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“5 Star Hotel but 3 Star Service”

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The St. Regis Abu Dhabi
Ranked #6 of 127 Hotels in Abu Dhabi
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 May 2014

We had a short stay at the St. Regis. The property is amazing, well kept, and in a good location. The rooms are spacious, clean, and comfortable. The amenities are great as well, two nice pools (one by the beach) and the private beach access was nice. There are 3 different gyms, all very clean and modern equipment, probably the best hotel gym I've ever been to. The spa was also very nice especially if you have AMEX Fine Hotel benefits. The breakfast buffet was one of the best we've had and the salads at the pool restaurant are also very tasty just a little bit pricey, but I guess the rest of the city is like that, so no real surprise. Our room was on the 33rd floor (lowest room floor possible) with a great view into the ocean. Overall the amenities and hotel property is exactly what you would expect of a St. Regis. However, the service is that of a 3 star hotel. Most of the staff are very nice and try hard but there just seems to be some confusion and it wasn't seamless like what you would expect at a St. Regis. For example at check-in, they didn't know the benefits of AMEX Fine Hotels or Starwood. We were told offered one thing and then it was taken back when they realized their mistake. For breakfast, we arrived at 10:58 (for a 11:00 closing) and we were denied food; turns out they close the buffet exactly at 11:00 even if you are still seated in the restaurant. Also, the concierge was frustrated when trying to make a dinner reservation for us and told me more than once that she didn't understand my "pronunciation" of the restaurant name Royal Orchid. The friends we traveled with had billing issues as someone else was also charging items to their room number. It just seems that either there was confusion amongst the staff or some didn't try to go above and beyond to help.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank cindyruns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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983 - 989 of 1,456 reviews

Reviewed 4 May 2014

I have stayed in this hotel 3 times already and with every visit i enjoy hotel more and more. The amenities, deluxe suit, bathroom- just amazing! My children were especially happy when the KIDS club was opened this week. In room dining was ready as promised 30 minutes , house keeping had some delays but kept everything professional and polite. I love the hotel's location since it is in the city yet there is a beach. I would recommend it .

Room Tip: corner suit
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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Thank AliyaSAlq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2014

I was there for the first time on a business trip. The hotel and the rooms are beautiful and with the new beach club, it can feel like a resort. Not much water at low tide but there isn't much they can do about that.

The lobby and common areas are really stunning. Service is prompt and always polite.

Improvements?

#1: Internet that actually doesn't feel like the free wifi at airports. The speed was horrendous
#2: The food at the restaurant is so-so, with the exception of breakfast which is very nice. The chef's table at the Italian restaurant was very good but otherwise I was underwhelmed for the price.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled on business
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1  Thank GSTTO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 April 2014

I chose St.Regis Abu Dhabi hotel, because it’s new and has good location with beach facility. Before during last 5 years I stayed in Hilton Abu Dhabi, which is a neighbor hotel.
Everything in St.Regis hotel ( a room with great sea view, personal butler service, luxury Spa) is EXCELLENT. But DEPTH of water of beach is NOT GOOD for any swimmers (less then 1.2 meter).
I asked to change water line, but management told me some story and future plans to do…

Room Tip: Sea View rooms with fantastic panorama view
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Alex B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 April 2014

I've never written a review on Trip Advisor. I've long been an avid reader, especially when choosing hotels to stay in, but as my day job sees me writing all day, I often have better things to do when I get home and have never felt the need to put finger to keyboard before now. I'm pleased to say the comedy of errors that marred this weekend's stay at the Abu Dhabi St Regis has changed that and finally woke me from my slumber.

It's hard to know where to begin with the catalogue of minor disasters that made up the weekend, so chronologically seems the easiest way. We arrived at 2pm. Admittedly, the confirmation email had stated rooms were not ready till 3, so we didn't have a problem when we were told ours weren't. We hadn't had lunch, so we figured we'd kill an hour eating and then go to our rooms. Somehow, however, the receptionist manage to make check in last for 50 minutes. We're not sure how – there was no queue, our bookings were there, there were no complications or unusual requests involved – two double rooms, one with a cot, close together if possible. Fairly straightforward I thought, but it took 50 minutes until we were handed a room key, then just as quickly had it taken back off us again being told that, actually, sorry, the rooms would be another hour.

Fair enough – we reverted to the pool lunch plan, but first, as I was at the hotel for a work function that evening in the beach club, I asked whether the receptionist knew if a meal was being served as my invite from work hadn't specified, so my wife and I weren't sure whether we should eat something in the evening before the event. The receptionist didn't know, and nor did the other two front of house staff, so we were advised to ask at the pool as they'd know more.

