We stayed in this hotel for 2 nights. Overall, we had a great time and enjoyed our stay. There were some negative points, however.
The hotel itself is beautiful, minimalist and classy. The location is fantastic. We were very happy with the room, nice and big at 50m2. The bed was comfortable. The facilities in the room were great, nice Nespresso machine. I would have liked a larger choice of teas, including some herbal teas. The lighting system was complicated and it took a long time to figure out which switches controlled what. The bathroom was amazing with rain water shower and free-standing bathtub. Not enough drawers or storage space though. The balcony was great, with a lovely daybed. The balcony overlooked the pools, gardens and the sea.
The sea at Saadiyat Island is turquoise and crystal clear. It was windy when were there and there were some pebbles on the sandy beach. By the morning, they had all gone with the help of a tractor seen sweeping the sand. Apparently, turtles hatch on the beach (the info at the hotel said between May and July), gazelles come onto the beach and dolphins can be seen off shore. We, sadly, saw none of these. We did, however, see plenty of people walking along to the hotel beach from the public beach next door. It seems that they can't put up a fence to keep the sections of the beach separate because of the danger to the aforementioned gazelles and turtles.
The pool area is set in gardens. Everything is wonderfully clean and well maintained. The pools themselves, are a little disappointing. There is an adults only pool which is nice. However, the other pools are too shallow and small and really quite boring. There is a children's pool, which is nothing more than a paddling pool. They should put in a kid's slide into a deeper pool to keep them interested. There is a bad policy of letting people reserve sunbeds from the early morning, even if they don't turn up until 4pm! The pool attendants are attentive, towels and free cold water is plentiful. They even come around every couple of hours or so with free juices or fruit kebabs (a nice touch). The kids club was nice and the kids made cookies there in the morning. The rest of the activities are a bit basic, suited to pre-school kids, which is odd as the kids club only takes kids from 6-12.
What lets this hotel down is the food in the restaurants. The food at breakfast is basic and limited in choice. At dinner, we had a bar-b-que by the sea. The food was awful, meat overcooked and salads and deserts limited. The service in the hotel is also slow with check-in and check-out taking more than half an hour at none busy times. The hotel also refused a request for a late check-out - even insisting that we check out an hour earlier than was advertised! We had to argue to be able to check out at 1pm.
Overall, a really lovely hotel. It just needs some improvements in food and service to be amazing!
Ask for a room with a sea view. Don't take one of the bungalows, they are miles away and don...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Thank you for your detailed review and I am pleased you enjoyed your stay. Your comments on the room are great to hear as well as we worked long and hard to make them a little different but comfortable and luxurious. Next time you come, please let us note what teas you like and we will have them set up for you in the room. I am really disappointed you did not see a gazelle or a dolphin. The gazelles mostly live on the golf course but the dolphins are near daily visitors to this part of the beach which is partly why the hotel was the first on the island – to get this section of the beach to maximize dolphin viewing and for the quality and depth of the sand. I am not sure I agree on your room tip though as these villas are the most popular, so peaceful and tend to be the most in demand. Finally, let me apologize that you had trouble getting a late checkout till one. Although the hotel is busy we should have been able to do that. I hope to see you back.
Stuart Deeson, General Manager
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.