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“The St. Regis 'Edge'”

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The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort
Ranked #28 of 127 Hotels in Abu Dhabi
Certificate of Excellence
Lancing, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
69 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 146 helpful votes
“The St. Regis 'Edge'”
Reviewed 30 August 2012

I have been a member of Trip Advisor for almost 6 years now and I'm usually inclined to submit a review once I'm back at home and settled into my normal routine. That way, I find that I can write a balanced and fair account of our holiday.

But today, lounging here at the The St. Regis, and currently at the adult pool area, that inclination has evaporated due simply to the good times my wife and I are experiencing every minute of our stay. Moments ago I found myself making an innocuous remark to her about our holiday, thus prompting me to reach for the iPad.

We arrived here at around 9pm last Sunday evening via a private taxi from the airport. For 70 AED (around £13) we rode (at quite some speed I might add) in a 7-series BMW and in absolute comfort. I noticed the driver changed the radio channel to BBC radio 2 in an apparent effort to make us feel at home.

20 minutes later we arrived at the hotel and were greeted by a small army of staff quite obviously intent on making our arrival here memorable. Mission accomplished. Our car doors were opened by two porters, one of whom promptly collected our luggage (double-checking he had all the pieces - a smart attention to detail) and the other greeting us warmly.

Next, a few feet away at the commanding main entrance, 2 more smartly-attired doormen opened the huge doors to the lobby with polite greetings and smiles, accompanied by a very welcoming waft of air-conditioning. 

Moments later we were at the check-in desk. There was a barely noticeable and playful fight to see who could greet us first (The delightful Stephanie won the contest) and we quickly completed the necessities before a butler was summoned to take us to our room. If you decide to stay here be sure to read a little of the St. Regis legacy and the 'invention' of their signature butler service.

A tiny mix-up did occur at check-in; we were told we'd been upgraded to a sea-view room, when in fact we had already booked a 'superior sea-view room', so that was a little confusing - and for a very brief moment I thought a suite was beckoning.  Not to worry.

If I was disappointed though, that quickly subsided when I walked into our room. Immediately very welcoming, beautifully lit and appointed with fine quality decor and furnishings. The bed has proven to be the most comfortable of the many we've slept in throughout our travels and the linens are sumptuous. 

The bathroom/shower area is really very lovely. A deep-fill bath, an open walk-in shower and beautiful tile decor everywhere you look makes you feel very special. 

We have been fortunate over the years to have stayed in some fine establishments and this year in particular have enjoyed holidays in Las Vegas (A suite at the new Aria hotel), the Turkish Mediterranean Coast (in two separate and delightful hotels) and we were most recently in a suite at the Canaves boutique hotel in Santorini, Greece.

Whilst the aforementioned all have their own unique delights, the St. Regis has a certain edge over all of these properties and for a variety of interesting reasons. One may gain clues of precisely why from reading the Trip Advisor reviews that have a clear air of authenticity (over perhaps some of the more pompous-sounding accounts) but for us, I must choose to single out a few of the staff who we have met during the first half of this holiday.

Julius, one of the butlers here is one of the most genuinely charming people I have met on our travels. I have enjoyed several conversations with him about this hotel, the typical clientele, about Abu Dhabi and about his home country of the Philippines. He was at all times honest and diplomatic (not an easy task for anyone) and a delight to converse with.

On duty at the main door each evening this week is the imposing Vlad from the Ukraine. Once again, so obviously genuine in his warmth and charm and wanting only to be sure we have everything we need and wish for to make our holiday memorable. 

There is that word again - memorable - and again, mission accomplished. 

Both Julius and Vlad, like many here speak excellent English putting us lazy Anglophiles to shame.

We have a little time remaining today and just two more days to go and there is little doubt that we will return. For us two seasoned travellers, It has actually proven impossible to leave this hotel and a quick explanation of why follows:

Early alarm bells ring around 6, we visit the gym around 6:45 (we are not members of a gym at home but the facility here is world-class and again, all the staff are just a delight) so it would be foolish to ignore. Even if you don't 'gym' you may use a fabulous new sauna, a steam-room or lap pool. 

