St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi: Mediterranean luxury in the Middle East

St. Regis Saadiyat Island

Saadiyat Island is home to many great hotel properties nestled by its clear turquoise waters. We have made our way to stay at the St. Regis Saadiyat Island and experience the luxury resort and its facilities. St. Regis, known for its luxury, continues to deliver on this beachside property, with 376 rooms on eight floors. In fact, Abu Dhabi is the only city in the world that contain two St. Regis properties, with the other one being downtown on the corniche.

Driving for around an hour from Dubai, we were relieved when we arrived and greeted by smiling staff ready to welcome us. The experience started right from there with friendly staff and a smooth transfer to the check-in reception where we were handed a raspberry-flavoured drink and a cold fresh towel.

If you are looking to book your St Regis experience, check out these two booking options as they regularly come up with cheap prices. Agoda and Booking.com  

St. Regis Saadiyat Island
St. Regis Saadiyat Island

Where is the St. Regis Saadiyat Island Located

Located on Saadiyat Island, this St. Regis is a large property with 376 rooms, several restaurants and links next to the St. Regis residential property. Positioned right by the beach, the hotel is only 20 minutes from downtown Abu Dhabi and 25 minutes to Abu Dhabi International Airport. You are extremely close to the Louvre museum, one of the best attractions in Abu Dhabi (a must-see during your stay). The hotel offers transfer from the airport, but we recommend getting a Taxi/Uber as it is easy and a lot cheaper. 

Facilities at the St. Regis Saadiyat Island 

When we say it is a large property, we are not kidding. There are so many facilities, we don’t know where to start. First of all, every hotel guest has access to a butler. The butler is on hand, via a phone call or text message, and is basically there to help you out with anything that you need. Whenever I needed to change a restaurant booking, get my car out of valet in advance or to get some clothes dressed, a simple message to the butler and it was all done. 

St. Regis also offers to its guests two free clothes press per guest per day, so it was perfect for us, who live in a suitcase, to get some much-needed love into clothes that we have. They had them back in our closet within 2 hours. 

Imagine the property looking like a giant U shape, with main facilities all in the middle facing out to the beach. St. Regis has one of their golf holes on-site, that you can see if you are out towards the beach, a chessboard on the garden, one kid’s area with a basketball area, an adult pool and family pool. There are also jacuzzi pools to relax and unwind, and that is all if you don’t want to lounge on one of the many sunbeds by the water.  There are also several poolside cabanas that are available and great for privacy. 

St. Regis Saadiyat Island
St. Regis Saadiyat Island
St. Regis Saadiyat Island
St. Regis Saadiyat Island
St. Regis Saadiyat Island

If you love sports, they have tennis courts, football areas and game space to do whatever you want, either with the family or with a whole team!

The fitness facilities are among the best I have ever seen in a hotel. Although not located directly in the hotel, which is a downside, it is though a small 2-minute stroll across to the residences. The facilities are linked to the residential area- in a place called The Athletic Club. With a lap pool inside and fitness room up on top level, they have everything from high-quality free weights, all the machines, kettlebells, bands, treadmills and powerlifting too.

There are cold water, fruits and even a smoothie bar for you to order a post-workout shake. The quality of the facilities made me go back there 3 times during our stay! 

The beach has hundreds of sunbeds to enjoy life and relax with service buttons to make sure you don’t have to move while you are relaxing. The staff by the beach are super friendly and will go above and beyond to make sure you are relaxing during your stay. Sometimes it does get a little windy, so best to go during early mornings when it is quiet and the weather is calm too. If you are lucky, you may be able to spot some marine life in the water too. 

If you are here for business, St Regis has 13 meeting rooms for you to conduct business. 

Spa Facilities at the St. Regis Saadiyat Island

The St. Regis Saadiyat Island is home to their signature Spa brand, Iridium Spa. It is home to a full facility for women and for men a warm jacuzzi, sauna and steam room. It has many treatment rooms but unfortunately no lay down lounges post-massage. Instead, you are ushered after your massage to the locker room/changing area where tables are in the middle for those who have just completed their massages to have their tea. We experienced Iridium Spa’s Beach Cabana treatment, right by the sand, a bit away from the water, but close enough to hear some waves. It would’ve been even more ideal to be closer to the water to hear more or the ocean than people walking by the walking way, which was literally behind our cabana. Nonetheless, we totally enjoyed our 60 minutes treatment, with a therapist that was 100% aware of our knots and made sure to provide the right rubs to break them and relax us properly. One other downside of the treatment is that if you are not already in your swimmers, there are no changing facilities and you will have to strip down to your clothes right there! So we advise you to be already in your swimmers if you do want to experience the beach cabana treatments.

St. Regis Saadiyat Island
St. Regis Saadiyat Island
St. Regis Saadiyat Island

Dining at the St. Regis Saadiyat Island

The St-Regis is home to many great restaurants. There is a Greek choice with Mazi, Asian cuisine at Sontaya, Fusion Asian and Mixology bar at Buddha Bar, the Pool & Beach Bar restaurant and the main restaurant Olea, where breakfast, lunch and dinner are also served buffet style.

