Are there all-you-can-drink drinks and DIY packages to make Rixos palatable to Saadia Island’s neighbors?
Ah for a weekend getaway on the sunny beaches of Saadiyat Island. This Abu Dhabi island is widely known as one of the best beaches in the UAE – but also one of the best in the world – thanks to its perfectly desalinated sand and crystal clear water. Five-star resorts are clustered around its edges, each eager to take advantage of its prime seaside location.
Among them is Rixos Premium Saadiyat Island, which is a variety of activities and restaurants that are very distinctive and much better than the fried food buffets. But how is it actually measured? We checked in to see for ourselves.
Within walking distance of the residents of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Rixos Premium Saadiyat Island is among the island’s five-star resorts. On its left, Rotana Resort, and on its right you can see Park Hyatt. With the Louvre Abu Dhabi (and new museums yet to open) just a short distance away, the island is somewhat slowly becoming a cultural beacon.
look and feel
The influence of the brand’s Turkish roots is immediately evident in the design details, which fuse with Arabic design influences that give the entire hotel a regal feel. Ottoman beauty is felt everywhere: from the terracotta ceiling to the stained glass, sunken patio seating and pops of royal blue everywhere from the crystal chandeliers to the marble mosaic floors.
Entry-level luxury rooms are bright and colorful with king-sized beds and spacious baths, although they lack some of the high-spec features you’d expect in modern five-star properties, such as Bluetooth speakers. All rooms have a balcony with garden or sea views, although booking a premium room (one and two bedroom options available) has the added benefit of direct access to the semi-private pool. A word of caution: the pool runs across a row of rooms, so don’t expect much privacy if your neighbors are also showering.
If you are a large group looking for more freedom, it makes sense to book a villa: access to the three-bedroom pool or the large four-bedroom beach houses. The lounge and the private pool are located on the perfectly manicured grounds.
Facilities and Activities
Rixos Premium Saadiyat Island really has something to suit everyone, and every inch of the vast land seems to have been set aside to offer guests something extra. At the pool and beach, guests can relax under a shaded canopy during the day or work out with a morning skateboarding session or an afternoon aqua aerobics class. Nebula’s largest spa, the Amara Spa, which is included in the room rate, features quintessential Arabian luxury with ornate arches, elaborate mosaics and marble relaxation areas concentrated throughout. Inside there are 10 treatment rooms, a hidden outdoor pool and a men’s and women’s spa area with sauna, jacuzzi and hammam. Body treatments, facials and massages are all available for a fee and reservations are recommended as the spa is busy.
Food and drink
Dining comes in the form of nearly a dozen restaurants and bars, so it’s a big upgrade from the traditional all-day buffet you usually find at an all-inclusive resort. All-day dining at Turquoise has been properly upgraded, with an extensive breakfast offering fresh pastries, prepared omelettes, crepes and pancakes, as well as European, Asian and Continental meats, cheeses and buffet dishes. Breakfast favorites in the Middle East. By the pool, People is a colorful place to escape the heat for dishes such as burgers, sausages and pizza; Meanwhile, dine at Mermaid, a Mediterranean restaurant by the sea. Here, the focus is largely on seafood with Greek influences, and sharing dishes such as tzatziki, sea bass ceviche and chilled octopus are followed by à la carte options such as grilled prawns, grilled salmon and seafood linguine.
At L’Olivo, expect to dine on a menu of classic Italian pizzas and pastas, while Rixos offers its fancy rooftop bar, the Orient (pictured), with its grand decor and entertaining live music. Good place after dinner. In each restaurant and bar, a curated list of signature cocktails is the perfect combination with well-executed menus and ensures that cocktail lovers are not left out.
Book soon to enjoy the glittering beaches of Saadiyat Island at a budget-friendly price. Room rates for UAE residents throughout August start from AED 1,600 per night. This includes full access to the resort’s extensive leisure program, pool and beach facilities, and all food and beverages. Anjana Spa offers 20 percent off in-room dining and 25 percent off treatments. Minimum stay of two nights, valid until 31 August.
Pronunciation: For an all-inclusive stay that pushes its limits, it’s hard to beat.
Tel: (02) 492 2222, rixos.com