Breakfast at around 8:30. A complete choice and top quality food and beverage is everywhere you look at the Olea buffet.

We then spend much of our day at one of four swimming pools. The adult pool with it's shaded jacuzzi areas, classy dark blue tile and smart angled design is one of the best we've seen. Choose the huge family pool if you have children and also there is a fantastic facility for very young kids as well. 

AGAIN, the staff in and around the pools are so nice. They seem to have ESP because they know you're thirsty a fraction of a second before you do yourself. They will make up your sun-lounger for you, they will move it to shade when you need it and they work very hard in the searing heat to make your stay as comfortable as possible. If its too hot, there is so much shade for you to enjoy so please don't worry. 

The beach. Aside from a few stones that have in some places washed ashore - the hotel will help you with water-shoes for that eventuality - the beach here is simply beautiful. The temperature of the water is 'warm bath' and the colour of the sea is the same as you see on the web site - something of a rarity I think you'll find.

There are options for you to choose if you (for some crazy reason) feel the need to leave the hotel. Today we gave in and explored (via the free-shuttle service) the Grand Mosque. A most beautiful building with wonderful craftsmanship. It put me in mind of the Taj Mahal but on a grander scale. Details and photographs will simply fail to do justice to this awesome sight. Please be sure to visit (for free) if you come to Abu Dhabi. 

There are several large shopping malls and the Ferrari World theme park, Yas Island, etc should you so desire to explore further.

Our objective for this week was simply and only relaxation - although we've very happily settled into the gym routine and thus, feel so darn good about ourselves it's been a really pleasant (almost revelatory) surprise.

If you are coming to the Emirates and want luxury, class, and a truly personal touch, then come here. Check the website for this hotel and read about the spa and the restaurants and about everything I've missed in this review.

This review is by no means exhaustive. My objective was to try and get across why this hotel has the 'edge' on others we've experienced. We very nearly didn't choose this particular destination but are so glad that we did.

Here's to our last two days. If you have any questions please feel free to message me any time. Happy holidays.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Dave C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
John_Pelling, General Manager at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, responded to this review, 3 September 2012
Dear Dave,

It is been our pleasure to have you with us and thank you for taking the time to post such a detailed account of your stay this far. It is certainly a moment of pride for me to read your review, especially since you’ve individually recognized the team for their efforts. I will be delighted to share this with them. Your review highlights our uncompromising commitment to provide our guests a memorable and relaxing getaway and I’m glad that we delivered to you an experience beyond expectation.
Thank you again for the kind words of appreciation and I am confident that we will have you back very soon.

Kind regards,
John Pelling
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
33 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 August 2012

Most of our stay here was wonderful (well.. except the dining ... ) . You really felt like you could have been on an island in the Pacific - as soon as you stepped into the foyer you were transported into another world! The hotel is stunning, the view from the lobby extraordinary and the attentive staff are so welcoming. It's expensive, but you get exceptional service, wonderful rooms and the facilities are immaculate. Will stay again.

Pros that made the holiday heaven for busy families:
Kids club was clean and had an airconditioned section where mums / dads can sit and watch the kids
Dedicated soft play areas for little babies - in the airconditioned section - welcome relief from burning sun!
Butler service was good and fast
Cot in room - all ready and made up when we arrived
Excellent choice of food for breakfast for kids and adults alike
Rooms were enormous - and we had interconnecting rooms which were a great size
Baby toiletries provided - what a fantastic and welcome addition to our room

Couple of negatives:
No coffee in the room!
30 AED for a glass of milk
Dining experience (see comments below)
No shade covers on any of the outdoor pools
Tiles around the pool are scorching hot and very slippery

Specific Comments re: Dining Experience

Like most resorts, the restaurants have a captive audience, but in this case they really let down the overall experience at the hotel.

We had lunch in the pool restaurant Turquoiz - and it took over an hour and half to bring the kids some chicken nuggets and chips, that was after it took them 30 minutes to take the order. 2 hours out of the pool seemed like a lifetime to the kids.

