Hotel Review: St Regis Abu Dhabi

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Trip Index:

Introduction
Getting there – Etihad First Apartments
Hotel Review: St Regis Abu Dhabi
Hotel Review: Park Hyatt Dubai
Day in Dubai

The scorching desert heat was no match for the strong air conditioning of the Bentley hotel car, and it was already comfortably cool when we got in. There were individual digital temperature controls for each seat, as well as window shades to use if it had been daytime. Chilled bottles of Aqua Panna were waiting in the drink holders, and I gladly took a long drink from one.

DSC06675Bentley

DSC06677Lots of legroom

DSC06678Seatback magazines and TV’s

DSC06680Front seat area

The driver neared the St Regis Abu Dhabi and I tilted my head up to gaze at the massive buildings. From that vantage point I could even see the Abu Dhabi suite that connected the two towers.

IMG_1999

When the car pulled up to the hotel, the luggage was handled by a bellman and we were ushered into the lobby.

DSC06690Doorway

The lobby is feels huge and quite impressive, but since I’d stayed at the hotel before I didn’t linger. Check-in was not done in the reception room but right in the suite. This meant that we were met right at arrival and walked straight up to our room, bypassing the standard reception areas.

DSC06695Reception room

When she unlocked the door she smiled and said that we had been given a special room. We had been upgraded to a Grand Deluxe Suite.

The Suite was located in a corner, which was great for both views and noise.

IMG_2013Suite layout

Just inside the room I stepped onto the shiny marble entryway, and though there were two closets they didn’t have flat bottoms for laying suitcases out on. The suite itself was around 700 square feet but there was nowhere I could leave our two suitcases opened up that was totally out of the way. I ended up putting them by the windows.

IMG_2015Closet

From the entryway I could just see into the room with its plush hand-tufted wool carpeting.

IMG_2016View from entryway

Before heading into the room I went left into the bathroom. It was gorgeous, and done in muted metallic tones that felt warm rather than harsh.

IMG_2001Bathtub

The tub had a huge stack of thick towels on the chair and more rolled up underneath a table. It was on a raised platform of Statuario Royal marble and a beautiful chandelier hung overhead.

IMG_2002Bathtub

Bath salts and loofahs were provided.

IMG_2008Bath amenities

There was a his and hers sink, and a TV embedded in the mirror. There were more towels under each sink and bottled water along with soaps for each.

IMG_2004Sink

IMG_2011Sinks

The shower was through a glass door near one of the sinks and looked great.While it had great water flow and temperature, the water tended to trickle outside of the door. The lip of the bottom of the door didn’t seem to be high enough so when it pooled in the shower it sometimes leaked out a little.

IMG_2005Shower

The bedroom was laid out so that it was separated from the sitting area by a large wall section with a TV on both sides. The decor was inspired by the colors of the spices, food and beaches in Abu Dhabi during the 1920’s and 30’s, and included gold silk curtains.

IMG_2018Bedroom

A men’s dresser valet and minibar were set up nearest the marble entryway.

IMG_2023Dresser valet

IMG_2021Minibar

in the sitting room a large bowl of fruit and tray of dates had been laid out as a welcome, along with a letter.

IMG_2029Welcome fruit

IMG_2040View towards entryway

There was also a polished dark wood desk and a chair with ottoman in the corner.

IMG_2034View towards desk

IMG_2039Chair and Ottoman

IMG_2041Desk

One of the best features of the room was the floor to ceiling windows with sweeping views of the scenery. The view in the bathroom and one wall of the bedroom looked towards the Breakwater Peninsula.

IMG_2051View from bathroom

Some of the windows in the bedroom also had a view of the Corniche.

IMG_2049View from bedroom

As I walked behind the couch looking at the views I tripped over some sort of popped-out floor outlet. I peered down and tried to push it down to be flush with the carpet but it wouldn’t budge. I didn’t expect to be behind the couch often during my stay though so I just made a mental note not to walk over there in the dark.

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The bed itself was just the right firmness and had luxurious sheets.

IMG_2022Bed

On each side of the bed slippers and a mat had been laid down during turn down service, along with a bottle of water and bedtime chocolate on the bedside tables.

IMG_2025Bedside preparations

The light switches were all buttons, and it was easy to turn off all the lights right from the bed and close the curtains with a button as well.

IMG_2014Bathroom lighting buttons

In the morning the sun rose to a gorgeous albeit slightly hazy day. The views out the windows were even more impressive. I could see down to the swimming pool, beach and clear waters.

IMG_2084Swimming pool and beach

IMG_2096View

The tub was a great way to spend some time, with such a gorgeous view. If you’ve ever wanted to sit in a tub where the water covers your shoulders and comes up to your neck, this one did the trick nicely.

IMG_2087

After the bath, I went down to breakfast but as I approached the hostess stand one of the ladies motioned for me to go into the nearby sitting room to wait since there weren’t currently enough open seats.

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There was also a nearby cigar lounge and bar, whose artwork gave a nod to the past and present of Abu Dhabi.

DSC06928Bar

DSC06925

After about 10 minutes we were seated, and given menus.

