoor attractions that have put Sunny Isles Beach at the top of Florida's new best-addressed list. Neighborhood destinations like Bal Harbour Shops and Aventura Mall deliver a mega-dose of style to the Sunny Isles Beach lifestyle. The Atlantic Ocean is to the east of the city and the Intracoastal Waterway to the west. The nearby Oleta State Park puts things into yet another perspective—one dreamy canoe ride at a time.

Public safety is a priority, and there’s a significant police presence. “Visibility is key,” Mayor Scholl said, and that includes the beaches, which are staffed with lifeguards.

Art is also a focus of the city, and each development features an art component, such as a sculpture or other piece of public art. In addition, the mayor’s office has developed a series of events, including the annual Jazz Fest.

Another perk? The beach has Wi-Fi, according to Mayor Scholl. And the Newport Pier offers fishing enthusiasts a prime spot for casting a line with a view of the Sunny Isles Beach skyline.

At its epicenter is the Acqualina Collection, a five-acre residential and award-winning, five-star hospitality complex consisting of Acqualina Resort & Spa, The Mansions at Acqualina and the soon-to-be-completed The Estates at Acqualina, featuring lobby designs by legendary design icon Karl Lagerfeld in his first (and final) commission for a residential property in the U.S.  Lagerfeld passed away on Feb. 19, 2019, but his original concept is to be completed just as he intended, according to Acqualina's developer: “Karl was the world's most acclaimed designer and a master of modern creativity,” Jules Trump said. “His aesthetic will be appreciated and valued by our residents and guests for years to come.”

Outfitted with luxury-brand beachwear, Acqualina residents spend a lot of time in their “backyard,” the only beach in South Florida that's open to the sea with no barrier “berms” blocking the view of the ocean. Add signature red umbrellas and couches set on a Seashore Paspalum grass lawn with flawless seaside food and beverage service, and you find yourself in a new kind of tropical paradise.

In addition to being rated the “#1 Luxury Beachfront Resort in the Continental U.S.” for the fifth consecutive year and being a Forbes Five-Star Award-winner for the seventh consecutive year, the Acqualina luxury brand brings a wealth of unique amenities to the highly competitive South Florida real estate landscape. Think an indoor ice-skating rink, bowling lanes, golf, Formula 1 and FlowRider activity simulators, a private movie theater, a Speakeasy nightclub, a salt spa and a Rolls-Royce house car. The word awesome easily comes to mind.

To get the “inside” story, we confirmed with Michael Goldstein, president of sales at Acqualina, that “all residences are delivered furniture-ready, so there's no additional construction required. That includes everything from wiring for speakers to the marble slabs installed throughout the residences.” The Estates have been designed from the inside out, and feature dramatically proportioned and exquisitely designed floor plans that make the ocean part of the home. Expansive terraces extend the indoor-outdoor lifestyle seamlessly. Each residence—ranging from 2,917 to 6,225 square feet—has a private terrace with ocean and/or city views and a summer kitchen.

Of course, all this comes at a price: residences from $4.2 million to $14.5 million, and penthouses with prices upon request. Still—with all things considered, like the absence of Florida state and local income taxes—the overall value proposition increases. Consider the remarkable fact that Sunny Isles Beach has decreased property taxes for  the past seven years, and it's clear that sun and surf aren't the only things driving the Florida high-end real estate market.

At the end of the day, it's telling that some Florida developers practice what they preach.

Jules and his wife Stephanie, along with his brother Eddie, all live at Acqualina-branded properties.

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