A time for both giving and being grateful,
the holiday season allows you to spoil those around you and, perhaps most importantly sometimes, yourself, too.
With that in mind, a trio of five-star hotels in Abu Dhabi allows you to indulge guilt-free, be it by yourself or with friends and family, giving you a little of what you fancy, from incredible restaurants and nature-filled and purposeful recreation to the very best in curated rest and relaxation.
From the purity and privacy of Al Wathba, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, to the laid-back beachy bliss of The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort to the more metropolitan refinement of The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, indulgence comes as a given; subtle, nuanced and tailor-made just for you. Practice the art of giving and let one of these hotels (or indeed all of them) be your gift to you...
AL WATHBA, A LUXURY COLLECTION DESERT RESORT & SPA
One way to travel without really travelling this holiday season is with an escape to the desert, where you feel a million miles from anywhere, lost in the luxury of a sense of place, privacy and purposeful pleasure. With sand dunes gently undulating around you at Al Wathba, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, you can cast off the stresses of urban living, with a more organic and leisurely pace of life.
To combine nature and nurture, dine at Terra Secca, the hotel’s rustic indoor/outdoor Italian restaurant, and choose a table on the terrace that presides over a paddock where Arabian horses from the hotel’s stables come to graze at the end of the day. Once you’ve sated yourself on fresh homemade pasta and thin crisp pizza, ask for an apple or a carrot from the kitchen to feed the horses, and you’ll have gained an equine ally for life.
Come night-fall, rest your head in a spacious two-bedroom villa and, when the sun is up, take advantage of your private pool for a beautiful morning swim. Next, we suggest doing nothing more strenuous than checking yourself into the Saray Spa - all 2,200 square metres of it - for some seriously restful R’n’R. Whatever your body needs, you’ll find it here: sauna, steam room, plunge pool, salt room, snow cave, ice cold bucket room, traditional Turkish hammam and whirlpool... Treatments will take you on a holistic journey around the world, with hammams from Turkey and Morocco, and massages using both Swedish and Balinese techniques, alongside other Asian and Western approaches.
For top-to-toe wellness, there are caviar collagen boosts and intense hydration treatments for the face; foot reflexology, back and shoulder massages and full-body exfoliations; with additional scalp, back or foot add-ons should you require even more pampering. But to really indulge yourself, book the 120-minute Al Wathba The Ultimate Spa Experience and float back into reality on cloud nine. In fact, if you don’t emerge from a holiday here in a more serene state of mind, our only suggestion is to extend your stay and do it all over again. Always a pleasure, never a chore!
PUTTING THE AHHH INTO SPA
Whilst infinitely exciting and filled with wonder, the festive season can take its toll on minds and bodies, be it from travelling or traipsing malls in search of the perfect present. One way to take the weight off is with a visit to Remède Spa at The St. Regis Abu Dhabi - an absolutely stunning holistic space dedicated to VIP indulgence of the highest order.
Book a VIP Spa in the Sky offer and let the team tailor-make you a treatment totally bespoke to you and your requirements, with a 60-minute Remède Customized Massage, a 60-minute Remède Customised Body Polish, and exclusive use of the luxury amenities, such as Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, in the Abu Dhabi Suite - the highest suspended suite in the world. Not only that, you can also enjoy a three-course dinner, and a VIP luxury ride to and from your desired location (within Abu Dhabi) in the hotel’s Bentley.
A FEAST FOR ALL SEASONS
Culinary connoisseurs will no doubt have a Little Black Book of best restaurants in the UAE, and for those in the know Sontaya and Buddha-Bar Beach Abu Dhabi at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort will be topping the list. Sontaya, meaning ‘sunset’ in Thai, serves a potpourri of exotic Southeast Asian dishes set to a fascinating backdrop of floating pavilions and mystical nuances.
At night the restaurant comes alive with its uplighting casting magical shadows across the interconnected waterways. Renowned for its exhilirating fusion of adventurous food, exotic interior design and laid-back music, the legendary Buddha-Bar serves up some of the most chilled vibes in the capital. A true day-to-night destination, its menu of Mediterranean-Asian fusion cuisine comes with a soundtrack of lapping waves and DJ beats that play long after the sun has set.
After a day of such feasting, you’ll need a bed to roll into, the most beautiful of which can be found in the two-bedroom Majestic Suite, with its elegant iterations of uncompromised island living. With ocean views, private pool, personal St. Regis Butler and 24-hour private dining (should hunger strike in the night), you’ll truly want for nothing here.