We went to the pool, found a table, and sat. Then we sat some more. And some more. After about 15 minutes of sitting I concluded it must not be waiter service, so went to the bar and asked if they were serving food. I was told 'yes,' picked up a couple of menus and asked if we needed to order at the bar or if there was table service, and was advised someone would come to take our order. There were only around five people in the whole pool area at this point, so I really don't know what the hold up was. We selected our food, and repeated the sitting pattern for another 10 or 15 minutes, at which poit I decided it best to go back to the bar and order there. In the process, I mentioned that my grilled chicken didn't mention any french fries or similar on the menu, so do I need to order these separately, and was assured that it came with French fries. We returned to our table and sat for a few more minutes, only for the barman to return and tell us that actually, the area were we were sitting was reserved and we'd have to move to the upstairs restaurant. Again, not the biggest problem in the world, but someone could have told us this more than half an hour previously. Waiting was clearly going to be a theme of this weekend.

We took up our new seats and the food finally arrived with, guess what? No French fries as they're not included after all. I ordered a portion, but of course by the time they came I had them as dessert. During all this excitement at least our room keys had arrived, so we headed upstairs, stopping first to repeat our question about the evening meal at the pool bar, where we were advised that as the event was at the beach club we'd have to ask there. Fair enough, we were planning on heading over there for what was left of the afternoon anyway.

We got to our rooms, and in fairness they were lovely. A little small by Abu Dhabi standards, but otherwise faultless, and the huge bathroom more than made up for the, far from small anyway – I do say by Abu Dhabi standards – bedroom. They were next door to each other too, so full marks there as my wife's parents would be looking after our baby while we attended the function.

We went over to the beach club, which was also great, and repeated the question of the evening meal, but were advised that we'd have to ask at the pool as it was taking place there. I said we'd already done that and been told to ask at the beach club as it was there. The member of staff did say he'd enquire and let me know, though obviously that didn't happen, but we had a very pleasant afternoon on the beach anyway.

On passing through the pool area again on the way back from the pool, I did try asking a different member of staff who was busy decorating the tables we'd earlier been moved from if this was for our function this evening, and if not if he knew where it was taking place and whether there was food. He didn't. Nonetheless, having showered and changed and come back down to find the party, we weren't in the least surprised to find that it was indeed taking place on the very tables we'd earlier been evicted from, and that food was indeed included, so that was nice.

After settling in at the party, my wife went back upstairs to check on the baby and order room service for her parents as they speak no English. A fairly simple order of one chicken and one paella was placed, and after an hour's wait, in my wife's words: “Some food came. We're not sure what it was, but it wasn't paella and it wasn't chicken.” She called back to complain, and eventually the correct order arrived, along with a complementary sparkling grape juice and the very generous assurance that we would only be charged for the order we made, and they would let us off paying for the one we didn't, which was a lovely touch.

The next morning came, and we had an early start at the beach club before heading back for breakfast at 10am (it is on till 11am). On arriving at the beach club through the tunnel under the main road, we had left our pram at the foot of the four flights of stairs to get back up to ground level and carried/walked our son to the beach. On reaching the bottom of the stairs to return to the hotel, it was nowhere to be seen. Concluding it was ridiculous to think someone would have stolen a pram at the beach club of a five-star hotel, I assumed security must have removed it, and with the seconds ticking away on breakfast sought out a security guard and sent the rest of the family to at least make sure they got breakfast. The security guard knew nothing about the pram, but called security in the main hotel to see if they knew anything. Of course, the main hotel is quite a walk from the beach club, so around 20 minutes later a security guard finally arrived and confirmed that they had indeed taking the pram as they thought someone had 'forgotten' it. Really? A pram, at the bottom of four flights of stairs, obviously forgotten, because our son had likely developed the abilities of an Olympic sprinter while on the beach and wouldn't be needing it anymore? Would the logical assumption not be that someone had carried their baby up the steps and would put him back in it when they came down the steps?

Still, I accompanied him to the lock up and we finally had our pram back. I even made it to breakfast at 10.54. Only to be told by a rather surly member of staff that they were clearing the food away now. True enough, most of the cooked items were already gone, and I paid 115 AED plus tax and service charge for a bowl of muesli and two slices of toast.

Beginning to lose the will to live, I approached a member of the front of house staff, having remembered from the Trip Advisor reviews that the general manager was called Oliver, and enquired if he was working today as I really wanted to make a complaint by this point, but I was advised he doesn't work on Saturdays, which is fair enough – nor do I usually, so I asked who was next in charge after Oliver and was told “the deputy manager.” “Ok – is he working today?” No – he doesn't work on Saturdays either. “OK – who is in charge today then?” I asked in growing desperation: “I don't know sir.”

Luckily by now it was about time to check out anyway, but they still had one trump card left to play. I went to check out, thinking at least my Starwood Preferred Guest card would get me 20% off the food and drink we'd bought at what had become a very expensive shambles, but no. I was advised that the card has to be shown on making each individual purchase, even when they're all simply being charged to your room, and the discount can't be applied when settling the bill at the end of your stay.

