Hotel Of The Week: In Miami, a Tuscan tower can scrape the sky

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The Independent Travel

To you and me, a Tuscan tower is a romantic dwelling that sits atop a hill amid cypress trees and olive groves, burnished by the sun. To the architects of the Acqualina resort on Florida's Miami Beach it is a 51-storey skyscraper painted in terracotta tones with plenty of space for lucrative hotel rooms and real estate.

It's possible that never the twain shall meet. But stop a moment and consider the advantages for a European family visiting this exciting stretch of America's coastline. First, you're right on Miami Beach. Second, you're within striking distance of the city itself, though not in the thick of it, and, in the other direction, Fort Lauderdale. And third – have you seen the size of some of these rooms?

The bedroom

The bedroom? More like an apartment. My family-sized dwelling included a sitting room, private terraces, fully equipped kitchen, dining area, double bedroom, office (with another bed), large bathroom, walk-in wardrobe and two toilets. Many of the 97 rooms and suites aren't quite so palatial, but they're all comfortably furnished and have flat-screen TVs, CD players and internet access. Most importantly, you'd be a fool not to book an ocean-facing room to enjoy this hotel's best feature.

The food and drink

Fine dining is provided by Aaria, serving "contemporary tropical cuisine". The beach bar, Costa Grill, opens for lunch. But the star of the show is the Italian menu at Il Mulino New York – from the Big Apple joint of the same name.

The access

Children are welcome. Two rooms have been modified for guests with disabilities.

The extras

Espa at Acqualina, operated by the UK-based company, has impressive premises at the hotel. There's also a fitness centre with ocean views, a children's programme, and three outdoor pools supplied with cabanas that St George would have felt comfortable changing in before a joust.

The bill

BA Holidays (0844 493 0758; offers a seven- night fly-drive to Miami from £430 per person in May, including return flights and car hire. Staying at the Acqualina costs from £147 per person per night.

The address

Acqualina, 17875 Collins Avenue, Sunny Isles Beach, Florida 331360 (001 305 918 8000; acqualina