Review: Total Luxury and Incredible Service at the St. Regis Abu Dhabi (With 3 Kids in Tow!)

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Million Mile Secrets St. Regis Abu Dhabi Review

  • Hotel and Amenities:   A+ for luxury atmosphere and terrific beach club for children and adults
  • Room:   A+ for spaciousness, view, and amazing bathroom
  • Service:   A+ for flawless, empathetic, kid-friendly staff
  • Food:   A for quality, variety, and presentation (albeit a little pricey)
  • Value With Points:   A for one of the lowest-priced St. Regis locations to book with Starwood points!

Jasmin:   I’m usually one to avoid splurging on fancy hotels with the kids, because I prefer to stretch my points for longer stays at more budget-friendly spots.  But during a stop in Abu Dhabi enroute to the Philippines, I redeemed fewer Starwood points than you might think at the super-luxurious St. Regis Abu Dhabi.

For just 12,000 Starwood points per night, we got a 2-night stay worth over $800.  Most St. Regis locations charge 25,000 to 30,000 Starwood points for a standard room.  So I jumped at the opportunity to experience a top St. Regis hotel for a very reasonable price!

St Regis Abu Dhabi Review
Feeling a Bit Like a Princess at the St. Regis Abu Dhabi – the Entrance Is Rumored to Have Been Modeled After the Titanic

I’ll share my St. Regis Abu Dhabi review!

St. Regis Abu Dhabi Review With a Family of Four

Link:   St. Regis Abu Dhabi

Link:   A Luxury, Family-Friendly St. Regis Hotel for WAY Fewer Points Than You’d Expect!

1.   Easy Check-In, a Room Upgrade, and Treats!

We arrived at ~1:00 pm after a long flight on Etihad from New York (JFK).  Instead of a standard counter, there are several desks in a lounge area where staff assist guests with checking in.  While we waited, an employee brought out a tray of welcome fruit drinks for the kids and me.

St Regis Abu Dhabi Review
The Kids Liked That They Could Relax in Comfy Chairs While Mommy Took Care of Getting Checked In!

The agent helping us immediately offered a complimentary upgrade to a Superior Seaview Room with 2 beds so that we’d have more space.  The standard room I’d booked only came with a king bed, so I appreciated getting an upgrade without even asking.

I have Starwood Gold elite status (matched from Marriott Gold), which probably didn’t hurt, either!

After checking-in, we were escorted to our room on the 42nd floor, and our luggage soon followed.  The view was incredible!

St Regis Abu Dhabi Review
Lots of Oohs and Aahs From the Kids When We Saw the View From Our Room!

Shortly after settling in, the doorbell rang.  It was our butler with a surprise gift – a slice of rich, dark chocolate cake with a welcome message from the hotel.

St Regis Abu Dhabi Review
Clearly the Hotel Is Familiar With the Fastest Way to a Kid’s Heart – Chocolate!

The kids were positively delighted and felt like VIPs.  And loved the fact that we had our own butler!

2.   A Luxurious Room With Plenty of Space for All

While smaller than a junior suite, the Superior Sea View room we were upgraded to had a ton of space.  Including a sitting area with a large couch and massive windows to take in the scenery.

St Regis Abu Dhabi Review
There Was Plenty of Space to Run Around (As Evidenced by My Son in the Background) and Spread Out

The kids said the 2 beds were almost too fancy to “wreck” by sleeping in them!  The hotel calls these “twin” beds, but they’re about the size of a double.

St Regis Abu Dhabi Review
“I’ll Just Sleep on Top of the Sheets, Mom!” (No You Won’t) ?

The most impressive part of the room was the bathroom, which was decked out in marble and even had a chandelier!  And the kids had never seen a TV screen built into a mirror before.

St Regis Abu Dhabi Review
The Kids Got a Kick Out of the Fact You Could Watch TV While Brushing Your Teeth

The girls in particular were excited by the extra-deep soaker tub, which was later used for a bubble bath of towering proportions.

