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“A-mazing - why so many bad reviews?”

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The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort
Ranked #29 of 128 Hotels in Abu Dhabi
Certificate of Excellence
London
1 review
“A-mazing - why so many bad reviews?”
Reviewed 19 April 2013

We stayed at the resort for 3 nights at the beginning of April, moving on to the Jumeirah at Ethiad Towers for the following 3 nights. We literally loved it!

We had a speedy check in (but we did arrive in the evening), our butler was absoloutely lovely, greeting us when he saw us again the next day. We found all of the staff to be really polite (a few did 'expect tips' for doing very little but that was the only issue). We had a great room, standard double. We did not pay extra for a sea view but we got one (side view) it was beautiful to step onto the balcony every morning and look outside.

There are a few things people should know about the hotel, but with a little research we were aware of these downfalls. Firstly, food is very expensive in the hotel and it is 30dhs to take a taxi to the coniche where there are more restaurants. Saadiyat island does not have very much to do or see or eat at the moment.

We did some research before booking and we were aware of this, hence splitting the trip between two hotels. We wanted to stay at The St Regis for the beautiful beach, unspoilt and not man made- this is exactly what we got.

We were really sad to leave, even though we were going to another 5* hotel. It was really beautiful and we are not sure why there are so many bad reviews. This almost put us off when booking, but I am so happy we did!

Room Tip: A sea view would be great
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank HappyFlo
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, 22 April 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments and am very happy to read you enjoyed your stay with us. Thank you for particularly appreciating our well-appointed guest rooms and our signature butler service – a cherished hallmark for over 100 years. While Saadiyat as a destination is still developing and evolving at the moment, the near future will see it undergo a remarkable transformation, especially with its Cultural District that will be home to landmark museums.
We look forward to welcoming you again soon for another memorable experience.

Kind regards,
John Pelling,
General Manager
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English first
San Francisco, California
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 April 2013

I stayed two nights in April 2013 and loved it. My 'standard' room was sumptuous, the bathroom was colossal and luxuriously appointed and I had a balcony with a partial sea view even though I had not paid for a sea view room. A truly beautiful room. The hotel itself has acres of polished marble, tasteful decor and was immaculately maintained. It felt every bit the high end resort it makes itself out to be. I found the staff to be very professional and courteous. I'm fairly low maintenance and didn't make many demands, but every request was handled in a friendly and professional manner.

The hotel had a healthy mix of couples, families and business people of all nationalities. No one group dominated. The beach and pools were great and had a really nice children's water play area separate to the other areas.

I had dinner in Sontaya (SE Asian) which was good and breakfast in Olea was great with a huge choice, though expensive at around $50 a head. I also thought drinks at the bar were expensive ($10-11 for a beer) and the cocktail pours were stingy, although I think that is to do with a small standard measure in the UAE. Overall I was very pleased with my room rate so even factoring in the food and drink prices I felt I got great value for money.

The taxi ride in to Abu Dhabi is fast and costs less than $10 so it is easy to dine there if you want a change of scene. Overall one of my more memorable hotel stays.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Wayne K
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, 22 April 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your feedback and kind words of appreciation. I am happy you enjoyed our well-appointed rooms and distinctive dining venues and look forward to welcoming you back for another indelible stay.

Kind regards,
John Pelling,
General Manager
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London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 April 2013

Coming from the hospitality business, I can safely say that if there is one thing that distinguishes a 5 star hotel from the rest is the quality of the service. In the St Regis Abu Dhabi, service is inexistant.

