Rosewood Hotels & Resorts (the name behind Cabo's Las Ventanas al Paraíso and Little Dix Bay in the British Virgin Islands) has stepped into the skyscraping fray of Sunny Isles, North Miami's rapidly developing answer to South Beach. Acqualina, with 54 guest rooms and 43 suites housed in a 51-story condominium, mixes touches of Collins Avenue grooviness with old-world resort-life nostalgia. Baroque fountains and marble-andgold leaf columns in the public areas evoke an opulent Venetian palace, while in the rooms, all is white-and-earth-toned simplicity. Hipster accents—among them refrigerators stocked with Red Bull and welcome trays of hors d'oeuvres served on banana leaves—are complemented by the straight-up pampering of Rivolta Carmignani sheets, Jacuzzi tubs, Bose stereos, and huge flat-screen televisions. Dining options include a spin-off of New York's Il Mulino (Rome-red hues and hearty portions of spaghettini alla Bolognese) and Aaria, which features a light-as-air small-plates menu at night (try the coriander-dusted ahi, served in a martini glass). To top things off, a 20,000-square-foot ESPA spa is scheduled to open this fall. The sum total of these parts is a nimble and very stylish balance of past and present—in other words, quintessential Miami.
Acqualina, 17875 Collins Ave., Sunny Isles Beach; 305/918-8000; www.acqualinaresort.com; doubles from $425.