Oh my goodness where do I start. We have just returned from the worst hotel experience we have had in many, many years. Here is a brief overview of our stay at the St Regis Saadiyat Island.
1. Check in. We arrived earlier than the designated check in time and were pleased to find that our rooms were ready. However it all went downhill rapidly. Our children as they are over 12 had to have a room of their own. We mistakenly didn't realise that they needed their passports or Emirates ID. The VERY officious check in clerk informed us that the hotel classes any child over 6 years as an adult and they have to provide their ID. He said on this occasion he would make an exception for us and let us check in, although he said he hoped CID did not come and check up on us! The first experience of the hotel was a very robotic experience making us feel as if everyone was doing us a huge favour in allowing us to even walk into the hotel.
2: Access to the adult pool. After passing security guards and having to repeatedly give room numbers we were told we were not allowed in the pool as our children were under 16. I explained that according to the hotel anyone over 12 is classed as an adult and made to pay full adult price for their own room. Also that the check in clerk insisted that anyone over 6 in the hotel is classed as a adult. So within an hour we were given 6,12 and 16 to be classed as adults. Somewhat confusing? I asked why the age of 16? We all know the answer that the adult pool should be a quiet, relaxing area without screaming children. A thing we particularly like as well. No one would actually say this, but gave ridiculous excuses such as it is the depth of the pool and a health and safety requirement. The depth of the pool in the adult area is 1.3m and in the family pool it is 1.2 m, hardly a huge difference. Plus there were so many adults in there incapable of swimming, perhaps based on this excuse Saaidiyat you should insist on some sort of swimming test for all your guests.
3. We ordered food in this area. Oh my goodness. 3 supposed club sandwiches arrived as ordered and were burnt to a crisp. The bread was black. A great mind trick was played at this point, you would think the charcoal like bread to be extremely hot and great caution should be taken when touching it. Wrong! It was cold to the point of refrigeration. The fatty bacon and slab of ice cold chicken within the bed of charcoal came with chips that had obviously been cooked within the previous 20 minutes or so as they were Luke warm. After asking for the manager, she agreed that they were unacceptable. After the normal token apologies she continued to offer many alcoholic alternatives, from cocktails to a bottle of wine at dinner. No, we didn't want anything free just the meal we ordered to be hot and edible in the first place. In fairness she did then take the meals off the bill.
4: I ordered a latte later and although it was a lovely coffee I was rather surprised to find it served in a tea pot accompanied by a rather dirty cup.
5: Breakfast. Oh dear! The coffee, cold. The scrambled eggs, a slimy uncooked mess. We queued for a table, waited for the said table to be cleared repeatedly.
6: family pool area. After ordering simple soft drinks and waiting 35 minutes for them to arrive, my husband asked where they were. It turns out they were forgotten! The manager again came over and was very sweet and again offered free drinks.
The rooms are lovely and bathrooms are of a wonderful design. One small point is that there is no dressing table or anywhere you can sit in front of a mirror to do hair or makeup.
The pool area other than the service is a lovely space with again great design features.
The hotel seems to have real staff issues, everyone with the exception of 1 lady is so miserable. The staff are badly trained and all look so, so unhappy.
We are so privileged to have wonderful hotels in the UAE offering wonderful staff, service and experiences. This is certainly not one of them. It is overpriced and most definitely offers no value for money or feel good factor. As far as the 'Butler' goes, it is a person on the end of the phone... Nothing more.
To the manager, please do not offer more apologies, we have listened to them all weekend. We didn't want any apologies just a lovely relaxed break in which to celebrate my husbands birthday. It was a shambles and a ruined birthday experience.
- 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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