Sitting majestically on Saadiyat Island’s protected beach, Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort is a modern take on eco-luxury, reflected by the hotel’s elegant design, creating the atmosphere of a relaxing island life and understated luxury.
The UAE is made up of seven Emirati states. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are the most renowned, only being 45 minutes drive away from each other yet offering completely different experiences. Dubai lives up to its name of glitz and glamour and is not afraid to show it off. Whereas the capital, Abu Dhabi, is the cultural hub of the country offering an insight into the authentic Emeriti way of life with more subtle luxury.
Expect year-round sunshine with an average of 10 hours a day – it is just a case of how hot you like it. October to April is the best time to visit with temperatures of around 25-28C and blue skies, with a small potential of some rain and wind in January and February. Between June and September, you could find the temperature climbing to 40C and above.
Situated on the top right corner of the Arabian Peninsula, the UAE has become the global hub for aviation. Flying from London to Abu Dhabi is a comfortable 7-hour flight. Being home to the world’s leading premium airlines, we chose to travel in style with Etihad Airways, the national airline of Abu Dhabi. The Business Class Studio on board Etihad Airways’ Boeing 787 is luxurious, comfortable and spacious. The cabin’s sophisticated décor uses a neutral colour pallet of gold and copper, reflecting the beautiful desert landscape of the UAE.
You can expect a glass of champagne from the moment you arrive, regional inspired cuisines, and excellent service from takeoff to touchdown. Amenity kits are designed by luxury Italian brand Acqua Di Parma and there are hundreds of hours of inflight entertainment too. Etihad Airways reflects the best of Arabian hospitality – cultured, generous, and warm.
Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort – Location
Located in a secluded area away from the cluster of other brand-name properties in one of the most desirable beaches in the whole of the UAE. Saadiyat Island is a 9km stretch of environmentally protected beachline. The resort is a stone’s throw away from the prestigious Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, only 25 minutes away from Abu Dhabi International airport, and within a 10-minute access to the city centre and Abu Dhabi’s popular attractions.
Abu Dhabi is the perfect way to get a taste of the culture while enjoying the high-tech attractions and natural beauty of the landscape, and Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort embodies that experience precisely. Entering the vast lobby of Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort almost feels like you are plunging into an aquarium as you look up at the grand installation display of over 400 pieces of suspended blue hand-blown glass mimicking jellyfish floating above, the impressive tranquil display is a nod to the ecosystem of the Arabian gulf, setting the tone to unwind and relax into island life.
The sprawling grounds are beautifully groomed with flowerbeds and palm trees which surround the 3 infinity swimming pools for you to dip and choose from with areas reserved for adults only. A walkway leads from the pool area to the beach, where we spent the majority of our time glued to the beachside loungers which offers a front-row seat to watch the local wildlife. We caught a glimpse of dolphins one morning and the other famous local residents you’ll need to keep an eye out for are the Hawksbill Turtles.
Our Room – 325
Our room was an Ocean Deluxe view room (50sqm), which was light and airy. The interior uses cream, brown and gold colour pallets inspired by the island’s surrounding landscape, which created a sense of calmness, elegance, and a coastal open-air feel. Being on the third floor we had our own private balcony overlooking the sprawling pool area that led towards uninterrupted views of the Persian Gulf.
The room features an inviting king-size bed, work desk and sofa area, and a generous size wardrobe. The bathroom was spacious with a separate rainfall shower, a deep opulent bathtub, and two sinks – which is always a bonus.
As part of the resort’s efforts and philosophy in sustainability, every room is gifted a complimentary reusable water sports bottle. Guests are encouraged to refill at the various water stations throughout the resort, eliminating single use plastic products.
Of the 293 rooms at Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort, there are 8 private pool villas, 70 suites, and for anyone wanting to sleep like royalty, we recommend the grand Four Bedroom Duplex Villa, a palatial palace that’s 520sqm of pure opulence.
You have two options for breakfast: every day in White and every weekend in Tean.
Open from 6:30am to 11am, White serves a breakfast buffet in the bright chic space on the ground floor with seating options available both indoor and outdoor, there is a wide selection of hot and cold dishes including continental, Asian, and Arabic cuisine alongside the pancake and egg station. Our favourite was the juice station where you can mix juice mixtures of any kind.
During weekends, Tean serves an A La Carte breakfast menu offering Arabian breakfast favourites. We highly suggest ordering the Tean Breakfast Set presented on an impressive platter. It has a taste of all the main breakfast classics like Arabic breads, falafel and Foul Madames (fava beans in lemon and garlic.) For something special and off menu ask for the Knafeh, which is made from shredded phyllo dough stuffed with sweet cheese filling, topped with pistachios and a generous drizzle of sugary rose water syrup – a favourite and indulgent breakfast choice in many Lebanese households.
