Two years ago, when I was searching for accommodation in Abu Dhabi because I was visiting the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, I came across the Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort for the first time. Back then, in August 2018, they were still building the resort, planning to open later that year. For me that was too late, as they would open after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. But for some reason I always kept this resort in my mind.
Until March 2020, when I finally got to visit this amazing resort in Abu Dhabi, about one year and three months after its grand opening. Ready to enjoy, relax and chill to the fullest in this resort.
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The Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort opened its doors in November 2018. This new luxurious hotel in Abu Dhabi is believed to be the first hotel in the United Arab Emirates to ban single-use plastics throughout its resort.
It’s the eco-friendly and sustainability mindset of this hotel that caught my attention from the beginning. From the start, even before this hotel opened its doors, and only from images on the internet, I was very curious to this resort, and wanted to see and experience these initiatives myself.
Upon check in Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island resorts provides all of its guests with a reusable water bottle, all to help avoid unnecessary waste.
During the opening months these bottles were given away for free. Nowadays these bottles are offered for as less as 25 Dirhams each. Having a look around the resort, I noticed nearly all guests walking around with these bottles, so even though they now require a small fee for these bottles, guests are willing to buy them and ban single use plastics.
Providing you with reusable bottles is not the only thing they do. They have set up an on-site water filtration system, offering guests locally-sourced filtered still and sparkling water. There are three water stations at the resort where you can fill up your bottles. So whenever you feel like an ice cold water, just go and refill!
Another thing this resort does really well is that they eliminated the use of plastic straws, by using straws made of corn starch, which makes them compostable. Some other eco initiatives launched at the resort include an extensive in-house recycling scheme, environmentally-friendly thermostats in guest rooms and biodegradable packaging for toiletries.
The resort also has an in-house marine biologist. If you want to learn more about the marine conservation efforts and the unique environmental and sustainable initiatives at the resort, make sure to join one of their sustainability sessions. These are given on selected Tuesdays, Thursdays & Fridays at 3PM, where you’ll meet at the pool bar.
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2. Unique location
The name of the resort gives away its location. This resort is located at Saadiyat Island. Saadiyat Island is located just seven minutes from downtown Abu Dhabi, and only 20 minutes from Abu Dhabi International Airport and Yas Island.
Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort is located right at the beach, with direct beach access to a private beach. Many of the rooms of Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort are faced towards the ocean and offer amazing and lovely ocean views.
Saadiyat island is undergoing a remarkable transformation and is fast becoming a world-class leisure, culturally connected and residential destination.
When visiting Saadiyat Island, keep an eye out for the Louvre Abu Dhabi, which is also located on the island, and will be joined by the Zayed National Museum and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, making the island a hub for global culture, arts and entertainment.
With a bit of luck, you might even see some dolphins while relaxing at the beach, or catch a glimpse of some sea turtles. Keep your eyes open around this absolutely amazing location.
3. Multiple rooms types
Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort offers fourteen types of accommodation, varying from the basic Resort Deluxe Room all the way to the four bedroom Villa. The options you have are; ocean view rooms, ocean terrace rooms (located at the ground floor), family suites, one and two bedroom suites, and three different types of villa’s. As you can see, they offer it all.
The villas are located in a private and quiet part of the resort. They all offer an own private pool, how cool is that!
I was given an Ocean Deluxe Room. A very luxurious room, fully equipped with everything for your comfort. A fully stocked mini bar, which they fill up on a daily base if you wish. There’s also a large tv in your room. There is plenty of closet space to hide away your belongings.
The bathroom is large and offers it all. A separate, classy looking bathtub is the shining center of your bathroom. Thumbs up for the double sink and the large shower cabin. The room was located at the top floor of the resort. My balcony faced the ocean, which offers lovely and very relaxing views all day long.
The balcony had a lounge seat, perfect for two people to enjoy these lovely views. Due to the way this building is constructed, your balcony is absolutely private. No one can look onto your balcony, no nosy neighbours peeking over the fence!
Your bags are taken out of the taxi for you upon arrival, and after checking in they are delivered to your room.