1) The staff are not pleasant, polite, and do not speak to you like staff should in a five star hotel. Many of them barely speak English.
2) One of the employees by the main pool refused to serve us coca cola. The staff around the pool is lazy, and the whole system does not induce to consummation. Drink menus should be placed on every table around the pool, like is usually the case in high-quality hotels. What actually happens here, is that you feel like the staff are doing you a 'favour' when bringing you something you ordered, rather than providing a service.
3) The breakfast staff is useless, and deemed it reasonable to warn us on the 5th day of our stay that breakfast was actually not included, and very expensive. Which hotel excludes breakfast? And which hotel fails to warn you?
4) A 5 star hotel should be recruiting HIGHLY trained staff, not people who look at their watch all day in eagerness for their work to end. This is acceptable in bad hotels (I guess).
5) Our 'sea-view' room barely has a sea view, and pigeons disrupted our sleep from 7am. After complaining, the hotel staff did not change anything. Deplorable.
6) When we complained regarding the pigeons coming early and waking us up, the first response from the staff member was "but maybe was open" (I am assuming this is referring to the balcony door, but we are not 3 years old.), the second response was "okay I come clean now". This is appalling, how could they not think to offer a change of room, or maybe to see the problem is that EVERY room has anti-bird spikes installed, except this one.
7) The general cleaning of the room is not immaculate, with the staff leaving bread for days, not restocking the minibar for 4 days, and omitting to clean pigeon poop. Once again, not qualified.
8) Told 3-4 staff members to bring a bottle opener as I had to every day call room service to bring coca-colas (mini bar would not be restocked), they would bring the coca-colas, offer to open them then and there, but no bottle openers..
9) The general prices at the restaurants in the hotel are extremely steep (on average about 750AED for 2 per meal) for food that is barely AVERAGE. purely beach food.

10) Nonetheless, the staff at the adult pool is pleasant, helpful and professional as are very few you may encounter around the property.

11) p.s do not rely on the concierge for anything, name them any restaurant, they will not know a thing.

Please take this as a piece of constructive criticism, and an opportunity to really change things. Whilst I will never return to this hotel again, I must certainly hope that other guests will not endure what we have.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank Alexandra3642
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, 22 April 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for sharing your feedback with us and would like to take this opportunity to sincerely apologize for the shortfalls in service experienced during your stay with us. We take guest feedback seriously and as such your comments have been shared with the concerned departments with a view to improve guest experience. While I am sorry to read that you have a dim view of the resort, should you be in the city again, I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you and perhaps attempt to change your view. I can be contacted at StRegis.Saadiyat@stregis.com for any further comments you might have for us in the interim.
Thank you again for taking the time to share your feedback.

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
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 April 2013

We booked this place for my birthday and took a Suite for my wife and I and another twin Double for the Maid and children..and upon arrival were left dissappointed. The Butler service St Regis would like to pride them selves on was lacking at all times. Perhaps its the region as a whole(but then dont charge us similar rates to around the world if this is the case)...our butler forgot about us after leaving to get a Cot for our baby(we had re-request it later that night again! That said, she failed to even tell us what facilities were in the Hotel. Our rooms werent ready at 3.30pm in the afternoon when we checked in(yet our friends family who also took 2 rooms arrived at 4.30 and were in their rooms by 5pm so consistency is a real problem). we waited in our rooms for our luggage for 1.5 hours. our 2nd room keys was only received when my wife went to Reception to pick it up personally. During our stay, every time we rang "the butler service" not concierge...the phone rang out many times. so we were always left dissappointed and waiting on them.
The Hotel itself doesnt have enough facilities to cater for a full hotel. The staff arent aware of what the hotel has(as i asked for a backgammon board near the pool and staff all said these werent not available - at checkout i found out that they were avaialbel in the library!) Not enough deckchairs whatsoever and people were =always waiting to be seated. The kids pool facilities was by far the best feature of this hotel - it had numerous rooms for the kids to get lost in - by far the best one i have seen from all over the world. the Beach it seemed had quality soft clean sand delivered there as when you got closer to the tidal area of the water line the true harsh UAE sand took over full of stones and sharp corals. The Beach itself has NO watersports whatsoever, yet pride themselves on marketing the 9 kilometre beachfront that one has access to - i suppose you get access to that but nothing else. it doesnt have catamarans, jet skis or banana boats that one would expect in a 5 star hotel to have fun with.....it has NOTHING.
food is OK nothing special about it. We did dine in the Steakhouse and although this meal was fantastic - i couldnt justify the costs.
All in All this place didnt hit the mark for the brand it carried....

