Jasmin: I love when a good deal turns out to be even more terrific than originally thought!
My 3 kids and I just spent 2 nights at the fabulous St. Regis Abu Dhabi. And it was a bargain compared to other St. Regis locations. Plus, it was our first St. Regis experience, which made the stay even more special.
I’ll share why I chose the St. Regis Abu Dhabi for our (too short) stay!
Pay Fewer Points Than Most Other St. Regis Locations
Link: St. Regis Hotels
Link: St. Regis Abu Dhabi
Most St. Regis locations are Starwood Category 6 or Category 7 hotels, which cost 20,000 to 35,000 Starwood points per night. For example, team member Keith spent 30,000 Starwood points per night when he stayed at the St. Regis Bali on his honeymoon.
But there are a handful of St. Regis hotels in lower categories, including the Category 5 St. Regis Abu Dhabi. I paid just 12,000 Starwood points per night for a room with a nightly rate of over $400!
I liked that the hotel was located near downtown, but had a beach club and kid-friendly, resort-style pools. Folks on TripAdvisor gave it high marks for incredible service and food. And although the nearby St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort also gets amazing reviews, it comes with a much steeper price tag at 25,000 Starwood points per night.
I really wanted to treat the kids to an over-the-top experience. They were particularly excited about having a butler! So this was a perfect opportunity to splurge on a St. Regis stay without breaking the (points) bank.
But that’s not the only reason I booked the St. Regis Abu Dhabi.
Finding an Award Night for a Family of 4 Was Challenging
If you travel in North America, it’s usually pretty easy to find award rooms that accommodate a family of four. Most major chains, for example, have the option to book a standard room with 2 double or 2 queen beds.
However, hotels overseas are a different story. When I began searching for award rooms for our stay, every single chain only allowed 2 to 3 people in a standard room. I even searched family-friendly brands, like Staybridge Suites, and had no luck. Grr!
But the St. Regis Abu Dhabi (and other Starwood hotels in the area) included this blurb on the award booking screen:
All my kids are under the age limit. And I don’t mind sharing a king bed with them, because they’re still little and like to snuggle with mommy (for now!) anyway. So even though the standard award room at the St. Regis Abu Dhabi officially only accommodates 3 people, I went ahead and booked it with the family policy in mind.
Upon arrival, the check-in agent saw I was traveling with 3 children, and upgraded us to a much more spacious superior 2 double bed room with sweeping views of the sea and downtown. I didn’t even have to ask! It was such a pleasant surprise!
I’m not sure if it was on account of having Starwood Gold status, but we also received lovely chocolate cake shortly after settling into our room. And the next day, our butler brought complimentary hot chocolate, and a beautiful fruit tray was waiting for us on return from the pool. The kids were positively thrilled.
This is definitely a family-friendly hotel! I’ll share my full review of the St. Regis Abu Dhabi in a future post.
While most luxury St. Regis Hotels cost 20,000 to 35,000 Starwood points per night, there are a few that are much cheaper.
The kids and I just finished an incredible stay at the St. Regis Abu Dhabi. On top of the wonderful service and gorgeous room, it was very reasonably priced with points. A 2-night stay worth over $800 cost only 12,000 Starwood points per night.
We loved the family-friendly vibe and caring staff. I’ll share more details in a later post, but the kids are already asking “When can we go back?”
Have you stayed at a St. Regis with your family? Please share your experience in the comments!
Come back each Wednesday for a new installment in our Family Travel series!