IMG_2052Breakfast menu

A waiter came by and apologized for the delay. He said that typically the outside patio is open for seating but since there was some maintenance going on outside it was currently closed. I felt lucky, to be sitting inside the wonderfully cool room about to enjoy breakfast. The guys outside in the 110 degree heat looked like they had already been working for hours and probably had many more to go.

IMG_2062Outside patio

The waiter brought us tea and coffee upon our request, and even had the kitchen make me a green juice which was very thoughtful. It was a zoo in the buffet area, with people all over the place and bowls running out of things quicker than they could be replaced. For some reason, breakfast at this hotel is always noisy and busy and feels like there are too many people. The feeling was amplified during this stay because the outside patio wasn’t open, but I don’t recall a lot of people wanting to sit outside in the heat during previous visits so I’m not sure how many people the closed patio it added to the mix.

IMG_2061Green drink

The breakfast selections included Western choices as well as local favorites.

IMG_2053Yogurts

IMG_2056Buffet

DSC06759Local selection

Being a Muslim country there was no ham, sausage or pork bacon, which was disappointing to several but understood. There was also a huge selection of breads and pastries which looked lovely, but oddly enough they were all dry and hard without much flavor at all.

DSC06762

The crepe station was insanely popular, and each time a stack of crepes was finished, they were immediately snatched up by a waiting guest as soon as they were transferred from the pan. The guy making them noticed that a few people had been waiting a while, and said for us to go sit down and he’d bring some to us. Sure enough, a few minutes later a couple of golden crepes with requested filling were delivered. Yum.

Crepes

Crepes

After breakfast I decided to spend some time at the pool. It was very quiet there, with occasionally a single swimmer in the water. As soon as I arrived a staff member asked me which chair I’d like made up with chair coverings, and offered me something cold to drink.

The pool area wasn’t huge but large enough for what I wanted. The water was cool and inviting, and since the temperature was so hot outside I thought it a nice touch that some of the loungers were placed in an area where there were a few inches of water underneath.

DSC06782Pool

DSC06780Pool

DSC06775Pool

After the pool, I headed to the spa just to check it out. The hallway leading to the spa was dimly lit with candles, and a relaxing scent filled the air.

DSC06964Hallway to spa

There were changing areas, plush chairs and sofas, and treatment rooms. The walls were lined with tiny shimmery tiles that the candlelight bounced off of.

DSC06953Spa

DSC06954Spa

There was also a stunner of a whirlpool hot tub, which had it’s own room and mood lighting.

DSC06956Whirlpool Hot tub

Back in the lobby I noted that tea and dates had been laid out, which was pretty cool. You could take a cup along with some dates to one of the little seating areas and enjoy.

DSC06974

This was a very good hotel stay. Service was great, and I liked the in-suite check-in. Breakfast wasn’t a relaxing affair and the food options could be improved but the waiters tried to please the guests. A big plus for the hotel is that it is connected to a shopping mall with some good restaurants, so no need to go out in the heat for that.

The room with the large windows and views was lovely, though there was a noisy family in the room next door so I could often hear little feet pounding up and down the hallway along with shouts. There also seemed to be some congregating right in front of their door, which I am not fond of since it would have been easy for them to just step inside their room thus dampening the noise for others. I have stayed here before and didn’t recall any noise from the rooms nearby though, so I think this was a one-off and would definitely stay here again. The staff was gracious and the car service prompt and efficient.

St Regis Abu Dhabi

SPG Category 5, with 12,000 Starpoints needed to redeem for a free night.

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Good To Go

+ Gorgeous floor to ceiling wrap-around views of the Corniche and Breakwater Island
+ Deep-soaking tub with views was great
+ Swimming pool was a very welcome amenity
+ Hotel is conveniently attached to a shopping mall

Good To Know

- Breakfast wasn't a relaxing event, but busy, noisy and lacking fresh, flavorful breads
- Suite was quiet for the most part, but there was a noisy family in the room next door

How many Magic Stars did this hotel stay earn?

 4/5 Magic Stars
  1. Raffles
    Reply

    Come on, it’s a dog. You picked up on enough things yourself to make it clear that it is ludicrously badly run compared to, say, a Four Seasons.

    Beach is tiny. You don’t mention the stupid route you need to take to get to the pool. Or that the shop is in the basement in a converted meeting room in the business centre. Or that all of the interior signage is missing half the lettering. Or the non existent butlers.

    I cannot think of a single redeeming feature that would make me return.

    • Melinda
      Reply

      Raffles, I totally agree with you on many points. I stayed there last year as well and they have improved a lot since then. Last time the butler was a joke, but this time he did what he was supposed to. I didn’t mind the odd route to get to the pool, and didn’t notice the shop in the basement. This hotel has potential but we both agree that they need to train their people a lot better, and the price point at 150 USD was reasonable for what I got. Thanks for reading!

  2. Raffles
    Reply

    Can’t complain at $150 I agree.

  3. MarkJ
    Reply

    I was there in May. I thought the hotel room…very similar to your was spectacular. I was in an end unit and it was totally quiet. I would go back in heartbeat. I flew to AUH in the Etihad Apartment as well.

    • Melinda
      Reply

      Sounds like you had an amazing trip Markj. Thanks for reading!

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