St Regis Saadiyat Island

This stunning hotel is more like a small village than a typical luxury resort. Everything about it feels grand and yet, somehow, attentive staff and the busy common areas like the pool and restaurants will make you feel at home. We wanted a staycation with our toddler and this beautiful hotel exceeded our expectations!

The Welcome

Just over an hour drive from Dubai, we reached the hotel and all said: “Whoooa” at the grand driveway and entrance.

There was a bit of a queue to check in, so we used the time to take photos and enjoy the welcome drink and cool towels given to us by attendants. When it was our turn, we found we had been upgraded to a suite because we are Starwood members! Yay!

Sweet Suite

Spacious and modern, the rooms are just what you would expect from the St Regis brand. The colors are warm and serve as the perfect backdrop to those sweeping ocean views.

The bathrooms have his and hers sinks and a lovely standalone tub.

Find Dining

As expected of a sprawling resort, the food is plentiful. First thing I think of – buffet!

The breakfast buffet was the stuff made of dreams, with made-to-order omelettes, waffles and pancakes, and an array of international, Indian and Arabic dishes. Even the pickiest eaters will end up piling their plates high.

For dinner, we opted to use the fantastic babysitter service. For Dhs 50 an hour, a lovely lady comes to your room to watch over your child so you can have an actual conversation over a dinner table with adults – this was a highlight of the trip for me 😀 The hubby and I opted for Thai cuisine at the majestic Sontaya, with fragrant curries and seating over water.

Just be sure to book in advance at this hotspot!

Activities

From a renowned spa to lovely pool and beach areas, there’s so much to do at this busy resort. Since we were traveling with our child, we spent a lot of time in the Kid’s Club, which is a major drawcard for the resort. From an indoor play area with books, games, toys and cartoons, to a fabulous outdoor water play area, it’s an easy way to entertain the kids – and tire them out so you can get some alone time in the evening 🙂

#WhatToPack

For a stay at this sprawling resort, go for a beachside chic kaftan that can take you easily from day to night! I love the options available at Namshi.Com, like this one:

 

Guest Post by Rupert Wright of Ashbright
Welcome
 
Paris holds no terrors for well-heeled travellers, who can check into one of the city’s eleven palaces such as ­ the Georges V, Plaza Athénée, Le Bristol or my favourite, Le Meurice. But for those on any kind of budget, finding a decent place to stay in the French capital can be a challenge. Bedrooms smaller than a bathroom, bathrooms smaller than a bidet, we’ve all stayed at one of them and lived to regret it. So, it’s with great pleasure that I have found almost the perfect Parisian hotel – and you don’t need to be a tech billionaire to afford it. The Bedford has been family owned and run for more than a hundred years, combining Swiss roots, French flair and English tradition. It benefits from strong leadership, attention to detail, and a staff eager to look after you. With just 140 rooms, it is large enough to intimate, but not so large that you are anonymous. It’s a 4 star, but deserves more.
 
The rooms
 
Parquet flooring; high ceilings; comfortable beds and pillows; keys rather than plastic cards; and best of all, real switches, that turn the lights on and off. The Bedford has sensibly ignored many of the technical traps that can make staying in a hotel room more challenging than setting up your own satellite transmission site. The result is a place that combines understated elegance with modern touches and old school service. Some rooms overlook the rue de l’Arcade, others look over a courtyard, but all are a decent size and a muted colour. There is air-conditioning too, which is a relief when the summer strikes.
 
Eating
 
Breakfast is a buffet in a glorious belle époque room, boasting stucco reliefs and a glass roof. Dinner happens here too, French cuisine and fairly formal. There’s also a relaxed bistro/bar that serves meals and cocktails.
 
 
Location
 
A stone’s throw from the Place de la Madeleine, the Place de la Concorde and the Tuileries Gardens, and the Opera, this is one of the best areas to stay in Paris. (Marcel Proust used to live just around the corner). It is a lively area, with great boutiques, wine bars and an eclectic mix of restaurants, Japanese, Italian, Chinese, Korean, Lebanese and French too.
 
Don’t miss
 
The Bedford knows that many people like to travel with their pets, so they are allowed to stay too.
 
 
HOTEL BEDFORD, 17, RUE DE L’ARCADE 75008 PARIS Tel. : +33 (0)1 44 94 77 77 Fax : +33 (0)1 44 94 77 97 More information at www.hotel-bedford.com
 
Rooms from €250; Suites from €450

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Sara Hamdan

Welcome to a magazine editor’s guide to luxury hotels and what to wear when you’re there! My work has appeared in: The International New York Times, Rolling Stone, Variety and CNN Travel. I’ve held editorial roles at VIVA Magazine, Dubai Magazine and Stylist Arabia.  Now, I freelance for the likes of Google, CNN and Savoir Flair!

Editing travel pages was always my favourite part of working for lifestyle magazines. I started this blog out of a love of beautiful hotels that provide the fairytale escape of a day as a princess where breakfast is a buffet and chocolates appear on my pillow.

PR queries, feedback and compliments? Email sara@holidaysinheels.com!