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“Fabulous hotel and location, as with all 5* UEA hotels not a cheap stay”

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The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort
Ranked #29 of 128 Hotels in Abu Dhabi
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 17, 2013

I stayed here with my husband for 5 nights on our return from Thailand. We are big fans of the UEA and this hotel did not disappoint, with only a few small criticisms.

I am not sure how long this hotel has been open, but the resort seemed very new, with works in progress, but the location is fabulous. It is about a 20 minute drive from the airport, on what seemed to be a man made area/island. It is situated right on the beach with so far very little building work going on - but I am sure this will not be the case for much longer. The hotel is situated in a huge complex, with villas, shops, restaurants being developed. Although the complex is big, the hotel itself is quite compact.

Our room was located on the side of the building, so we didn't have the best view, but could not fault the room itself. The bed was the soooo comfy, slept like a log and I am not a good sleeper! The bathrooms were fabulous, walk-in shower and two sink areas, as well as a big deep bath.

The beach was great, although because of the time of year it was extremely hot, so we preferred to sit round the pool, as the sea is very warm and the pool is better for cooling off! The pool areas are great and the pool lovely, good temperature and spacious. Unfortunately for us (but typical of a hotel off season) they were doing maintenance to the adult pool and we had to share with the children, and being children's holidays there was alot! And alot of the children were with nannies and were very naughty and wild, they gave the life guards a tough time! but we picked an ok spot and avoided them best we could. Pool staff are lovely, very tentative and you get a welcome drink each morning.

I think the biggest weak spot of the hotel was the food. the breakfast buffet was very good, and there was nothing you couldn't have or want. the evening buffet was good, but very samey after a couple of meals. They have several different food stations, with different types of food, which was on the whole good, but not outstanding by any means. The staff were friendly and helpful, service varied between staff and at breakfast Arabic guests definitely got preferential service. Whether this is because they demanded it/expected it, or whether the staff were more inclined to provide this, I am not sure, perhaps a bit of both. We also ate at a couple of the other restaurants, which once again were ok, but we didn't feel that the food was up to the standard of food we have eaten in other 5* hotels or good restaurants around the world, it was more like food you would expect in a good pub/Bistro. This would of been fine, but like all good hotels in UEA the prices were not reflective of the quality of food. one meal we had (one course with water and two aperitifs) was about £90! I don't mind paying alot for food, if the food reflects the price. We had eaten at Breeze at State Tower in Bangkok the night before so our standards were quite high at this point of our trip.

Comparing Abu Dhabi and Dubai I think I preferred Abu Dhabi. It is much quieter and less commercial. There is far more to do in Dubai, but we couldn't do too much in Abu Dhabi because of the temperature. The Mosque is worth a visit - you do need to cover your legs, shoulders and head. There are lots of shops in the city and malls, prices are similar, if not a bit more expensive for certain items. The Heritage village is a let down, it isn't finished and the toilets are third world, so go before you go there! Good views of the city from there though. Would of loved to go to the race track but just too hot when we went.

Culturally i think Dubai is much more westernised and the people are more accepting of westerners. We experienced no pleasantries from people other than those providing a service - taxi drivers, shop keepers etc. It seemed very segregated still. This didn't bother us, but at times we found some people quite rude, for example you would always be expected to move, they would never move, and men are deemed far superior to women, but we have travelled in the UEA several times before so we expect this is a cultural issue that I think you have to expect, even if it is is alien to westerners.

But all in all couldn't really fault this hotel, food could be improved but that is about it. Would also highly recommend Abu Dhabi, it is probably more suited for those looking for a quieter trip than Dubai would offer, I suppose it is what Dubai used to be like.

Room Tip: Ask for a room facing the pool/sea on the front of the hotel.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Joanna T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stregis_Management, General Manager at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded September 21, 2013

Dear Joanna,

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us. Saadiyat is a natural island and home to Hawksbill turtles, an endangered species. While I am delighted to read that you enjoyed the resort’s Mediterranean ease, I am equally disappointed to know that our food and beverage offerings didn’t live up to your expectations. We pride ourselves on the distinctly different yet authentic cuisines and our teams are happy to customize based on preference. I hope on your return we will be able to better suit your needs. We look forward to welcoming you again.

