We stayed at the St Regis from 25 Jun to 2 July. We had booked via l’tur. On arrival at 3 am we found out the booking agent had made an error and had booked our room for August, so the hotel wasn’t expecting us. The person at the checkin solved the issue within a few minutes and gave us an upgrade to half board, and by 4am we were in our room and ready to sleep.
Our room on the 39th floor was comfortably large but not excessively so. The bed was very wide and comfortable. In addition there was a sofa, a small table, a work table, minibar and a large screen TV/info system. The reception of the TV was digital but had a tendency to break up. We also had noise from traffic and at 2am on a couple of nights the noise of drilling!
The large bathroom contained 2 basins, a full bath, a separate shower and toilet room. Set out between the basins were the usual selection of soaps, creams etc, and in the drawer a number of other items of use, such as a sewing kit, comb etc. There was also a remote control for switching of the in mirror TV screen. The remote was quite large and I suspect it could do more than just turn on and off the screen, but I couldn't figure it out. The screens volume control was on the wall.
The hallway consisted of a mirrored makeup table, and two sets of wardrobes. One of the wardrobes housed the safe and a hair drier in a bag. The other had extra pillows and storage space for the day pillows.
One of the notable things about the St Regis is the butler service. 24hrs per day there is a butler team at your beck and call. In room tea and coffee is available free of charge, and in our case they brought us chocolate and fruit on alternate days. My wife likes fruit teas, but unfortunately fruit tea was not available, only two herbal teas. Free water in 0.5 ltr bottles was also brought to the room every day, which in the heat of Abu Dhabi is very welcome.
Halfway through our stay Ramadan started. No-one really knew exactly when it would start and in the end it was a day later that we originally expected. when we booked we hadn't realised Ramadan was due, and its important to understand the restrictions that are in place at this time. No food and drink from sunrise to sunset, no music, no entertainment "of any kind". This means that that for example, in the malls there is no piped music, cafes are closed and there are few cultural items during the day. In the hotel, food and drinks are still available via room service, but not outside or near the pool. The restaurant service is also restricted. one restaurant was still open, but “hidden” from public view, breakfast was only indoors etc. These restrictions do negatively impact the holiday, but were not a show stopper, and in no way reflects on the hotel.
During our stay we were able to use two of the restaurants, the Rhodes 44 and the Villa Toscana. As we were on half board, the menu was restricted and we were not offered the standard menu at any point. In the Villa Toscana, there wasn’t much that was to my taste. On one occasion I heard another guest order a steak, and I requested the same. I had to pay a surcharge which was ok, but I would have liked to have been informed that there was another menu that I could order from with a surcharge. When I looked at the menu published online from after our return home, I found several items I would have taken. The same is true at Rhodes 44, but at least there the steaks were on the menu and marked as a surcharge applied. This is one of the few areas that I think could be improved. The Azura and the Cabana Bar & Grill were closed during our visit. The Crystal Lounge was open in the evenings and we had a cocktail there on evening. We avoided the St Regis bar as it was a football zone, and we hate football. The Tea Lounge is a part of the lobby. Outside of Ramadan Arabic coffee and dates are offered whilst our waiting, there is of course also a drinks card.
Wellness is covered with a spa which we didn't use. There is also the Sisters Beauty Lounge which we didn't see. There is a pool at the 3rd floor but as there was now shade to speak of we didn’t use it.
We did use the pool at the beach which is pleasant but also a bit dangerous. After entering the pool in the shallow water on the beach side, there is a sudden drop of about 3 or 4 feet. If like me your sight relies on your glasses, there is no way you can see the drop. There really needs to be underwater lights or something to show the danger. Also by the pool bar, there are 2 underwater steps that are easy to miss. I stubbed my toe twice. Not pleasant.
We decided one afternoon to try the private dinning and ordered 2 indian dishes for our room. After 30 minutes or so, the meals arrived and we were served in our room. One glass of wine was bad, but was replaced immediately with 2 other glasses. Service pure.
During a conversation with a staff member we asked what was in the bridge between the hotel and the adjacent tower. It turned out to be the Abu Dhabi Suite, the most expensive room in Abu Dhabi. We were invited to take a look, which we happily accepted. I can only say I was gobsmacked! The suite isn’t easy to find on the hotels website, but searching it can be found. The suite is on the 48/49th floors and has some 2,200 sq. meters at a cost of circa 100,000 AED per night. We didn’t get a room upgrade ;)
The staff are generally very welcoming and attentive. As an example, The concierge Eva sent a stuffed toy frog to our room as during conversation she found out my wife’s nickname is Froggie and she likes frogs.
All in all I would give the hotel an “Excellent" rating. There are a few points that could do with improving.
- 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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