This stunning hotel is an opulent statement positioned on the iconic Corniche of Abu Dhabi and is the perfect spot for work, rest or play…
As the saying goes, ‘you only get one chance to make a first impression.’ Luckily for the St. Regis Abu Dhabi the hotel’s lobby is so spectacular that even the most jaded person would appreciate it. We are already impressed upon arrival, but for a hotel with 790 chandeliers we are not overly surprised. This luxury hotel evokes an art deco theme, bringing the distinctive St. Regis New York legacy to the UAE. The property cleverly manages to merge Arabic décor with classic St Regis style resulting in one very opulent hotel.
The amazing lobby with its crystal chandeliers and diamond accents are a tribute to Mrs. Astor, mother of The St. Regis Founder John Jacob Astor, who had a great love of jewellery. We can only dream that one day someone will build such a grand entrance attributed to us.
The hotel is situated between the 33rd and 49th floors of the prominent Nation Towers building. Each of the hotel’s 283 guestrooms are beautifully designed and furnished exuding an air of Upper East Side glamour mixed with traditional Arabic artwork. All rooms include magnificent views of the corniche and are simply breathtaking.
We were shown to our room and were greeted by our very own butler. The St. Regis butler service is a signature of the hotel’s experiences throughout all its branches and is one of the wonderful things that sets this hotel apart. Coffee and tea were arranged and served to us in the room, and any other arrangements were made. This was a pleasant touch and instantly made us feel welcome. Our room was filled with all the creature comforts that you would expect from a luxury hotel. The huge white marble bathroom boasts a rain shower and a huge bathtub with a bath ritual menu on offer should you want some serious soaking time. The bed was large and unbelievably comfortable, just perfect for a five-star snooze.
If you don’t feel like fighting traffic to cross the road to access the hotel’s exclusive Nation Riviera Beach Club, that’s OK as they’ve built an underground walkway for
easy access. We take a dip at the beach (yes, they have their own private beach) and spend some time in the gorgeous pool that has a popular swim up bar. You can easily while away a full day here and it really makes you feel like you’ve had a holiday.
If you are looking for pure relaxation then a visit to Remède Spa is an absolute must. The Remède Spa brand is well known in New York, San Francisco and Singapore,
and the branch here certainly impresses. The stunning spa is a real sanctuary for guests looking to unwind in one of the 11 treatment rooms, the wet area (it features
an amazing jacuzzi leave – must try) or the relaxation lounge where a menu of exotic teas is offered.
“The rooms are beautiful and spacious, with lots of white marble
and it follows the hotel’s Art Deco theme”
The rooms are beautiful and spacious, with lots of white marble and it follows the hotel’s Art Deco theme. After we’ve slipped into a sumptuous robe we are ushered to the Aloe treatment room by our lovely therapist, and choose the muscle relaxation oil for our Remède customised massage which has a sharp clove and orange scent designed for tired muscles. Being a customised massage, this treatment allows for you to have your needs really focused on.
We ask for a deep tissue massage and our therapist works at our tired and knotted muscles using stretching techniques and strong strokes to thoroughly relax us. A great deal of attention is paid to our very sore upper back and neck where there is a lot of deep-seated tension. The whole is experience is blissful and we feel soothed from the lovely orange & clove oil.
Then it’s time for our Remède Spa facial which is personalised to suit our dry skin, using products from the Remède brand which feel fresh and hydrating. Our lackluster skin is triple-cleansed, assessed and followed by a spot of microdermabrasion, a facial massage, foot massage and some extractions. A thick hydrating mask before the facial is finished off with an oxygen treatment to plump up the skin. We feel completely refreshed and our skin is glowing. We finish the treatment by reclining on a day bed in the relaxation room with lemongrass tea and fruit, looking out over the Corniche.
After all that indulgence we’ve really worked up an appetite so we decide to try Villa Toscana, the hotel’s signature Italian restaurant. Be sure to enjoy a classic aperitivo at the bar before you eat, it’s all old world class and pure sophistication. The restaurant can be summed up as rustic Italian fare in an elegant setting. The décor consists of dark timber and has a slight masculine feel. It almost feels like you are enjoying your meal in someone’s grand but intimate dining room. This suddenly makes sense when it’s explained to us that the restaurant’s design is inspired by a Tuscan villa, to create the feel of visiting the home of an Italian noble at his summer residence where family and friends meet.
The staff are mostly Italian and are super friendly and knowledgeable. And the food? Take your seat and prepare to have your socks blown off. The menu is vast consisting of entrees, pizza & pasta and main dishes all described with Italian flare. We start with the buffalo mozzarella and tomato salad and the spicy king prawns.
The salad is served as a large portion of perfectly ripe tomatoes, pesto and possibly the best buffalo mozzarella we’ve ever tasted. The prawns arrive in a cute cast-iron pot, perfectly cooked with delicious flavours of buttery garlic and accompanied by focaccia croutons.
“The restaurant can be summed up as rustic Italian fare in an elegant setting. The décor consists of dark timber and has a slight masculine feel”
For the main event we simply couldn’t go past the pasta dishes as they just sound so tempting. We settle on the agnolotti with oxtail and the lamb ragu with pappardelle. The oxtail agnolotti is served in a traditional brass pan and looks sensational. The filling is gloriously rich with pistachios added into the meaty mixture within and it’s dressed with a delicious porcini mushroom sauce. The pappardelle Siena style consisted of lamb ragu dolceforte with sage and toasted pine nuts and was a fantastic combination. The pappardelle itself was handmade in the kitchen and cooked perfectly (just a little al dente) while the ragu dolceforte was dark and rich in flavour without being overpowering and the toasted pine nuts gave it a great texture. To top it off, a succulent, perfectly cooked French lamb cutlet accompanied the pappardelle. Overall a great example of traditional Tuscan cooking. We finished this delightful meal with the restaurant’s sumptuous Magnum Tiramisu (essentially a magnum shaped ice-cream filled with delicious tiramisu). Such a brilliant idea and the perfect end to the meal.
Afterwards we visit The St. Regis Bar which looks like a room out of The Great Gatsby’s mansion. You can almost feel Leonardo Di Caprio throwing his “cool, beautiful shirts” over the mock balcony. The space consists of rugged interiors, with towering bookshelves and parquet flooring. The solid oak walls and heavy masculine furniture call for the hotel’s signature drink, the St. Regis Bloody Mary which was first introduced at the original St. Regis in New York by Fernand Petiot in 1934.
The St. Regis Abu Dhabi is the perfect place to stay given its central location and amazing facilities. The thing that truly sets it apart though is the warm and genuinely staff. Nothing is too much trouble and you feel well and truly looked after in the most magnificent surroundings.