4. Bodyism & Fitness
Also located at the resort and free access for all guests is the Bodyism Gym and Fitness. Bodyism was founded in 2006 in London, and nowadays leads the way in the world of wellness with its unique and mindful approach of fitness.
Their gym is fully equipped with the latest Technogym equipment. This is a super-luxe gym that provides exclusive training and programmes for its guests and members.
During my stay at Jumeirah I was also offered a Fitness Beach Class by Bodyism. I was super excited and curious to what this beach session would be like. Our instructor Freedom kept us busy for an hour on Saturday morning and totally crushed us with all the fun but intensive exercises. Even though I could hardly walk the day after, I would still like to thank Freedom for an awesome class. Wish I could join you more often!
5. SPA Saadiyat
The Spa at Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort is one of the most luxurious Spa’s I have ever come across. They offer a very wide range of treatments, hammam and much more. Next to many massage and relax rooms you can also find facilities like an ice pool, sauna, steam cabins and a pool.
Be aware though that these facilities are separated, men and women have their own facilities here.
I was lucky enough to be offered a 60 minute massage at the amazing SPA at Saadiyat. Which was really needed and came in perfectly the day after the intensive beach session with Freedom.
We got the couples massage, which was totally awesome. Upon arrival you get to fill out a form on what massage you want and how you’re feeling.
Then you get changed and are brought to the massage room. Totally ready for the 60 minute Saadiyat Revitalizing massage. Literally from head to toe, this massage was a complete body massage.
Afterwards you go to the relaxation room where you get some tea and healthy snacks. You are more than welcome to stay and use the other facilities after your treatment.
6. Endless dining experiences
Obviously after a long day of relaxing in the sun and next to the pool, or an intensive workout at the gym, you need some good food to finish your day. Well, Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island resort has a wide range of restaurants to choose from. You really don’t have to leave the resort, there’s something for everyone.
This is the main restaurant of the resort. It is located on the ground floor of the hotel, right underneath the lobby and reception area. This restaurant offers amazing pool and sea views and an indoor and outdoor terrace to enjoy your meals.
This sustainable and contemporary restaurant serves breakfast to its guests every morning. In the evenings this restaurant transforms into an entertaining live cooking buffet restaurant. There are many live cooking stations where you can watch your food being prepared for you. From east to west, from Asian to Arabic kitchen, it is all offered here.
Fun fact: During breakfast one of the employees, the most happy and friendly guy there is, walks through the restaurant with a basket full of croissants, handing them out at your table. Just giving that little extra.
This restaurant is located outside, right next to the family pool. They serve grilled spiced meats and seafood dishes, cooked the traditional Levantine way. You can also find the Shisha Lounge here at the Tean Restaurant.
Mare Mare Restaurant
An onside traditional Italian restaurant. Located in between the adult pool and the family pool, offering both indoor setting and an open air terrace. This pool-side restaurant offers Italian cuisine and lovely ocean views. A great place to watch the sun set.
Offside Sports Lounge
This newest addition to Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island resort just recently opened its doors. Go and see your favorite sports team in a very welcoming atmosphere at Offside Sports bar. Located just off the beach and offering international dishes.
The place to be for afternoon tea and some of the best desserts in town. Located near the lobby on the main level of the hotel. They also offer an outdoor terrace with lovely ocean views. Serving traditional dishes both inside in the mezzanine or on their outside terrace.
7. Leisure facilities
Upon arrival, after checking in, you’re given a schedule with all activities that are offered during that week at the resort. From baking and decorating cookies for the kids, to a free kayak or sup session, it is all listed in this schedlue. Make sure you take a copy from reception so you can start planning the activities you want to do.
Kayak and SUP (Paddle Board) rentals are available during the day. For in-house guests however, every day between 8-9AM you can use these free of charge.
This resort offers three pools. An adult pool, a family pool and a kids pool. All pools, and also the beach, have constant lifeguard surveillance.
The pool bar is located near the family pool. Both on the beach and near the pools, tables have a buzzer, which you can use to call for a waiter. They can take your order and will serve drinks and foods to your lounger.