Warm regards,

Max Wiegerinck
Hotel Manager

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Reviewed September 17, 2013

This is a real 5 Star Hotel! Outside of Abu Dhabi but not so far away! You always have a Taxi outside to take you to the city center and with very good price! The staff, beginning with the reception at the main door, Reception itself, Concierge, Main Restaurant and People who cleans the rooms, all of them well trained, kind and always with a kind smile and ready to help us! At the beach and swimming pools the same kind of real professional people! The view towards the beach is something wonderful! I really recommend this for people that come to Abu Dhabi, in holidays or business! Everything is really wonderful not only the hotel building but all the surrounds! I will be back for sure!

Room Tip: If you like a seaside view that is wonderful!!!!
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank OliviaAbuDhabi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stregis_Management, General Manager at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded September 21, 2013

Dear Olivia,

Thank you for sharing your feedback and you complimentary words on our staff. We look forward to welcoming you again very soon.

Warm regards,

Max Wiegerinck
Hotel Manager

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Reviewed September 15, 2013

We spent one overnight here last weekend, as we live in the UAE so it's the closest truly open sea-front exotic, beautiful resort that we can get to. (Others either look out on man-made islands, or a corniche, or other obstacles to a clear sea-view. This one overlooks nothing but open sea.) We had a fabulously relaxing time. The adult-only pool is one of the main delights, with no children or even teens to share our precious holiday with. Thanks to St. R for keeping it that way! The beach is just amazing, the water a deep, clear turquoise, with steady waves to play around in --- not huge rollers, but fun and soooo relaxing. Our room was lovely, though not with a view which we've enjoyed much more on previous stays. The stunning meal of the stay was at Sontaya, the Thai restaurant. Without looking at the menu, we took the advice of our gracious server and enjoyed her suggestions including the special combo appetizer -- an array of specialties, then the seafood stir fry and a mixed veggie side dish. For the two of us it was more than ample, and every bite an adventure in exotic, delicious tastes. The service was impeccable, friendly yet sensitive to our need for privacy. Overall, the whole experience at the St. Regis was top notch, and we have no hesitation recommending it to anyone wanting a total escape to a beautiful place that could easily be in Polynesia, the Caribbean, or the east coast of Africa where the sand is pearly white and the sea a stunning blue. The only difference is, it's right here, close to home. We loved it!

Room Tip: Get there early enough in the day to get a sea view. We arrived too late. All rooms are beautifully...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Bamak0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stregis_Management, General Manager at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded September 17, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your feedback and recommendation. We are delighted to read that your stay at our resort was wonderful and our staff were able to provide you with impeccable service. Also glad to know that the adult pool and Sontaya, our Southeast Asian venue offered you a memorable experience.

We look forward to your return.

Warm regards,

Max Wiegerinck
Hotel Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 14, 2013

On arrival this beautiful property appears to have the St Regis hallmarks- fine location, beautiful structure and legions of helpful friendly staff. Aside from the valets and Concierge we did not encounter a single staff member from the 20-30 or so staff that you walk past each time you go from lobby to room or vice-versa nor from the 8 or so staff we encountered un checkins/ outs , escorts to room etc that appeared to be truly versed in hospitality at such a level. Being SPGs counted for nothing on our first stay which was so disappointing we called to cancel the second stay whereupon we were made promises of being allocated a fab room on our next stay. We mentioned that a Manager had come knocking at our door on the morning of departure asking when we were leaving even though we had informed we would check out an hour later than normal time and 4 hours earlier than the time a SPG member is normally allowed. We have never experienced being 'chased' out of a hotel. But what seemed to happen at this hotel was that for every 5 or so sloppy, inefficient or simply rude staff there would be one very charming and genuinely helpful staff working hard to make up for the shortcomings being created by this oversupply of sub-par crew. And so it was the lovely lady on check out persuaded us to come back to stay in 10 days time in a 'fabulous' and upgraded room.

