Since booking via Hyatt Privé is the same price as booking on Hyatt.com but includes extra benefits, this was something of a no-brainer.
True, I could already get breakfast for free as a Diamond and I was planning on using one of my suite upgrade certificates. However the extra $100 of property credit plus the chance of getting a better suite upgrade was definitely preferable to just booking via Hyatt.com. Since Hyatt Privé rates are considered to be direct Hyatt bookings, I was able to earn points and stay credit EXACTLY like any booking made on Hyatt.com
As soon as I had my confirmed Hyatt Privé reservation I called Hyatt to apply one of my suite upgrades, which reflected immediately.
The Park Hyatt is located on a prime stretch of white sand, alongside the St Regis, on Saadiyat Island. It is only 30 minutes from AUH or around 80 minutes from DXB airport.
Although Abu Dhabi is a thriving metropolis, the beachfront area is a lot more sparse than Dubai and approaching the hotel it felt as if we were miles away from the nearest city. Quite a different feeling to the densely packed area of resorts, clustered around The Palm.
The resort’s grounds are immaculately maintained and arriving here is an undeniably exciting experience.
You can’t help but think to yourself, “if it looks this amazing on the outside, how unbelievable is the interior going to be?”
Checking in on my birthday, as a Hyatt Diamond member (on a Hyatt Privé rate, no less), I was hoping to get something a little nicer than the standard Park Suite which I was booked into. I flashed my nicest smile and mentioned that I’d noticed that a Park Terrace Suite was still available. “Surely you wouldn’t want a suite like that to stay empty on somebody’s birthday?” I said. The lady checking us in laughed and said she’d see what she could do.
After typing away for a few seconds she said she had upgraded us but only this once, since it was a special occasion.
At this point we were introduced to Romal, a lovely man who was described to us as our butler but whom we only ever saw during check-in!
The cavernous ceilings and giant drapes in the public spaces are more than a little reminiscent of Qatar’s Al Safwa lounge. Everywhere you look there is tasteful lighting, designer furniture and even a constant supply of drinks and snacks in the lobby lounge!
The hotel also left me a beautiful birthday cake but unfortunately I think it had been sitting out for quite some time as it tasted and smelled strongly of egg. I called to let the front desk know, in case this was an issue that would impact other cakes made that day. The person I spoke to on the phone didn’t seem too concerned though, it seemed like she didn’t really understand what the problem was.
At the far end of the bedroom is a long corridor, leading back to the wet bar. The cool thing about it is that it doubles up as a walk in wardrobe and dressing room and even comes with its own yoga mat.
A comfy bed is all well and good but real luxury to me is all about a bathroom with: a ton of space, natural materials, recessed lighting, a deep soaking tub, high powered shower, tons of towels and plentiful high-end toiletries.
The Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi stocks its rooms with Le Labo toiletries, more or less the brand standard for PH Hotels. Personally I think Le Labo smells great but the toiletries are more thin and watery than my favourite Aesop products.
The wine that we were given was not the best but mixed with some ice, sprite, brandy and fruit it turned into a pretty passable sangria to enjoy on a hot day. I’m not going to lie, we felt like rockstars having such a huge space to ourselves, seeing the entire resort stretched out beneath us.
In the evenings we moved over to the area wrapping around the side of the living room, the perfect place from which to watch the sun slowly descend into the ocean.
Speaking of which, the food selection was fantastic, with a wide variety of fresh fruit, vegetables, cheese and charcuterie; as well as a multitude of freshly baked goods.
We went for tapas there one night and found the service to be decent although the food was about as inauthentic as it gets. Prices ranged from 30-89 AED per dish.
The library is an all day tea and coffee lounge. It was very quiet throughout our stay. We didn’t have any food or drink here but the staff were lovely and always smiled and greeted us when we came through.
In case the main pool is too busy for your liking, there are also numerous, quieter, subsidiary pools available.
At night the pools were beautifully illuminated, totally transforming the feel of the resort.
I was blown away by the quality of the white sand beach at the bottom of the resort. The attendants were very proactive and there was plenty of space to spread out without feeling like you were on top of other guests. I really hadn’t been expecting white sand and turquoise water here.
The changing rooms are very dark and luxurious, with a distinct Arabic theme.
The gym has a great selection of machines and even features a small outdoor pool, walled away from the rest of the resort.
In terms of hard product this has to be one of the most expansive and impressive suites I’ve ever seen in any hotel. Considering that this suite retails for less than a night in a basic room in most London luxury hotels, it seems like an absolute steal. Even if you are unable to make use of complimentary upgrades, there is real value to be had here. I can’t imagine you’d get anything close for less than three times the price, an hour down the road in Dubai.
Make no mistake, this is a big resort and breakfast in particular can get a little hectic. Peace and quiet is very easy to find though. There are plenty of quiet nooks and alcoves to relax in and the quality of the white sand beach was an unexpected surprise.
The staff were very friendly and helpful, always stopping to say hello when crossing paths with a guest. Lunch in the Café was rather slow though and we did have a bit of miscommunication with regards to the cake in the room.
Still those are minor complaints in what was otherwise a fantastic stay. I can see the appeal of being in Dubai and certainly enjoyed our stay at the Park Hyatt there previously. However, for me this is a far more impressive resort with better hardware and far keener pricing. For a long weekend escape during the European winter months, the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi is an ideal choice.
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