MOJEH explored Saadiyat’s laid-back island vibe and experienced a relaxing mini-break in Abu Dhabi’s first all-inclusive resort
Not too long ago Saadiyat Island was an uninhabited stretch of coastal desert, known for its Hawksbill sea turtles and soft sand. Now the natural island, known as the ‘island of happiness,’ is quickly becoming the cultural hub of the capital, and one of the most prestigious addresses in Abu Dhabi.
Home to the Louvre Abu Dhabi and later the Guggenheim museum (set to open in 2022), the island also harbours the region’s first ocean golf course (Saadiyat Beach Golf Club), exclusive beach clubs and a cluster of five-star hotels, including The Rixos Premium Saadiyat Island.
Just an hour’s drive from Dubai and 25 minutes from the heart of Abu Dhabi, Rixos Saadiyat Island offers an idyllic weekend getaway that’s brimming with natural beauty; free from city cranes and crawling traffic, it truly is one of the UAE’s most tranquil spots to escape to. The first all-inclusive resort of its kind in Abu Dhabi, the hotel places a drink in your hand as soon as you arrive in the ornate marble lobby, along with a beautifully decorated pastry from the Lobby Bar, if you fancy it.
A wander through the property and you’ll see the brand’s Turkish roots threaded into the hotel with opulently decorated mosaic walls, chandeliers, Arabic archways, plush furnishings and water features that mirror the elaborate palaces of the Ottoman Empire. Rich tones of turquoise, royal blue and amethyst run throughout the 366 rooms and suites which exude luxury from top-to-toe.
Whether it’s a soak in the huge bathtub or a nap in one of the sink-into beds, it’s easy to unwind and indulge as soon as you arrive, but for those who need an extra dose of serenity, head to the hotel’s Anjana Spa and traditional Turkish hammam.
For larger parties or those seeking uber-exclusivity, the property also features three and four bedroom villas which come complete with their own private driveway, garden, swimming pools and butler service.
If you’re not lucky enough to sit back by your own pool, the vast main pool with its comfy loungers, swim-up bars and top-notch service still offers an inviting a lazy-day ahead. There’s also a mini waterpark, wave pool and kids club to impress families, but it’s nestled away from those who prefer peace and quiet.
The beach, which reveals Maldives-esque vistas with white sand and clear turquoise waters, is a natural haven to enjoy from dawn until dusk. With one of the country’s best beachfronts on your doorstep, daily strolls with toes in the sand are must — alongside lunch at People’s, the casual chic all-afternoon snack bar which boasts unrivalled views of the Instagram-worthy seascape and the palm framed pool.
When it comes to dining, there are plenty of options from around the globe; featuring Turkish, Italian, Asian and seafood a la carte options, as well as the main buffet dining at Turquoise (where breakfast is also served), snack stalls and plenty of bars dotted throughout the resort. Far from the monotonous stereotype associated with an all-inclusive resort, there are plenty of options for a long weekend and beyond.
If you only stay for a night, the Roof Bar should be on the agenda for sunset drinks, followed by dinner at Aja Asian & Teppenyaki Restaurant, where you can enjoy endless servings of shrimp towers, sushi, chicken ramen soup, confit duck and Yuzu cheesecake to finish.
With exquisite dining options on the property and an endless flow of drinks, it’s quite easy to remain in the resort’s undisturbed bubble of bliss. Providing a destination that enables you to leave your purse and your problems at home, Rixos Saadiyat Island is a hassle-free, luxury staycation from start to finish in one of the UAE’s most beautiful spots. An island of happiness indeed. Saadiyatisland.rixos.com
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