The beauty of Abu Dhabi over Dubai for a Uk/European stop over is the ease of getting in and out of the airport and into your hotel pool!
We were in our car within half an hour and whizzed to the St Regis on Saadiyat Island – the perfect place to recharge the batteries after winter in Sydney! Although I would rethink the time of year next time – summer very is too hot! It actually got to 43 degrees on our first day…
If you do find yourself here in summer, book into a larger room with the big freestanding bathtub by the window overlooking the pool and a lounge by the bedroom window… so when you need some time in the aircon you still feel like you’re outside.
Where to eat?
Hakkasan. For Sydneysiders, this is like a sexier version of Mr Wongs with gorgeous wooden enclaves and gorgeous blue and rich wood colours. We have a little cool corner hideaway which is welcome after the overwhelming heat outside. The food is luxury cantonese and we opt for the set menu with incredible dumplings and the wagyu beef. To top it off, the service is exceptional and the cocktails are special and spicy rather than sweet…even my mocktail! Massively recommend Hakkasan.
From St Regis, Hakkasan is a circa 20 minute taxi to the opulent Emirates Palace (the most expensive hotel built in the world!) where you’ll find the restaurant. Taxi’s are super cheap so doesn’t cost much.
Sontoya. The restaurant is named after the sunset and is the picture perfect spot for sundowners and dinner on the floating decks overlooking the Arabian golf. Very special setting and we’re spoilt with a gorgeous sunset in every shade of pink. The food is Thai style and the prawn salad to start was my pick along with the massaman short rib curry.
May be slightly warm outside in summer – we were topping our Rosé up with ice and dawdling in the aircon inside. A place by the window with the aircon may be the best bet for summertime.
What to do?
Iridium spa @ St Regis. An absolute retreat from the heat this gorgeous spa is worth every penny for an afternoon of pampering. I had a 90 minute treatment and their relaxation area is perfect for getting your zen on!
If it doesn’t involve hanging in the pool, loosing yourself in a book on the window lounge, lazing in the bath, eating of spending the afternoon in the spa….. I can’t help you!