Head to Mare Mare for homestyle Italian and Mediterranean dishes. The restaurant overlooks the beach and pool, and is a popular haunt for locals looking for freshly baked pizza, made from homemade pizza dough that has been fermented for a minimum of 48 hours to guarantee the highest quality and taste. Don’t forget to ask for their flavourful chilli oil.
The Pool Bar – If you’re looking for a light bite or just something refreshing to cool off from the sun, walk to or swim up to The Pool Bar where they serve up cocktails, ice creams and more. Our go to everyday were the fresh coconuts from Thailand.
Tean Restaurent – This Levantine experience combines flavours from Lebanon, Greece, Turkey and the local region. We can peep through and see the showmanship of the open kitchen. Award winning Tean won Best Middle Eastern Restaurant in Abu Dhabi in 2021 and Time Out Abu Dhabi Restaurant in 2019. An addictive starter was chicken liver with pomegranate, and our favourite main was kibbeh which consisted of a bulgur wheat case filled with minced meat and pine nuts.
For something more traditional try Arak, a smooth strong multiple distilled aniseed-flavoured spirit that is served with water. The dilution of the clear liquids magically turns into a translucent milky-white. Arak is a special and socially historic drink that is welcomed before, during and after a meal.
The Lobster Lounge – Perched on the top floor of Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort, you enter through a red lit walkway with views across the hotel. The hues of lobster red lighting throughout the restaurant gives it a lively and intimate atmosphere, there are seating areas in the outdoor terrace where a shisha menu is available – the ideal spot to enjoy the sunset in the evening. As the name suggests, we had lobster! I ordered Surf and Turf, instantly impressed by the tenderness of the black angus beef tenderloin and the size of the Canadian lobster. For drinks I recommend the gin cart which houses international gins from Scotland, Germany, and Japan.
Those looking for some pampering and grooming head to the 24 hour gym where there is a state-of-the-art fitness centre which offers personal training, group sessions and a private studio, kitted out with everything you need for a workout. The Spa is an incredible 29,000 square foot treatment destination all within itself, a collaboration with London based Bodyism Wellness Centre featuring a Moroccan bath, Himalayan salt room, plunge pool and 15 holistic treatment rooms.
What makes Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort special?
Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort is a refreshing escape from the hectic rush of everyday life, nestled in the idyllic seafront. The staff made our stay so special, from the concierge recommending a local dentist through to the gracious hospitality of Nassif and Rohan.
The property embraces sustainability at its core, allowing the beauty of the surrounding nature to flourish while cohabiting with the rich cultural history of Abu Dhabi. It offers you the exclusivity of enjoying understated luxury island life and that famous Jumeirah service.
To discover more, visit: jumeirah.com
Things to do nearby
Going to the beach might seem like a simple and basic idea but experiencing it here during sunrise or sunset is truly an experience you simply cannot replicate anywhere else. The 9km stretch of pristine beaches is spotless and has an abundance of wildlife where dolphin sightings are common, and the area is part of conservation program for Hawksbill turtles.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi
Situated on the west side of Saadiyat Island, The Louvre Abu Dhabi is an iconic landmark and masterpiece of architecture, art, and culture. The first universal museum within the Arab world, designed by Pritzker-prize winning architect Jean Nouvel. Home to over 600 world-class masterpieces, it is a feast to the eyes for art lovers. Wander through varied galleries with more than 55 buildings, including restaurants, cafes and shops where you can spend the whole day exploring. louvreabudhabi.ae
For something a little more fast pace, the world’s first Ferrari-branded theme park offers a unique multi-sensory experience for visitors of every age. It’s home to the world’s fastest rollercoaster and many other high-adrenaline rides, family-friendly attractions, state-of-the-art simulators, live shows, shops, restaurants, and an inspiring treasure of Ferraris racing memorabilia. Located on Yas Island, open 365 days a year, you can enjoy the advanced climate-controlled environment inside the world’s largest indoor theme park. A landmark that reflects both integrity of the Ferrari brand and innovation of Abu Dhabi. ferrariworldabudhabi.com
Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque
A trip to Abu Dhabi would not be complete without a visit to Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque. The inspiring cultural landmark is the world’s largest mosque, welcoming up to 55,000 visitors and worshipers every day. The mosque has an open-door policy and encourages you to immerse yourself within the local culture and take in the beauty of one of the largest marble mosaic artworks in the world. szgmc.gov.ae
All imagery courtesy of the Jumeirah Group and to the respective property.
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