St Regis Abu Dhabi Review
Even Mommy Got a Turn Relaxing in the Huge Soaker Tub

One of the things I enjoy most about traveling with the kids is seeing things through their eyes from a fresh perspective.  A certain bathroom fixture caused them much puzzlement (and amusement trying to figure out what it was for and how it worked!).  I said nothing … until there was water everywhere.  🙂

St Regis Abu Dhabi Review
“Um, Mom? There’s Something Really Weird in the Bathroom!”

The kids pronounced the room “the best they’d ever stayed in!”  But they were even more impressed with the service from our butlers.  At St. Regis hotels, every guest gets personalized butler service, which includes:

  • Complimentary coffee and tea service in your room
  • Assistance with packing and unpacking
  • Pressing clothes and shining shoes
  • Turn-down service
  • … and anything else you might need help with!

They’re ready to help at any hour of the day, which we experienced firsthand when we all woke up at 4:00 am due to jet lag on our first night.  I rang the butler looking for coffee, but mentioned I had 3 kids who were angling for a hot chocolate as well.  Not long after, our super-friendly butler arrived with our requests.  The kids were thrilled!

St Regis Abu Dhabi Review
The Kids Made a New Friend! Our Butler Was Ready to Help, Even at Such an Early Hour

Normally, there’d be a fee for hot chocolate.  But when I mentioned it was for the kids, they waived the charge.

St Regis Abu Dhabi Review
Hot Chocolate in Fancy Teacups at 4:00 am for the Win!

Later the same day, after returning from the beach club, our butler surprised us with a lovely tray of fresh fruit in the room.

St Regis Abu Dhabi Review
A Welcome Treat From Our Butler When We Returned From an Afternoon at the Pool

The butlers also polished my and my son’s shoes and pressed a couple of shirts for us before we left on our next flight.  What a treat!

3.   Exploring the Hotel and Beach Club (Great for Kids!)

The St. Regis Abu Dhabi is located in Nation Towers, a skyscraper complex on The Corniche, a beachfront road with parks, trails, and restaurants.  While the lobby and most of the restaurants are located on the lower floors, the rooms themselves are high up on the 33rd to 49th floors.

St Regis Abu Dhabi Review
Overlooking the Elegant Lobby at the St. Regis Abu Dhabi

There’s a smaller rooftop pool and lounge / bar area on the 3rd floor, which was very quiet and shady, with hardly anyone around.

St Regis Abu Dhabi Review
The 3rd Floor Pool Was Nearly Deserted – Likely Because the Beach Club Is SO Much More Impressive

To get to the main pool, you have to walk through a tunnel under The Corniche to the Nation Riviera Beach Club.  It’s a bit of a hike between riding the elevators down, walking under the road, and emerging on the other side of the street.  But it’s worth it!

St Regis Abu Dhabi Review
Make the Walk Under the Corniche to Spend Time at the Beach Club, Which Has an Immense Pool, Restaurant, and Swim-Up Bar

The kids enjoyed a relaxing afternoon hanging around the pool …

St Regis Abu Dhabi Review
The Nation Towers, Which Include the Hotel Proper, Are Across the Street From the Beach Club

… enjoying a delicious lunch and lounging in our own cabana …

St Regis Abu Dhabi Review
We Enjoyed Tasty, Reasonably-Priced Kids’ Meals in a Private Cabana at the Beach Club

… and horsing around on the white-sand beach.

St Regis Abu Dhabi Review
The Beach Was Well-Maintained, but It’s Not on the Open Water so There’s Not Much in the Way of Waves

I liked that the beach was super-private and had lots of cabanas and comfy loungers for relaxing.

St Regis Abu Dhabi Review
Plenty of Shady Spots and Areas for Chilling Out

There’s even a kids’ club with a small wading pool and waterslide in the style of a pirate ship.  My kids were a little too old for this, but I can see how families with toddlers and babies would appreciate it!

St Regis Abu Dhabi Review
The Littlest Members of the Family Even Get Their Own Pool

There’s also a jacuzzi, fitness room, and the Cabana Beach Bar and Grill where you can grab a light meal or drinks.

4.   Incredible Food Choices (but It’s NOT Cheap)

Like many high-end hotels, the St. Regis Abu Dhabi is known for its top restaurants and delicious food.  Not surprisingly, the prices are quite high (although children’s meals are typically ~50% of the adult price).