We ordered a glass of milk for one of the babies to the room - and it cost 30 AED. So be prepared for ludicrous pricing.

Dinner at Sontaya was the biggest disappointment of the whole experience. We were told by the wait staff to order various dishes to share - however when the portions came out some were miniscule and were more like tapas than asian dishes for sharing. The food was cold when it came to the table. All up ridiculously expensive restaurant, disappointing food and staff were somewhat lost - and didn't seem to know the menu. To be fair the restaurant was extremely busy, and there was a large group next to us which drained all the staff's attention. We were largely ignorned amd would never go back to Sontaya.

Would I stay again - absolutely - the kids loved the hotel, but we may take some trips to neighbouring hotels to sample their restaurants this time.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Ada_Evans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
John_Pelling, General Manager at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, responded to this review, 3 September 2012
Dear Ada,

Whilst I’m sorry to read that your experience within some of our food and beverage venues didn’t live up to expectations, I am pleased that your overall stay with us was good and that your children simply loved Sandcastle Club and our resort.
I am confident your next stay with us will be beyond expectation in every aspect and I look forward to welcoming you back. Thank you again for your feedback.

Kind regards,
John Pelling
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 August 2012

Having just opened you would expect quality facilities but St Regis goes beyond expectations. The sea view rooms and very spacious an have amazing bathroom suites.

Facilities are fantastic and staff, especially at check-in are knowledgable (unusual in this region) and friendly. The stay and play options for Saadiyat and Abu Dhabi golf club are also very good value.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank meandbe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
John_Pelling, General Manager at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, responded to this review, 3 September 2012
Thank you for your kind comments. I am happy to read that you utilized the Golf Stay and Play package and played at the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, the 18-hole golf course that surrounds the resort.
With the weather getting better, I would recommend our ‘Ultimate Golf Experience’ package that offers tee time at two golf courses - Saadiyat Beach Golf Club as well as the Abu Dhabi Golf Club. I look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Kind regards,
John Pelling
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
97 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 August 2012

What an amazing place !! The location absolutely stunning, direct beachfront, beautiful water and pool area. However, lots of stones that hurt our feet when u get into the ocean, but found out later that the lifeguards provide special shoes for their guest (should be more proactive) , pool area fantastic, but you have to ask for the bucket with ice and free water with cold towels(should I do that?) or should that be a part of a five star service.... Again...pro activity...stayed there for one night, Starwood preferred guest, would have been nice to get an upgrade for beach view room, considering the hotel occupancy was very low and we were first timers...room top notch!! Bed comfortable, bathroom luxurious and spacious, absolutely fantastic. Bathroom amenitys very exclusive. No noise level in the room. Check in was very quick. Dinner in the Asian restaurant very good. The food and drinks, even though a bit on the fusion side, really well prepared (Tom yam, green curry, pad Thai, morning glory) , the waiter from Indonesia was very accommodating and helpful, we liked his friendliness and had a very nice conversation...thanks again. All in all..it's a great property and we will be back, to go from good to great ,it's all about the people that can make a difference.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Tobi1985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
John_Pelling, General Manager at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, responded to this review, 27 August 2012
Dear Tobi,

Greetings and thank you for taking the time to post your review.
I am glad to read that your stay with us was good and in particular you enjoyed the dining experience at Sontaya, our South East Asian venue.
I look forward to having you back at resort very soon for a flawless experience in every aspect.

Kind regards,
John Pelling
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Level Contributor
98 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 August 2012

Just back from 8 days at the St. Regis with my family. It was a truly wonderful experience and the luxury of this brand stood out. Butlers were always there to help, the main pool was fabulous, the adults only pool just what's needed - peace and quiet.

The children's club was super - thoroughly enjoyed by my boys.

Restaurant's were wonderful - especially Sontaya. The team their were so personable and they were so very good at anticipating our needs.

Room was splendid - our upgrade was much appreciated.

If you need to spoil yourself - go here...don't delay...book now!

