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Hotel St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort Hotel 5 star
Easyexperts
Saadiyat Island Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

The first resort under the St Regis umbrella, The Saint Regis Saadiyat Island (not to be confused with The St Regis Abu Dhabi) is one of our favourite places to stay in Abu Dhabi. Not too far from the city centre and with a lovely beach, a lively holiday atmosphere reigns here. The lavish rooms are extremely comfortable and well appointed; the facilities onsite are of a high standard and the sea views and sandy beach earn the resort those extra points for the top position in our Abu Dhabi hotel hotlist. The hotel is the ideal place to stay for guests on holiday (as opposed to business) and attracts a wide-ranging clientele, from families to couples as well as groups of friends.

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    • Hotel St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort

      St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort   -   © Julien Ferret / EASYVOYAGE

    • Hotel St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort

      St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort   -   © Julien Ferret / EASYVOYAGE

       
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    Location 3.53 /10

    The hotel is one of the few hotels located on Saadiyat Island in the Emirati capital, Abu Dhabi. It is situated right on a sandy beach. The island is the future stomping ground for the world's die-hard art fanatics, with plans for Louvre and Guggenheim outposts. While we visited, the Monte-Carlo Beach Club and Manarat al Saadiyat (art venue) were completed and open to the public. The rest of the island is under development, with completion dates ranging from 2015 to 2017 and beyond.

    Accommodation 8.70 /10

    The rooms here are actually some of the best rooms we have seen in the last few years. While they are not particularly large by Emirati standards, they are extremely well appointed, decorated with excellent taste and without being over the top. The rooms feel soothing, relaxing and very cosy. In total the hotel has 377 rooms and 33 branded villas and apartments - there is a range of room categories. The décor remains similar throughout the rooms; the main difference is in size and view. The Superior rooms start at 56m² while the Superior Sea View rooms are 85m² with a view. The suites start at a roomy 105m² to 207m² for a Spa suite. The presidential suite is the same size as the Spa suite, but has a large terrace. During our visit, a large 2,000m² Presidential suite was on the cards.

    Although discreet, the rooms have a Mediterranean theme - the palette of colours used are fairly natural to reflect sand with touches of turquoise to lift the neutral tones. The fabrics, silks and velvets used throughout are of extremely good quality, as are the crisp white sheets and feather down duvets and pillows.

    The bathrooms are as lavish as the rooms; spacious, stylish and very contemporary, there is a glass shower cabin in the centre of the space with a free-standing bath tub at one end and sinks and cabinets at the other. The two entrances to the bathroom make the space look bigger than it actually is. The toiletries are of the Remède Spa brand, which is St Regis' city hotel spa brand, whereas here, the spa name is 'Iridium'. The spa suites are the most remarkable and for guests who have the budget, these come highly recommended. Each suite has its own outdoor pavilion surrounded by water and a blooming garden.

    Overview 8.70 /10

    The hotel is fairly large; guests should therefore not expect a boutique experience. However, for a luxury resort, The St Regis has done quite well. The rooms to the restaurants, facilities and outdoor spaces are pleasant and of a high standard. Opened at the end of 2011, the hotel was the first to be completed on Saadiyat Island. Now there is a Park Hyatt just next door and more hotels are expected on the island.

    The resort has excellent facilities onsite. The Iridium spa is one to try while here, but there is also a beautiful beach, a large outdoor pool, a 3,500m² health centre with an indoor lap pool, a squash court and tennis courts as well as a gym, sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi. In terms of food and beverage, there are four restaurants, two lounges and a patisserie.

    The hotel has enough to keep guests entertained for a long weekend without having to venture outside. However, to explore the city, one needs a car as attractions are not in close proximity.

    Food and drink 7.70 /10

    There is a good range of restaurants including Olea, the all-day restaurants, where meals are usually served as a large elaborate buffet - one of the fullest and most diverse buffets we have seen in Abu Dhabi, guests could here at Olea every day without getting bored of the options. We were particularly impressed with the seafood spread in the evenings. Olea is a large indoor dining hall with seating outside on the terrace.

    For something a little more romantic, there is the Sontaya restaurant, with beautiful views of the sea, but the highlight is the seating surrounded by pools of water; at night, with candle decorations, this restaurant is worth trying out, especially for a special occasion. Otherwise there is also Turquoiz, the seafood restaurant on the beach. For something a little lighter, or just a drink, there are the two lounges, Manhattan and the Drawing Room. To satisfy a sweet tooth, there is the patisserie in the lobby, which sells a selection of chocolates, macaroons and other treats.

    The restaurant we tried during our stay here is the New York style 55&5th. In homage to the brand's iconic Manhattan hotel, the restaurant has a very masculine sleek and minimalist aspect. There is an impressive wine cellar located above the main dining area, which the French sommelier who is capable of reeling the name of every bottle in three seconds flat. For guests who don't have such oenological ear, there is thankfully an iPad with the full list. In terms of food, a large fraction of the menu comprises French specialities, incorporating a lot of foie gras and a lot of truffle. The star of the menu here is the steak and the lobster. However, we found the steak to be tough and overcooked. The lobster needed a bit more of a kick and slower searing. The service, although of a high level, was extremely obtrusive. Overall, a modern restaurant concept with a very particular atmosphere that sets it apart from the rest, with a great and varied menu and wine list. However, the restaurant lost a few stars on the service and the way the food was cooked.

    Spa 7.7 /10

    St Regis spas are usually 'Remède', but for the resorts, the group has decided to go with 'Iridium'. Iridium, the name of a precious metal of the platinum family, it is rare and very exclusive, just like the image the group wanted for is resorts. The spa is indeed beautiful and refined. Set in its own wing of the hotel over several floors, there is a large traditional hammam, 12 treatments rooms, a Jacuzzi, a sauna and steam room. The luxury German spa brand, Babor, is used for the treatments.

    Beach 7.70 /10

    The hotel sits right on a sandy beach that is wide and long, with plenty of space even when the hotel is running at full occupation. The water is relatively clean, very warm and calm. As the beach is manmade, early-risers will notice workers reshuffling the sand in the mornings and joggers might notice a few pipes running under the sand into the sea at several intervals along the beach.

    To know

    St Regis is a luxury brand that is part of Starwood. Previously just a US hotel group, it is now reaching out to the rest of the world, especially in the Gulf. It already has a hotel in Doha, Qatar and plans for a second St Regis in Abu Dhabi (city centre) are being implemented.

    Equipment

    • Shuttle bus
    • Car park
    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      sauna, spa, keep fit, wellness, beauty salon, massage

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      gym, fitness, golf, tennis, sports

    • Whirlpool bath
    • Safe
    • Meeting room

    advantage

    • The beach.
    • Sea views.
    • The comfortable and stylish rooms.
    • The variety of facilities onsite.

    disadvantages

    • The size of the resort makes it impersonal.
    • Although the staff is friendly, the service isn't as efficient as it should be.

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10
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