They also offer themed meals and buffet dinners throughout the week.  And apparently they have one of the best brunches in Abu Dhabi, which costs ~$93 per adult without drinks!  (We didn’t try it).

We saved money by eating a couple of meals at the Marina Mall (a short drive away) and Nation Galleria Mall, which is attached to the hotel.  But we did splurge on one a la carte dinner and an extravagant breakfast at The Terrace on the Corniche, the hotel’s smart casual restaurant.

St Regis Abu Dhabi Review
My Daughter Said the Roast Chicken She Had at the St. Regis Abu Dhabi Is the Best She’s Ever Had … I Have to Agree!

We were most impressed with the breakfast.  It’s only free for Starwood Platinum elite members, but children are half price and Starwood Preferred Guest members get a 20% discount.

The breakfast included an expansive buffet with just about anything you could imagine.  Plus, you could order a single a la carte item from the menu.

St Regis Abu Dhabi Review
We Skipped the a la Carte Items and Pigged Out at the Buffet Instead

The kids were impressed by the real honeycomb!

St Regis Abu Dhabi Review
We’d Never Seen Real Honeycomb in a Breakfast Buffet Before – Cool!

My son made short work of a massive crepe topped with Nutella and gummy bears.

St Regis Abu Dhabi Review
Do NOT Get Used to Gummy Bears for Breakfast, Kid

Meanwhile, the girls enjoyed choosing from a huge selection of yogurts, granola, chia puddings, and the like.

St Regis Abu Dhabi Review
Decisions, Decisions! It Was Hard to Narrow Breakfast Down to Just a Few Items

I especially enjoyed the Middle Eastern options and loaded up my plate with dishes like ful medames, shaksuka, and croissants dusted with zataar.  Amazing!

St Regis Abu Dhabi Review
I Only Wish There Was Room to Sample Everything! The Zataar Croissants Were Especially Awesome

Breakfast for the 4 of us, including child pricing and the 20% Starwood discount, came to 300 dirhams (~$82).  That’s far more than I’d normally shell out for a family breakfast.  But given we’d gotten our stay for free and had eaten cheaply at McDonald’s the night before, I didn’t feel too badly about indulging.  🙂

You Can Do It, Too!

Earning Starwood points for a similar stay is easiest with the welcome bonus and spending on the American Express Starwood Preferred Guest cards:

And keep in mind, because of the Marriott – Starwood merger, you can transfer Marriott points to Starwood at a 3:1 ratio.  So it’s also worth considering the Chase Marriott cards for Starwood stays:

But heads up!  There’s a big shakeup coming to the Marriott and Starwood loyalty programs.  We should know more by next week, but I’ve read rumors online about major changes to award pricing and elite status tiers.  Nothing’s confirmed yet, other than they’ll be making an announcement next week.

St Regis Abu Dhabi Review
Do the Impending Marriott – Starwood Loyalty Program Changes Mean Pricing for Award Nights at Hotels Like the St. Regis Abu Dhabi Will Change? Stay Tuned!

If you’re considering any of the Starwood or Marriott cards, I’d think about applying sooner than later.  Because with mergers like this, it’s almost guaranteed the hotels’ credit card products will change.

Here’s our series on earning and using Starwood points.

Bottom Line

The kids and I had an outstanding experience at the St. Regis Abu Dhabi, and at a much lower award price than other St. Regis locations.  I spent a total of 24,000 Starwood points for 2 nights worth over $800.

We truly felt like VIPs in our upgraded room with butler service and extra goodies like welcome cake, a fruit plate, and hot chocolate delivered at 4:00 am!

And the gorgeous beach club and incredible food made it a stay to remember.  Everyone we encountered was kind and genuine, and especially caring towards the kids.  It’s no wonder St. Regis is continually ranked as one of the world’s best hotel brands.

I don’t regret splurging on an unforgettable experience.  And I’d love to hear about your family’s experiences at hotels like the St. Regis!

Come back each Wednesday for a new installment in our Family Travel series!

Jasmin Baron was an editor at Million Mile Secrets. She covers topics on points and miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels, and general travel. Her work has appeared in The Points Guy and Business Insider.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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