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Stuart_Birkwood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
John_Pelling, General Manager at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, responded to this review, 29 August 2012
Dear Stuart,

Greetings and thank you for your words of praise! I am delighted to read your review and for recognizing the bespoke service we strive to deliver to all our guests. I will be happy to share your comments with the team.
I look forward to having you back for another memorable experience with us.

Kind regards,
John Pelling
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
usa
Level Contributor
69 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 August 2012

Loved this modern, sleek, contemporary hotel. No expense was spared to make this place a showpiece. The lobby is gorgeous with fabulous furnishing and chandeliers. We stayed 10 days and did not want to leave.

The restaurants are outstanding with the finest foods and attentive service. Non-smoking sections were a plus. Breakfast was terrific with exotic fruits, fine quality meats, fish and and extensive selection of hot and cold dishes. There were chef manned stations for noodles, egg dishes and Arabic foods. Everything served was first class. The Thai restaurant had indoor or outdoor seating. The decor was Asian modern with views of the beach and excellent food.

The room was very spacious with fine decor, furniture and linens. The bathroom was huge with a separate rain shower and a deep egg-shaped soaking tub overlooking the sea. The towels and toiletries were first-rate. A personal butler attended to my needs; packing/unpacking and serving coffee and tea. The spa decor was dazzling.

The view from my room was gorgeous, overlooking the grounds and the sea. There were three pools; adults only, family and lap. The design of the adult pool was outstanding with shaded cabanas, water lounging chairs and a jacuzzi area in the pool. Pool service was excellent and very attentive.

A lifeguard monitors a marked beach swimming area. The entrance to the beach is rocky which makes it difficult to walk into the water barefoot; however, reef walkers were provided to help you walk more comfortably into the water. Once in the water it was great, warm and clean.

A complimentary shuttle took you to the malls, Ferrari World, Grand Mosque and the Saadiyat Island museum.

This hotel is superb, can't wait to return to this find!!!

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank TandLtravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
John_Pelling, General Manager at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, responded to this review, 27 August 2012
Greetings and thank you for taking the time to post your review.
I am glad to read all the positive comments about your stay with us and that you truly managed to experience our promise of bespoke service and a memorable stay. I will be happy to share your comments with my team which take much pride in providing our guests with a stay that is well catered for from the start to the end.
I look forward to seeing you back at the resort very soon.

Kind regards,
John Pelling,
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
148 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 August 2012 via mobile

We stayed in this hotel for close to three weeks and it was a most luxurious experience. The arrival is made most memorable when the butler service kicks in. Almost anything you might want or need can and will be arranged by your personal butler. The rooms are spacious and very well appointed. Light and dark wood accentuate the resort style, marble and precious metal trimmings reveal the five star quality. Room service is excellent, featuring a large breakfast menu and extensive 11am to 11pm all day dining menu! Favorites on the menu were the carpaccio, Cesar salad and fish soup. Housekeeping is always on time and precise and the concierge team is deffinitely on their game. The spa is beautifull, the athletic club boast a 25 meter lap pool and the latest fitness equipment and the restaurants, Sontaya and 55&5th are of world class standard.
There are a couple of pools, for those that want some quite relaxation there is the "adults pool", a little further on are the very large "play" pools. The beach is white and the water turquoise...anything else?

Stayed August 2012, travelled on business
Helpful?
2 Thank Idenburger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
John_Pelling, General Manager at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, responded to this review, 27 August 2012
Greetings and thank you for your review.
I am very pleased to read wonderful feedback from a long staying guest as that’s when we know our teams have managed to provide and deliver consistent and uncompromising service.
It was an absolute pleasure to have you stay with us and I look forward to welcoming you back very soon.

Kind regards,
John Pelling
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort

Property: The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort
Address: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Region: United Arab Emirates > Emirate of Abu Dhabi > Abu Dhabi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #28 of 127 Hotels in Abu Dhabi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:5 star — The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 377
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The St. Regis Saadiyat Island is your new address in Abu Dhabi overlooking either Saadiyat's pristine beach or the impressive Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, designed by the golfing legend, Gary Player. The resort provides unparalleled accommodations and service along with food and beverage outlets that provide sumptuous meals and refreshing drinks. ... more   less 
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