Room Tip: Double twin rooms are amazing no matter where they are. Bathrooms are bigger in twinrooms then the S...
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank gazzzadubai69
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, 22 April 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us. I am very sorry to hear that not all aspects of your experience with us met your expectations.
With regard to your feedback on the beach, it is a conscious effort not to have motorized sport to maintain the island’s pristine sands and clear blue water but also support the nesting of the endangered hawksbill turtle. That said, the island has a public beach area where watersports, such as kayaking , will be launched by third quarter 2013.
We appreciate your kind comments on our children’s club and hope to welcome you again 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
Coventry
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2013

We checked into the hotel late on a Sunday evening, checkin took about 10 minutes and the girl who checked us in was very friendly. We were shown to our room by a lady who described where all the restaurants etc were.

The rooms are absolutely stunning the bathroom is to die for especially the lovely bath. We had requested a standard room without a sea view however we were surprised to see the next morning that we could see the sea even if it wasn't directly in front of us, while I may have been disappointed if we had paid for a sea view as we had not we were very pleased.

We used the spa and this was a lovely relaxing experience so much so that my husband fell asleep. We had a Swedish massage together but the spa facilities were separate for men and women (which I know is common in the UAE but disappointed me) however there was no one else in the spa area when my husband had his experience and only a couple with me.

We only ate in one restaurant Olea which was lovely but very expensive for what we had and decided that we would eat out after that. We are very lucky to have visited Abu Dhabi several times over the last few years so we knew the restaurants to go to within Abu Dhabi and feel that our holiday only benefited from this . We got a taxi every day from the hotel to Marina Mall and it cost at most 32 dirhams. We also ordered room service especially for breakfast as we had not prebooked in the hotel. The bread basket was really good and was more than enough for both my husband and myself. We also used the butler service for tea and coffee and found them quick and efficient. We also used the Manhattan lounge and gain can only stay that e service was lovely especially to sit outside. The only negative was the price of the alcohol and the amount you received. I like a glass of wine but was disappointed to seethe price 55 dirhams and also the measure I sometimes got which did border on stingy.

We used the fitness suite and found it very well appointed and with a good range of machines. However as I am a bit of a runner I wanted to use interval training in the machine and this wasn't a feature. Water and towels were provided.

The best bit about the hotel is definitely the beach both to sunbathe on during the day and to walk along in the evening to see the sunset. We found the service by the beach and the adult pool brilliant and especially liked the copious amounts of water provided and the fruit on a stick and the afternoon ice tea which were very welcome in the heat.

Checkout was easy and they were able to store our bags for us and provided us with somewhere to freshen up before our flight.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank HelenDalglish
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, 22 April 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your taking the time to share feedback from your stay with us.
Glad to read our staff made every attempt to ensure your stay with us was the best possible and that you enjoyed your time at our private beach stretch and spa.
We look forward to welcoming you again for another indelible stay.

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
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 April 2013

Absolutely a great addition to Abu Dhabi.

One of the best service standards - if not the best - in Abu Dhabi.

Luxury ! Friendly ! Helpfull ! and best ... great location.

A must try !
Bar has great cocktails variety to choose from ... food was amazing :)

Room Tip: Must have a room with sea view ! Worth it !
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Amin2011
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, 22 April 2013
Dear Amin,

Thank you for your positive comments, I am delighted to read that you have rated us as the best in Abu Dhabi.

I look forward to the opportunity to welcome you again.

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
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level 6 Contributor
116 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 April 2013

I stayed here in July 2012, its a fantastic property with unexploited beach, spacious everywhere, friendly staff, concierge guys were very helpful, you will never feel like you are in a city atmosphere during your stay here. Wide spread for breakfast!

Room Tip: Always try to get a sea view room!
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled on business
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Inasu 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, 22 April 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your positive review. I will be delighted to share your kind words of praise with our team and look forward to welcoming you again for another flawless experience.

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 #29 of 128 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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