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“Beautiful resort but lousy service, avoid.” 2 of 5 stars
Review of The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort

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The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #17 of 116 Hotels in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Beautiful resort but lousy service, avoid.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013

Having just returned from the Four Seasons Hong Kong, I know a good hotel.

First the good, Beautiful hotel, fab rooms, nice beach, everything it is advertised as.

Then the bad, the service is enough to drive you crazy and ruin your holiday.

The butler service is non existent, seriously you will never see them.

Bath products when used are not replaced.

Bathrobes there one day, but gone the next and not replaced.

Mini bar not stocked, and replaced with items already there not the items that were used.

No tea/coffee facilities in room.

All the baby items they claim they can supply like monitors etc, they don't have or are broken etc.

Bath mats seem to go missing and not replaced.

Their is no food service on beach, and you will wait up to an hour for a drink like juice or water?

Food menu by pool limited and isn't good, service is worse, you get part orders, part of your meal , then 30 minutes later the rest of the food and the drinks etc...

Breakfast and dinner in the main restaurant chaotic, service is terrible , we had to ask 5 times to get a bottle of water, you have to follow staff around in order to get tea/ coffee in the morning. You are not offered the menu even though it is both buffet and a la carte, the bill in 4 nights has never been correct. We saw staff scrape used food from dirty plates, on to plates of food waiting to be served to other guests and when they realised they just scraped it back off and served it to them. T
Today we spoke to 5 different people to get the sheets changed on the beds, and spent almost 2 hours doing this - we are supposed to be on holiday not working for the hotel.
Distinct lack of vegetables but that is down to personal taste.
We have three rooms here, and have been so frustrated at the amount of time we spend trying to get staff to do their jobs, a huge waste of money and holiday spoilt, we have tried moving to another hotel but they are all full - Easter.
This place could be outstanding but it's obvious the management don't care. And what's worse is we have almost a week left here. We will spend the rest of the evening trying to find another hotel. My advice go somewhere else.
No doubt I will get the standard response from management.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (273)
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London
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

I stayed at the St Regis last week as I was presenting at a conference held there. I had read a few negative reviews here so was a little concerned about the reality even though I am a Starwood member.
However those reviews are - IMHO - out of date. The service was impeccable from the minute I walked through the entrance. The check in does seem to take a while - but there is no waiting in a queue - it is comfy seats and scented towels to revive you whilst you wait.
The butler service was fantastic - I will dig out my guy's card - but they were all marvellous - nothing too much trouble - including when I stupidly couldn't work out the plug in the bath!!
And the bath!!! It is immense - I couldn't see over the top when I was in it - brilliant! :-)
My room was gorgeous, clean and spacious.
Breakfast was buffet style - lots of choice. I also dined with a colleague in the evening at the buffet because we hadn't booked anywhere else - but we were not disappointed.
I used the gym too and that was clean and well equipped.
All in all if I ever get the chance to go back to Abu Dhabi I would definitely return to the St Regis.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Doha, Qatar
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

The Hotel and resort are very good. facilities and service are perfect. Food is good, can tend to be a little pricey. Only week point is that as they have a lot of success you may have to wait a bit of time for your room. However the staff is very professional and will do t's best to accomodate you in the best way they can. Theire bloody mary is awsome but don't expect it to be similar to what you have ever tasted. I like the bottle of water that is offered while you are on the beach or on the swimming pool.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
59 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
151 helpful votes 151 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

I stayed at the St Regis for three nights. We arrived at the hotel at 2pm and the check in process seemed fairly clumsy with the hand over between the numerous front of house staff. We were informed our room was not ready and that checkin time was 3pm, we decided to go to the beach and left our mobile number with the promise that we would be contacted when the room was ready. At 5pm we rang the front desk and five minutes later they rang back to say yes our room was available. The rooms are beautifully decorated with high quality fittings and are extremely comfortable. We ordered tea from the butler and waited for our luggage, after two phone calls and an hours wait it eventually arrived. The tea wasn't much quicker. The butler service seems to be much more of a frustration than an asset, it was rather slow and unresponsive, several times we had to ring other departments as the butler phone rang and rang unanswered. All the other hotels we stayed at on this trip had nespresso machines which is much more convenient, if I want a coffee I don't really want to try to track down a butler and then wait half an hour for it. I loved the design of the hotel, and the setting, the beach is stunning. The staff were all polite and said hello, but there was something lacking for me, for a resort hotel it's very formal and had the feel of a city hotel. Valet parking took an age and twice they forgot to bring our car up leaving us hanging around for twenty minutes. However, the concierge team were very helpful. Overall, we had a good stay and I would return, the hotel does have huge potential which it isn't just quite fulfilling.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

This was first stay at the St.Regis, but won't be my last. We booked the Friday Brunch and stay package. I have to say it was fantastic and great value. The hotel was as you would expect from a 5 star chain, the food was great, but it was the staff that made the weekend for me. At brunch Willy our server was very good and never stopped smiling. A beautiful setting and a very relaxed afternoon.
The restaurant manager Georgios was also a credit to the hotel with his attention to detail and service. A great room and a top breakfast, all in all a great weekend. Next time I'm going to take the golf clubs.

