YOU WOULDN’T BE MISTAKEN FOR THINKING THAT YOU’VE WALKED INTO A PALACE WHEN YOU STEP INTO THE GRAND LOBBY OF THE ST. REGIS ABU DHABI. IT’S REGAL INTERIORS IS THE BEST SURPRISE CONSIDERING THAT THE BUILDING’S EXTERIOR IS JUST ANOTHER HIGH-RISE, AN ICONIC ONE AT THAT. FACT’S ALLY MAC SPENT AN INCREDIBLE WEEKEND AT THE 5-STAR PROPERTY AND WAS TRULY BLOWN AWAY…
I have just spent the most amazing weekend at the 5-star St. Regis Abu-Dhabi. Located on the corniche, it’s not only got one of the best addresses in the UAE capital but it’s also the epitome of what you’d expect from a fine St. Regis hotel, and then some! Walking into the hotel lobby, will have you stop short of breath as you’re greeted with huge low-hanging Arabian lantern-inspired chandeliers and two ornate bronze grand staircases, sweeping away from each other as they round the twin majestic pillars that frame the lobby lounge and some very cosy tucked reading areas. It certainly had the wow factor on first impressions as well as a home away from home feel to it.
At check-in, I was also offered a thirst-quenching blueberry drink and within moments was shown to my room on the 38th floor. Entering the Grand Deluxe Suite, my first though was “quick, phone, need to insta it ALL!” and when I finally got my fill of social media sharing, I took a step back and fell onto the comfy bed to admire my surroundings. It was pretty sweet.
The room is extremely spacious and chic adorned in marble and custom furniture, and decked out with state-of-the arttechnology – a blend of classic and contemporary that went so well together. The best bit… the freestanding bathtub and separate shower area with jet massage – just take a bath every day and thank us later. The signature St. Regis bed (and linen) was such a dream to sleep in; much-needed siestas became my way of life for three days. Heavenly! The whole suite has floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the room and being so high up means that you get the most amazing sights of the sea and the city – again, instagram-ready shots. There’s something fun about spotting tiny little people around the place… and so a personal creation of ’Where’s Wally’ ensued every time I looked out of the window! There’s also plenty of space to lounge around as a separate living area is nicely partitioned from the bedroom using a beautifully placed wall. In other words, you’ve got a good amount of space to play with!
The service was bespoke without being intrusive and I had my own personal butler called Rahul who offered to unpack my luggage (and packed it when I leave) – a lovely personalised touch! With the St. Regis Butler Service, you can call up your butler for anything – coffee, pressing of clothes, dining reservations or even to get more information about Abu- Dhabi. Two complimentary pressings is included with the room and coffee/tea is complimentary. The bathroom is also filled with small touches that made my stay just perfect. For starters, most of the mirrors in the beautiful bathroom are heated and this means that you won’t have to deal with fogged-up mirrors even when taking a hot shower (hey, it’s the little things that count). My bathtub experience was made even better with the existence of a television – yes. A screen that is hidden in the mirror! Why bother trying to position your bathtub so that you can look out into the TV in the room when you can just build a television into the bathroom mirror, right?
I spent most of my afternoon alternating between deep soaking in the tub, the day bed by the window and dipping in and out of the pool and beach at The Nation Riviera Beach Club, which sits across from the property and offers guests private access through an under ground walking tunnel to the beach and swimming pool. Breakfast was served at the beautiful Terrace on the Corniche. There was a huge choice of healthy green spreads to really letting go and enjoying all the other delights such as a pancake section, omelette station, classic English breakfast, you name it, this breakfast had it! I can also confirm that I’ve now had the best eggs benedict of my life. That’s it. Game over. In the evening it was time for dinner at Villa Toscana, the hotel’s Italian restaurant.
My first greeting was from Giuseppe Palmieri, the charming restaurant manager who welcomed me in with open arms! The restaurant had an old Italian villa feel, with an open kitchen letting you watch the chefs do their magic. The décor is dark walnut furnishings with high ceilings and chandeliers. The central dining room with it’s shuttered windows and painted murals is the focal point of the restaurant. Within a few minutes of sitting down I was presented a traditional Sardinian flat bread, fresh from the oven, with a trio of homemade pastes – hello, carbs! The menu at Villa Toscana represents a traditional, culinary path through Italy. I decided to let Giuseppe take control of my menu choices!
For my starter, I had a Bresaola Salad, which was incredibly refreshing and full of flavor. My second plate of Italian goodness was three pasta cones that looked like little fluffy pillows of deliciousness! I absolutely loved the subtlety and freshness of flavours. To wrap up, the dessert choice was firmly one of the traditional Italian favourites and a Villa Toscana standout – the Magnum Tiramisu ice creams. It was out of this world; creamy and balanced in sweetness. The food most definitely married perfectly with the rustic surroundings!
DON’T MAKE ME LEAVE
I love how The St. Regis Abu Dhabi felt so exclusive and how the entire property was so inviting from the moment I walked in. After two luxurious nights at the hotel where the staff made me feel at home every minute of the stay, it was time to pack my things and check out. All the while, I was thinking “how can I get them to let me live here permanently?” If you’re planning a trip to Abu Dhabi, I genuinely recommend this hotel. For me, it’s the definition of pure luxury with great facilities, impeccable restaurants and an amazing beach. Shout out to the dreamy beds too! The suite life got me good – now it’s your turn to get taken by this 5-star hospitality heaven
GO: Call (0)2 694 4444 for reservations and more information.