They Go Together Like …
Champagne & Caviar
A Look at the Symbiotic pairing of the World’s Finest Residences with the World’s Finest Automobile
By Jill Patterson
Drive up to the lavish porte cochere entrance at the five-star Acqualina Resort & Spa in Sunny Isles Beach and there they are; a fleet of Rolls-Royces parked in every available spot. You can’t help but think this must be a marketing ploy? A corporate partnership? But, no. They are all owned by the residents of both Acqualina and Mansions at Acqualina, all 58 of them. Since the beginning
Acqualina has billed itself as “the World’s Finest Resort” and then “the World’s Finest Residences”, so why shouldn’t it naturally play host to the world’s finest automobile, Rolls-Royce.
Acqualina is the brainchild of South African developers Jules and Eddie Trump (no relation to President Trump). After their success at Williams Island in Aventura, they were lured by the sand and sea of Sunny Isles. Conceived in the spirit of excellence, the brothers quite literally set out to create the finest hotel and living experience in the world. The results aren’t far off. The resort to this day enjoys the number one spot as TripAdvisor’s Best Beachfront Resort in the Continental US and their Certificate of Excellence. Both the hotel and its spa, ESPA, have received the coveted Forbes’ five-star rating. Forbes is to hospitality what Michelin is to the restaurant industry. The hotel has to meet 500 criteria to receive five stars. Acqualina has also won the top Family Resort award, and both the hotel and large residences cater beautifully to families with an endless supply of amenity rich experiences to offer besides its glorious 1,200 feet of white sandy beach.
The hotel, with its 98 lavish rooms, is at the heart of the entire Acqualina property, encompassing the Residences at Acqualina, Mansions at Acqualina and the much anticipated Estates at Acqualina. The five-star experience of the hotel, complete with its on-site Il Mulino restaurant, sets the tone for the over-the-top service, amenities and style found in the residences. The Mansions at Acqualina are just that, expansive regal units, two per floor at 4,600sf (or nearly twice that for full floor units) where the developer has spared no expense. Everything about them is grand, from the ceiling heights, (10 foot or 13 feet in the penthouses) to the mammoth size of the marble slabs used to create the bathrooms and kitchens. The Fendi-styled amenities go on and on, and include a proper Turkish Hamman, as well as a full-size home cinema larger than some actual public cinemas. Estates at Acqualina which recently broke ground will have lobby interiors custom designed by Karl Lagerfeld and will take the amenities to another level. A separate amenity building, the five story Villa Acqualina, “Circus Maximus”, will house a skating rink, a FlowRider surfing simulator, a real-time Wall Street trading room, and a bowling alley. Residents of both Estates and Mansions can avail themselves of any of the five-star hotel and spa services. But under all the glamour and glitz, there is the unmistakable feeling of quality craftsmanship to the buildings, that they are built to last, and in fact, the developer has drilled down far beyond his required depth to ensure the underpinnings of the foundations are rock solid and built up for rising tides.
The automotive of choice for these lucky owners seems to be none other than the classic Rolls-Royce. To step into the back of a Phantom is still to step into another world. Close the door and experience what they call “the embrace”. It is so silent. Overhead is the magical fiber-optic firmament, the night sky in exactly the constellation formation on January 1, 2003 over the United Kingdom, the day the Phantom 7 was first launched. Every detail has been handcrafted. The same seamstress sews all the leather by hand and apparently it takes 8-10 bull hides to outfit a Rolls since there can be no blemishes. The 16 speaker audio system is so high quality that musicians actually use the system to mix because the sound is as good as a recording studio. The ride feels a lot like flying, no wonder since Rolls-Royce was known for their jet engines. With a V12 engine, driving can be dangerous, in that it is so smooth it can easily take you over 100 mph without feeling a thing.
Rolls-Royce was born at the turn of the 20th century from the partnership of aristocrat Charles Rolls, and engineering genius Henry Royce. Royce ran an electrical and mechanical business, while Rolls was one of Britain’s first car dealers. Together, they set out to make and market “the best car in the world.” And in 1907, the Silver Ghost was indeed declared just that after its record-breaking success traveling from London to Glasgow 27 times and a total of 14,371 miles.
In the years that followed, Rolls-Royce engines continued to break records for speed on land and sea, but with the outbreak of WWI the British government asked them to build aircraft engines. It was a Rolls-Royce engine that powered the first Transatlantic flight in 1914. And from then on, their many engines have been a hallmark in jet aviation, aerospace, and submarines. As the years rolled on, Rolls-Royce became the preferred transport for celebrities and royalty and in the 1950s Queen Elizabeth swapped her Daimler for a Rolls-Royce Phantom IV. Famous owners include Fred Astaire, Elvis, John Lennon with his unforgettable, wild-child painted “psychedelic Rolls”, Bridget Bardot, Andy Warhol, and on and on. The status and prestige of the Roll-Royce with her iconic Spirit of Ecstasy “bonnet ornament” is alive and well today. Only 4,000 Rolls are produced each year from their headquarters in Goodwood, England, and each Rolls may be customized or bespoke to your heart’s content.