Olea breakfast

Breakfast each morning was an incredible buffet option at Olea, the restaurant located under the lobby. With their massive 10m high windows, there is indoor and outdoor seating and gives full view to the rest of the facilities. 

The buffet had multiple stations,  from Asian, egg station, juices, dairy, fruits and vegetables, baked goods and of course, Arabic cuisine. In terms of buffets, this was extremely comprehensive. We even went so far as to ask for a ginger shot, and they were able to deliver with ease. If you are a sweet tooth, they have a chocolate fountain, although for breakfast that was not to our liking. 

St. Regis Saadiyat Island
St. Regis Saadiyat Island
St. Regis Saadiyat Island
St. Regis Saadiyat Island
St. Regis Saadiyat Island

Mazi: Greek Fine Dining

MAZI at the St. Regis is the first branch of the Greek restaurant outside of London. Mazi means “together” in Greek and the restaurant doesn’t serve you the simple typical greek salad or gyros, it is much more than that. MAZI is a sharing plate concept and the menu canters through a selection of sauce/dip jars, salads and raw dishes, hot plate starters, signature dishes and finally dessert. Around two to three dishes per person were suitable so we ordered enough to enjoy everything with our friend.

You can read more details of our experience in our article about MAZI: Authentic Greek @ St. Regis Saadiyat Hotel.

Sontaya

As we arrived, we headed to Sontaya, the Asian cuisine restaurant. Located by the pool, we were treated to an Asian culinary adventure. With the server as our guide, we were able to feast on Tom Ka Soups and other Asian favourites and we relaxed all afternoon and watched the sun go down.

Buddha-Bar

The Buddha Bar is open both during the day and at night. The atmosphere of Buddha-Bar Abu Dhabi at night is absolutely great and is a mix of chill and club tones. When offered seating, we headed inside but also outside is a good option, especially if you enjoy a shisha. (not our style but the option is there.) It was a little cold for us outside – end of January. We headed inside and starting experiencing drinks created by the mixologist, Alex who asked us several questions. These were linked to the drink he was to make for us. They were incredible creations and so much fun, not to mention tasty as well.

From a food perspective, we went for a sampler of many dishes to taste them all. For starters, we had Wagu Beef Tataki, Buddha bar Chicken Salad, Foie Gras and Waygu Gyoza and Crispy Lobster dumplings. The Gyoza’s went really quickly and the salad was solid enough that it didn’t feel like a traditional salad.

Mains came out straight away and we had Wagyu Steak, Kung Pao chicken and Sea Bass with some mashed potato and fried noodles sides. Luck there were 3 of us as we could not get through it by ourselves.

Our sushi courses were equally tasty and enjoyable. We went for Tempura Nikko, Nikkei Spicy, Waygu and Spicy and Crunchy Tuna which were my favourite. We had to finish off with some gorgeous fruits and some chocolate goodies, sorbet, mochis and ice cream.

The service was impeccable as the staff were able to answer all our questions and really make our dining experience a memorable one. The lounge music of Buddha Bar is exactly the perfect set up for a vibrant evening.

Rooms at the St. Regis Saadiyat Island

We stayed in the Premium Sea View Room with a big king-sized bed, Sea view obviously, with a balcony. That room is huge, and even though they only say it’s 2 people, we feel you could fit in another two people in! At least your kid on the small sofa.

With complete 5-star hotel amenities, the room rate comes with butler service, literally on speed dial to help you out wherever and whenever you need it. The bed was nothing less than expected, every night we enjoyed sinking in it and wanted to sleep in every morning.

The room we stayed in was very central in the hotel which gave us beautiful views! Located on the 8th floor, we could see everything with a great balcony view. If the availability permits it, try and ask to be central for the best views.

Sustainability at St Regis Saadiyat Island

There is still usage of plastic bottles at the St. Regis, so this can be an area that can be improved in the future, however, they had done a lot of beach work making it clean, sustainable and more enjoyable for everyone. 

Our experience at St Regis Saadiyat Island

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at St Regis and was great for a weekend getaway in the nation’s capital. The 5-star hotel certainly accommodates for everybody, but if you are looking for absolute privacy, sharing 376 rooms may not be your style. That being said, St. Regis does a great job in making everyone feel at home, comfortable and special during your stay.

Pros: Valet parking, White Sand Beach, on-demand Butler service (and great service in general), delicious food, comfortable bed, ample facilities and the size and quality of the fitness area were all great elements of St. Regis Saadiyat Island Hotel.

Cons: As expected in any grand hotel, the food at the restaurant is fairly costly and not included in the price. If you are looking for that cheaper options, the residences across the walkway have a few food outlets but nothing else is too close. For more of a private stay, there are not any villa options. There are many many beds on the beach, which can be very crowded if high occupancy.

If you are looking to book your St Regis experience, check out these two booking options as they regularly come up with cheap prices. Agoda and Booking.com  

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  • Have you been to the Middle East before? Have you tried St Regis hotels? 
  • Don’t forget to book your travel insurance before travelling.
  • If you don’t have your flights, check out ways to book the cheapest fares here.

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