Chauffeur + Washington Dulles Airport
Dulles to Abu Dhabi Etihad Diamond First
St. Regis Abu Dhabi Nation Towers
Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Saadiyat Island
Abu Dhabi to Male Etihad Pearl Business
Conrad Lounge & Seaplane
Male to Hong Kong Cathay Pacific Business Class
W Hong Kong
Hong Kong Airport
Hong Kong to New York Cathay Pacific First Class
JFK Airport and AA Flagship Lounge
New York to DC American First Class
Hong Kong to Munich Lufthansa First Class
Munich Airport and Lufthansa First Class Lounge
Frankfurt Airport and Lufthansa First Class Terminal
Frankfurt to Washington Dulles Lufthansa First Class
[2 Quick Notes: 1) Not an illusion… I changed the year from 2013 to 2014 in the title because from now on events occurred in 2014. 2) Obviously our return trip changed from HKG-JFK-DCA to HKG-MUC-FRA-IAD since Cara has an unhealthy love affair with Lufthansa]
We took a fairly early cab over from the St. Regis to the Park Hyatt. We had our fill of Abu Dhabi proper and were looking forward to kicking back a little bit and getting “on vacation” after a corniche jog and breakfast.
We arrived around 12 or so, and not surprisingly our room wasn’t ready–I have absolutely no elite status with Hyatt, so I’m sure I was on the bottom of the list for early rooms. They were willing to take a local phone # only (I bought a local SIM) and said they’d call me as soon as the room was available.
So having come prepared (dressed in bathing suits), we made our way to the pool for some R&R and lunch. The pool area is down one level from the main reception and has a large pool deck with a “family” pool and an adults only pool. Unfortunately, while the adults only pool was for adults only, the surrounding pool deck still had plenty of kids around.
The temperatures in January were just perfect — low 80’s during the day and mid 60’s at night with typically very low (at least compared to DC) humidity for the Middle East.
We got lunch at the pool, which was slightly overpriced and very mediocre, and toward the end of lunch the front desk agent called and said our room was ready–about 1:30pm at this point, which is still a good bit before “official” check in time.
We took a swing by the front desk to pick up keys and while she offered to escort us to the room, we refused sure that we could find it on our own. We were given a standard room on the 2nd floor–the same floor as the lobby, but a good hundred yards down the hall at least. When we arrived, our bags were already waiting for us and hanging clothes hanging in the closet.
The room was perfectly spacious and well appointed with a large balcony and very cool bathroom.
While we didn’t have breakfast included in our rate, it was quite good, and probably worth the fairly hefty ~$40 all-in per person charge given what most resorts charge for breakfast these days.
There was a yogurt bar:
…lots of fresh juices and smoothies:
plenty of hot dishes (plus made to order eggs):
…and naturally lots of bread and pastry:
The breakfast was good, though it didn’t blow me away. Breakfast at St. Regis Bali, by comparison, blew me away to the point of stress trying to figure out what I should eat that day. This had all the essentials without being over the top or overwhelming.
We also did run around Saadiyat island a bit and ran through the next-door St. Regis property which looked to have more “going on” and had a small min-mall just adjacent (though part of the property) which would’ve been nice for some semi “outside” food as well as just a convenience store to pick up snacks. If we do return to Saadiyat Island, we’d probably try out the St. Regis next time as it looked a bit nicer.
We did have a few other meals there, and all were much better than the pool snack bar food — big surprise. Serves us right for eating there when the hotel has 4-5 other places to eat…
On the whole, the property was nicely maintained, the room was perfectly adequate and service was friendly and prompt. However, I wouldn’t want to spend more than a few days here, as it’s not truly a luxury beach vacation in the same vein as a St. Regis Bali or Conrad Maldives (coming up). That’s not necessarily a fault of the hotel, but it’s something to consider if you’re planning a week long (or more) holiday here. On the other hand, I wouldn’t hesitate to come back for a 2-3 day stopover.