Review: ESPA Spa at Acqualina Resort & Spa in Sunny Isles, Florida – My Wellness RD

At the Forbes rated, luxurious ESPA Spa located inside the Acqualina Resort in Sunny Isles, the relaxation begins from the moment you check in! I was greeted with a sample of the daily tea and a hot towel. Guests are encouraged to arrive early and stay late, if desired, to take advantage of the facilities for a full spa experience. I arrived at least an hour early to use the sauna and steam room. The steam room was ethereal and kind of celestial with changing circular lights hanging down from the top of the room and crystals in the center of the room that changed colors.

All images appearing in this post are courtesy of Acqualina Resort.

Acqualina Resort-0143

After the misty steam room, I drank some water in-between and then decided to “dry off” in the sauna. The sauna utilizes dry heat at high temperatures – make sure not to stay in there for more than 15 minutes at a time and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated! I used the remaining time before my spa treatment to relax in the appropriately named “relaxation room” overlooking the pool area/ocean.

spa pool revised

The relaxation room is equipped with a Himalayan salt wall and amenities such as lounge chairs, snacks, headphones, and newspapers. Each hand-carved massage stone is created from salt crystals collected from ancient primal sea beds beneath the Himalayan Mountains and includes 84 trace minerals.

Himalayan Salt Wall 1

When the pink Himalayan salt is used in place of regular salt in cooking, you are getting a variety of minerals versus just consuming sodium. This is beneficial because the minerals act as electrolytes in the body. Frankly, Americans just dont get enough of these important minerals (especially potassium and magnesium) from our diets. You may have seem those Himalayan lamps, which are used not only as a decoration but also to purify the air. The salt wall serves a similar purpose, although I would think that one would need to spend extended amounts of time around the wall and lamps to receive health benefits. In fact, some people do spend extended periods of time in salt rooms, which are used to help with Asthma.

Salt Wall

After lounging in the very comfortable lounge chairs (more like elevated beds), it was time for my Himalayan salt stone massage. The Himalayan Salt Stone Massage offers guests the option of a 50 or 80-minute therapeutic full body treatment. The massage uses aromatherapy oils and warm Himalayan salt stones to relieve deep muscle tension and gently soothe away the accumulation of stress, tension and pollutants, leaving the body feeling rejuvenated and bringing the mind, body and spirits into balance.

treatment room

My masseuse’s name was Orlando, he is from Spain and he was very polite & accommodating. My masseuse gave me a choice between oils to be used during my massage, I chose the restorative sweet orange oil. I also had a choice of music that would be playing during the massage – classical or jazz. I was in the mood for classical. It turned out to be a really great playlist, it even had some of the Harry Potter soundtrack on there (I’m a fan).

I’ve had a hot stone massage before, but never a hot Himalayan salt stone massage. It’s similar, but the salt stones offer exfoliation and are not as heavy. One side of the oval salt stone was rough and the other side was smooth. After my wonderful 50-minute massage, I headed back to the relaxation room where I enjoyed some lavender-apricot cookies and hibiscus tea.

*It’s also important to drink water after your massage, to help flush out the toxins in your body that have been mobilized from the treatment.

espa bench

Feel free to lounge at the pool or take a dip in the gorgeous ocean, too. Hungry? Grab a bite at one of the restaurants on the property such as Il Mulino.

thai coconut

P.S. Acqualina also offers a variety of wellness services including a variety of yoga and training classes.

About Acqualina Resort & Spa

Acqualina Resort & Spa is a place where the charm of a Mediterranean villa meets elegance on the beach. A seaside luxury haven located on 4.5 beachfront acres in pristine Sunny Isles Beach, Acqualina Resort & Spa features 98 impeccably appointed guest rooms and suites and 188 residences with breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, world-class dining including Il Mulino New York, three oceanfront swimming pools, spacious meeting rooms and an innovative marine biology-based children’s program. A variety of lavish interior and exterior venues provide an ideal background for opulent weddings and memorable events.

Acqualina Spa by ESPA, the first ESPA-branded spa in the United States, provides guests with an exquisite 20,000-square-foot, two-story tranquil sanctuary of excellence and relaxation. A family owned and operated property, Acqualina is a recipient of the coveted Forbes Travel Guide Awards for both the hotel and spa and the AAA Five Diamond Award.

Follow Acqualina on Social Media: FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Holli Lapes, RD, LD/N is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist in South Florida. Holli is the founder of The South Florida Sage ( a food & drink blog featuring culinary experiences from the Miami, Broward and Palm Beach area.

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Disclaimer: I received a complimentary experience at ESPA Spa.

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