Review: St. Regis Abu Dhabi (They Outed Me as a Blogger)

Previous installments:

I had just an overnight in Abu Dhabi. Normally if I’m getting in late at night and leaving the next morning I’ll stay at the Premier Inn attached to the airport. It’s a bit dorm-like but it’s clean and close.

However this time I was landing before 1pm and it was Valentine’s Day. I wanted something a bit nicer and didn’t mind heading farther afield since I had a layover of about 19 hours. I settled on the St. Regis Abu Dhabi.

Part of my reason for choosing this hotel was nothing more than that I’ve really liked photos of the grand staircase at the entrance.

Although the hotel is reasonably good about upgrading Starwood Platinum members I decided to burn a Suite Night Award for the one night upgrade. I figured that a suite here would be nicer than at my usual hotels stateside where they’re basically just double rooms.

I wouldn’t be able to take advantage of breakfast because of my morning flight to the Maldives, I’d really just use the hotel for sleeping.

Still, it was a beautiful comfortable property, I had a lovely room, and there were some great views. I didn’t have to step down too far from my flight in the Etihad First Apartment.

The hotel is a long drive up to a tall building.

The hotel is gorgeous, but more old school than modern the way I prefer the St. Regis Bangkok for instance.

I was taken to a dark room off to the side for check-in. There weren’t any windows, and I felt a bit like I was in an old English club. I waited there for several minutes for someone to come help me, and then waited there to be checked in.

I had a gorgeous suite (confirmed in advance with suite night award) the highlight of which was probably the bathroom, with tons of marble, a separate toilet room, and a television built into the bathroom mirror.

Toiletries were the standard St. Regis choice of Remède.

Though a little bit odd, there was only a one sink in the large bathroom.

The bedroom had a king sized bed, a large flat screen television, and a chandelier. Perfectly in keeping with the style of the hotel, but not so much my own personal style.

Views from the room were stunning, of the surrounding architecture and the Persian Gulf.

Valentine’s Day was marked into the beach with love.

The living room had another flat screen tv, and another chandelier. It featured a desk area as well.

There was a small bathroom in the entryway, and also a dining table off beside it.

And they did something to recognize me as a blogger, so I thought it was worth sharing if only in the interest of transparency.

The only other time I’ve been clearly recognized by a hotel as a blogger was also in the Mideast this year, at the W Doha. And in both cases I didn’t get a better upgrade, either. I wonder if both properties make it a habit more than others I stay at to Google their guests, or if they share information between Starwood properties in the region.

On the dining room table was a cake, with my blog’s logo.

There wasn’t any other mention of it during the stay, but the cake was quite delicious. The St. Regis butler service provides complimentary 24 hour coffee service, and it paired nicely when I woke up to stay at around 3 o’clock in the morning.

We left the hotel at about 6:30 in the morning to catch our flight to the Maldives, figuring on having a bit of time for breakfast in the lounge before departure.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. It is one hotel that I want to try in Abu Dhabi next time, i have been in the city numerous times but usually stay in the Hyatt which is closer to the airport and the grand mosque. St Regis beach is also nice and the Asia de Cuba restaurant located there serves some delicious food. Just info for next time if you are staying longer. 🙂

  2. I was confused by “I had just an overnight in Abu Dhabi…. However this time I was landing before 1pm and it was Valentine’s Day. “, given it’s November. I guess you had this post in draft form for a while?

    But anyway, I love the cake. What a clever welcome gift.

  3. @Swag I sort of sat on this and sat on this because an overnight in Abu Dhabi just didn’t motivate me to post about but at the same time I felt like it was sort of an obligation to share when a hotel recognized me for the blog since I usually underscore how hotels so rarely do.

  4. The cake was the only thing that tipped you off that you had been outed. So it’s very likely that you are outed, without your knowledge (bc no cake) much more often than you realize. 😉

  5. Hi Gary,
    This is the first time I’ve seen you have used the correct name “Persian Gulf”. The correct name is neither Arabian Gulf nor The Gulf ( I wish bloggers and some news outlets stopped using wrong names merely because of political considerations of the day. International naming conventions are above political view, I think. Thanks for using the correct name.

  6. Regarding Hossein’s comment, I do not ever recall seeing that body of water referred to as the Persian Gulf when I was in Baharain, Qatar, or UAE. It was always referred to as the Arabian Gulf in those countries. I don’t think they are about to give the gulf to Iran….

Comments are closed.