It really is a shame because the hotel itself is lovely. Great rooms, great location, wonderful beach club, but the whole thing crumbles to dust when any form of human interaction is required. The staff were all friendly enough, and often seemed as if they genuinely wanted to help, but they just didn't seem to have the faintest idea what they were doing, one department had no idea what the other was doing, and I wondered if they'd ever had a day's training in their lives.

I'm sure I may even have forgotten some things that my wife will doubtless remind me of later, but I'm keen to get off and watch the football. Needless to say, I won't be rushing back.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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9  Thank Chris N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St Regis M, General Manager at The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, responded to this reviewResponded 30 April 2014

Dear Chris,
It was good to talk to you over the phone about the multitude of issues you faced during your stay with us. I very much appreciate your understanding and that you could see the lighter side of what was obviously a very frustrating experience.

I hope that you will give us the chance to show you that the team can do much better than this sometime later in the year. As we discussed the many positive reviews on this web site as well as the countless positive guest comments we receive on a monthly basis gives me confidence that you were extremely unlucky to have so many negative interactions in such a short space of time.

I will look forward to meeting you in the future and once again many thanks for your understanding.

Sincerely.

Oliver.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 April 2014 via mobile

What a beautiful hotel and stylish rooms! I stayed here for one night and decided not to extend.
- Upon entering the hotel I had to look for the reception and went up the stairs to be told to go down and go inside a hall where reception is located.
- The treatment at check in was grumpy. No proper welcome, no wet towel or a cold beverage etc... I advise you to review your welcome procedure starting from where your guests arrive by car.
- they refused to let me charge a tea on my room account because they did not accept to charge my debit card with a guarantee amount, I offered them to charge up to 5000 Dhs in advance. They said either 400 Dhs cash or pre-auth by credit card which I didn't carry on me. Note I am a member and u already have my Credit Card details on your system.
- requested in writing and again upon arrival a QUIET room and was given a room right at the elevator and also looking over a noisy power plant
- Butlers are great, very friendly and super service oriented. I advise they also do the check in process you will have a perfect hotel.
- the Internet speed for free is awesome
- the comfort of the bed is super
- please use a better quality shavers. Other toiletries are all excellent quality.
- I don't understand why you still allow smoking in areas open to public. You need to take that courageous decision of making public areas smoke free
- I still gave you a full mark because of the butlers and the incredible speed of your free wifi

I decided to go and stay at Rosewood. What a difference. I will review my stay once I check out in couple of days.

Stayed: April 2014
Thank ZeeF44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 April 2014

I would like to state the impeccable service that we received during our honeymoon at the St. Regis in Abu Dhabi on the 6th of March. Our arrival to our check-in went as one would expect from a 5 star hotel, during our conversation with the receptionist word came out that we were on our honeymoon, the receptionist informed the Guest experience manager who came out to greet and meet us and showed us the amenities of the hotel, during this time he made some phone calls, for our room to be prepared. Upon walking us to our room, we were meet with a pleasant surprise as upon entering our room we noticed the smell of the fresh flowers, and we noticed the fresh fruit placed on the table in the lounge area. Thinking this was what was arraigned by the Guest manager and how nice it was of him. However, the best was left for last, as by far the biggest surprise was waiting for us in the bedroom, we had a huge heart arranged with rose pedals placed around on top of the bed as well as chocolate placed on top! It was simply an artistic masterpiece placed on our bed. It was wonderful and we truly felt ecstatic to the treatment we had received. So a BIG THANK YOU to the Guest experience manager who made it possible, and to Mr. Vladimir who had arraigned this masterpiece on our bed and who left us a kind note.

The welcome we had received is something we will both remember, as it was really something spectacular and I must say that the staff went out of their way to make our honeymoon so memorable, even in the restaurant OLEA, we had first class treatment by our hostess Elizabeth her service was simply outstanding and she went out of her way to meet all our requests.

Having stayed in other 5 star hotels throughout the world I can say confidently that our experience exceed the treatment one would expect from a five star hotel. I look forward to coming again to the St. Regis, and will highly recommend it to friends and colleagues as well. The staff really make all the difference from an ordinary 5 star to something exceeding a 5 star experience.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Ali T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The St. Regis Abu Dhabi

Address: Nation Towers, Abu Dhabi 60476, 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 Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 127 Hotels in Abu Dhabi
Price Range: £155 - £974 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The St. Regis Abu Dhabi 5*
Number of rooms: 283
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The St. Regis Abu Dhabi provides unsurpassed access to a wealth of experiences. Each of the guestrooms enjoy magnificent waterfront views of the Arabian Gulf and a bespoke experience provided by the St Regis Butlers. ... more   less 
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