When we returned the Manager who showed us our fab room did not appear to be concerned that it was right opposite the lifts. In our booking we had expressed the need for a quiet room so when we voiced our doubts instead of considering changing the room she assured us this floor had hardly any guests staying on it and it would be very quiet. It turned out to be the noisiest and most badly insulated room we stayed in during our entire trip of 24 days and 5 hotels in the UAE. We expressed our disappointment but were handed from one staff member to another most of whom did not seem to understand simple English and it became clear that 90% of staff handling guest concerns appear to be lacking in any formal qualifications or training. Its as if the St Regis Saddiyaat has invested in keeping higher numbers of staff rather than paying for more highly qualified personel and this has reduced the quality of stay for the guest and added to the inefficient handling of our complaint which took 6 hours before we finally reached a resolution with another Manager. We were very happy to leave this establishment and would never consider going back under any circumstances. I hope this property is stricken off the St Regis portfolio because the experience has nothing St Regis about it.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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4  Thank grinchee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stregis_Management, General Manager at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded September 21, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us. Please accept our apologies for the dissatisfaction you have expressed as it is indeed not the level of service we aim to deliver to our guests. I however understand a manager from our team met with you prior to departure and all was resolved, including providing you a reimbursement with the hope of opportunity to change your view during your next stay with us. In the interim, should you wish to contact me or discuss further, I remain at your disposal and can be contacted on stregis.saaditay@stregis.com.

Warm regards,

Max Wiegerinck
Hotel Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2013

..to reference the St. Regis Saadyiat for one of the best Hotels we have ever been so far. Our one week stay was definitely beyond our expectation. The staff is extremely helpful and always with a smile. It is obviously that the Management cares about their employees. We were happy to see the staff was well trained even dealing with guest having not the right behavior. The room was clean, very spaceous and of quality. All Restaurants did meet our expectations. Especially dinner in turqoise with perfect drinks didn't want us to think about going back home. To see dolphins off the beach is something you can't get for money. We will definitely be back!

Room Tip: Get a room with no connecting-door unless you really need it so you can avoid any noise.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Xsjado1212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stregis_Management, General Manager at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded September 15, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for rating us highly. It was our privilege to deliver to you on the St. Regis promise of an experience beyond expectation. We look to welcoming you again for another indelible stay.

Warm regards,

Max Wiegerinck
Hotel Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2013

I stayed at St Regis this past weekend and all thought i thoroughly enjoyed most of my 2 night stay, there was a bit that will most likely prevent me from visiting again. My friends and I checked in on a Thursday afternoon hoping to spend the day at the pool, relaxing and enjoying cocktails. There is a adult pool, so to avoid the children we decided to settle there. Although it was quiet (no music, elderly crowd) we made the best of it and settled in a little Jacuzzi corner.To our surprise a manager came to us to tell us that that people are sleeping and we are to whisper. I have been traveling all across Europe and America for years and have never experienced such rude behavior. The manager even decided to lie and say that the alcohol is not being served any more in order for us to leave and go to another part of the resort. The waiters and life guards were terrific and hospitable but the management was unbelievably rude. If you are looking for a fun relaxing resort, this is not te place. Otherwise if you want a quiet stay with 98% over 60 crowd this is the resort to go to (no offense to that demographic).

Room Tip: Ask for a higher sea view room, the view is terrific. Although the breakfast is USD 50, its very del...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Luma M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stregis_Management, General Manager at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded September 15, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for sharing your experience with us and for recognizing our bespoke rooms.

It is disappointing to read that your experience at the adult pool didn’t live up to your expectation and we hope to rectify should you give us another opportunity. In the interim, should you wish to discuss this mater any further, please feel free to contact me on stregis.saadiyat@stregis.com.

Warm regards,

Max Wiegerinck
Hotel Manager

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Reviewed September 7, 2013

Oh my goodness where do I start. We have just returned from the worst hotel experience we have had in many, many years. Here is a brief overview of our stay at the St Regis Saadiyat Island.