Room Tip: Ask for a sea view. Rooms on the 8th floor are outstanding.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

enjoyed a 2 night break in eid holidays in a suite
- amazing view and location
- good service
- beautiful pools
-wide selection of food during buffet night
the highlight of the trip was the kids club which i enjoyed as well as the kids, safety of kids is put first in the pool which they have inside the club, staff one on top of slide and one in the pool to supervise.
- restaurant was crowded because of high season and guests had to wait for a while
- bathroom of a room had a nice view unlike the suite bathroom which does not have a window.
- average afternoon tea experience
will definitely go back just for the kids club

Room Tip: if you are traveling with a group make sure that all rooms on the same wing to avoid changing elevat...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

Echoing many of the other comments here, this is a fabulous physical hotel property, but staff training and attention to detail are falling short of delivering the consistently exceptional service expected at a St. Regis.

First the good:

• The hotel was able to accommodate us for an unexpected early check-in. We had planned to go to the Yas Waterworld waterpark and then check in that afternoon. However, the waterpark was unexpectedly closed due to a private event.
• It’s a beautiful property on a very nice piece of land, with spectacular ocean views and superb grounds and facilities.
• We had an ocean view suite which was spacious, luxurious, and well-appointed.
• The Kids Club was one of the best I have seen anywhere, with both indoor and outdoor sections including a water playground. I did not expect this from a St. Regis, given that the chain is not typically top of mind for families.
• Several spectacular pools, including an adults-only section.
• The food was very good to excellent in terms of both taste and presentation.
• We had reserved a slot for afternoon tea (more on this below), and when we arrived at The Drawing Room, it looked full. However, in the corner at one of the best tables, with the best view, was a “Reserved” sign, which turned out to be for us.
• Food services staff at the pool and for Room Service did a good job setting expectations in terms of when food would be delivered. I was particularly impressed when I mistakenly asked for a glass of Argentine Malbec (the menu offered a Chilean Malbec), but when the food arrived, the Room Service attendant brought a bottle of Argentine Malbec and asked if I might prefer that instead of the Chilean one since that was what I had originally asked for on the phone.
• When I mentioned some of the problems I had at checkout, the staff member handling me (I think named Yevgenia) was empowered enough to instantly remove some charges as compensation.

So, what were these problems? Some of these may seem very nit-picky, but the St. Regis clientele is typically a pretty discerning (and thus nitpicky) bunch.

• After making the reservation online, I was offered an upgrade package that included some extras like afternoon tea at 50% off. I indicated I would take it. However, I had to follow up with the hotel 5 separate times in advance of my arrival in order to finally get someone to confirm this.

During the tea, we ordered 3 different types of tea for 3 of us. However, the waiter got these mixed up. Then he further mixed up the refill pots that matched to each of our cups. When we asked which teapot went with which cup, he got even more confused, got help from a colleague, and she mixed them up even further. In the end, our teas got all blended with each other due to the constantly shifting pots and cups in this game of “musical teas”.

When we got the bill, the discount wasn’t there. The staff didn’t seem to know anything about it, so we had to go to the front desk to get it sorted out. They couldn’t do it on the spot, so they told me to sign the bill for the full price, and that the discount would be taken care of by the time I checked out the following day. However it wasn’t.
• On the day we were driving to the hotel, I called from the car when I was near to ask for directions. The first time I was transferred and then hung up on. The second time I was transferred to 4 different people before someone could help me. I understand that many of the staff would not know how to get to the hotel because they go in company transport. However, the switchboard operator should be trained to transfer calls like this to a specific department (maybe the concierge) who would know.
• We ordered an extra rollaway bed (at $70) at reservation for our daughter. It never came, even after asking. So I called the Butler and asked for some extra blankets. 30 minutes later – nothing. I called again and got them. But we still paid for a rollaway that we never got.
• Due to Yas Waterworld being unexpectedly closed the previous day, I called the following morning to make sure it was open before setting off. I couldn’t get through, so my wife suggested asking the Concierge to do it for us. I called the Concierge, and the response was to give me the phone number I had been calling so I could do it myself.

Since I have lived in the UAE for several years and I was familiar with other reviews of this hotel on Tripadvisor, I would have to say that overall the hotel met my expectations in both the good and the bad. The service shortcomings would likely not happen at a St. Regis in the U.S., however the physical property would also be unlikely to be as beautiful as this one. This is the nature of luxury hotels in this part of the world – tons of investment into “hard” goods like cars and buildings, but they take shortcuts in the “soft” areas like staffing quality and training.

In summary, I liked the hotel and enjoyed my stay. Others planning to go here should go with eyes open and not expect consistent 5 star service. It’s a shame, because with a little extra effort, the hotel might actually live up to their vision of “The St. Regis will be the finest hotel in the world.”

Room Tip: Get an ocean view if you can.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
John_Pelling, General Manager at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, responded to this review, April 8, 2013
Dear Tom,

Thank you for taking the time to share your detailed feedback with us. While I thank you for individually recognizing our strengths, I do apologize for the shortfalls you experienced in service.
Guest feedback is key to our success and we appreciate all the comments provided, which have been addressed with concerned teams. I am confident the next time with us, every aspect you described will deliver the St. Regis bespoke touch.

Kind regards,
John Pelling,
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort

Address: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Location: United Arab Emirates > Emirate of Abu Dhabi > Abu Dhabi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 116 Hotels in Abu Dhabi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort 5*
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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