1. Check in. We arrived earlier than the designated check in time and were pleased to find that our rooms were ready. However it all went downhill rapidly. Our children as they are over 12 had to have a room of their own. We mistakenly didn't realise that they needed their passports or Emirates ID. The VERY officious check in clerk informed us that the hotel classes any child over 6 years as an adult and they have to provide their ID. He said on this occasion he would make an exception for us and let us check in, although he said he hoped CID did not come and check up on us! The first experience of the hotel was a very robotic experience making us feel as if everyone was doing us a huge favour in allowing us to even walk into the hotel.

2: Access to the adult pool. After passing security guards and having to repeatedly give room numbers we were told we were not allowed in the pool as our children were under 16. I explained that according to the hotel anyone over 12 is classed as an adult and made to pay full adult price for their own room. Also that the check in clerk insisted that anyone over 6 in the hotel is classed as a adult. So within an hour we were given 6,12 and 16 to be classed as adults. Somewhat confusing? I asked why the age of 16? We all know the answer that the adult pool should be a quiet, relaxing area without screaming children. A thing we particularly like as well. No one would actually say this, but gave ridiculous excuses such as it is the depth of the pool and a health and safety requirement. The depth of the pool in the adult area is 1.3m and in the family pool it is 1.2 m, hardly a huge difference. Plus there were so many adults in there incapable of swimming, perhaps based on this excuse Saaidiyat you should insist on some sort of swimming test for all your guests.

3. We ordered food in this area. Oh my goodness. 3 supposed club sandwiches arrived as ordered and were burnt to a crisp. The bread was black. A great mind trick was played at this point, you would think the charcoal like bread to be extremely hot and great caution should be taken when touching it. Wrong! It was cold to the point of refrigeration. The fatty bacon and slab of ice cold chicken within the bed of charcoal came with chips that had obviously been cooked within the previous 20 minutes or so as they were Luke warm. After asking for the manager, she agreed that they were unacceptable. After the normal token apologies she continued to offer many alcoholic alternatives, from cocktails to a bottle of wine at dinner. No, we didn't want anything free just the meal we ordered to be hot and edible in the first place. In fairness she did then take the meals off the bill.

4: I ordered a latte later and although it was a lovely coffee I was rather surprised to find it served in a tea pot accompanied by a rather dirty cup.

5: Breakfast. Oh dear! The coffee, cold. The scrambled eggs, a slimy uncooked mess. We queued for a table, waited for the said table to be cleared repeatedly.

6: family pool area. After ordering simple soft drinks and waiting 35 minutes for them to arrive, my husband asked where they were. It turns out they were forgotten! The manager again came over and was very sweet and again offered free drinks.

The rooms are lovely and bathrooms are of a wonderful design. One small point is that there is no dressing table or anywhere you can sit in front of a mirror to do hair or makeup.

The pool area other than the service is a lovely space with again great design features.

The hotel seems to have real staff issues, everyone with the exception of 1 lady is so miserable. The staff are badly trained and all look so, so unhappy.

We are so privileged to have wonderful hotels in the UAE offering wonderful staff, service and experiences. This is certainly not one of them. It is overpriced and most definitely offers no value for money or feel good factor. As far as the 'Butler' goes, it is a person on the end of the phone... Nothing more.

To the manager, please do not offer more apologies, we have listened to them all weekend. We didn't want any apologies just a lovely relaxed break in which to celebrate my husbands birthday. It was a shambles and a ruined birthday experience.

Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
10  Thank its2hot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stregis_Management, General Manager at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded September 15, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us. It is a pity that we didn’t manage to meet your expectations and for this, I am sorry as this is certainly not the level of service we aim to deliver to our guests. It is indeed a policy UAE on children over 12 requiring identification for a second room confirmation. And age 16 and above is also a stipulated age for ‘adult access to adult pool and spa’ The family pool has no age criteria. I do apologize if the teams could not clearly articulate this for you.

Should you wish to discuss further, I will be happy to meet with you during your next time in Abu Dhabi. In the interim, I remain at your disposal and can be contacted on stregis.saaditay@stregis.com.

Warm regards,

Max Wiegerinck
Hotel Manage

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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 ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #29 of 128 Hotels in Abu Dhabi
Price Range: $300 - $1,236 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 377
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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