Our youngsters are not forgotten. Tired of spending your days at the pool or at the beach? No problem. They have a kids and teens club with plenty of activities during the day and a lot of games and stuff to do. There is constant surveillance in these areas as well.
This resort also offers a brand new tennis court with everything you need to play the game, racket, balls and towels. We arrived at this resort around 6.30 in the morning, so after checking in we went for a walk around the resort, and came past this tennis court. We decided to play a game or two. If you don’t want to miss out on the court, make sure to make a reservation in time for your preferred time slot.
8. Complimentary Abu Dhabi experiences
Jumeirah at Saadiyat Islands wants its guests to be able to enjoy themselves and the beauty of Abu Dhabi. They offer complimentary drop off only shuttle services to Jumeirah at Etihad Towers and Abu Dhabi Mall. Also if you travel to Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, as a guest of Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort, you get complimentary access to the observation deck.
The observation deck is considered one of the top things to do in Abu Dhabi. It offers amazing views of the city’s skyline, the Arabian Gulf and the Emirates Palace. Also, these towers might look familiar to you, as they shine in the Furious 7 movie where Vin Diesel and Paul Walker drive very expensive sports cars through these towers.
9. Extra hotel services
I just love it when hotels offer you that extra something, just to make your stay extra special and unforgettable. Like the turn down service in the evening. I like this service more and more. Between 6-10PM they come by to make your bed, close the curtains, put some water on the bedside table, and place the slippers on the floor next to your bed.
In case you’re leaving the hotel early for an early flight out, like I did, and don’t have time for breakfast on your last day, don’t worry. They offer breakfast to go. If you want to use this service, make sure to put in your order at reception the night before, so things will be ready for you upon check out.
Something I really liked was the Bianco Italy ice cream cart that came to the resort every day. Bianco Italy is a franchise company that is present at all Jumeirah hotels and resorts in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. They offer lovely ice cream, you can choose from several flavors, and with at least 30 degrees Celsius, you can really do with an ice cream sometimes.
I have visited Abu Dhabi and Dubai a couple of times now and I’m always stunned by the high level of service and hospitality given by the people there. Everyone is super friendly and extremely helpful. They go out of their way to give you the best possible stay.
It was no different at Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort. The staff was friendly, always smiling and always willing and trying to help you to give you the best possible holiday.
10. Plant a Seed Challenge
This is definitely one of the coolest things I have ever come across while travelling and staying at hotels, and it totally fits their eco-friendly mindset.
They have introduced a new kind of coasters to their resort. These coasters are actually seeds of different types of plants. You’re encouraged to take them home, plant them, water them and grow them. If you post a picture on Instagram and tag Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort you’re also in for a chance to win experiences in their suites, spa and dining venues.
I’m now trying to grow the basil that was in my coasters.
Something I noticed while staying at this resort is the many people that were smoking, as smoking seems to be allowed within the resort. If I had to come up with one minus for this resort, it’s definitely the smoking. Being such an eco-friendly, healthy and sporty resort, smoking just doesn’t really fit in there.
This has to be said also, this hotel and resort is extremely clean, no rubbish, nothing lying around. Big thumbs up to all the hard workers that keep the resort clean and spotless.
Ashley has been around the world for Traveltomtom: swimming with crocodiles in Darwin, Australia, an Ottawa Travel Guide, Weekend in Barcelona and many more.
After many active travels the past few years, I was really looking for a very relaxed and laidback holiday. A beach resort with some pools where I could do nothing but chill out and relax. Well, Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort totally delivered on that! It is located away from the busy downtown center, close enough to see the skyline when walking on the beach, but far enough to not hear a thing and be in complete peace and tranquility.
With many dining experiences in house, there is no need to leave the resort.
I had a super relaxed and great time staying at Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort. The intense fitness beach class, the total relaxed full body massage, the most amazing food ever at White Restaurant, all the friendly staff working for the resort, I can only highly recommend Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island.
Quickly check out their rates here and start booking that long-awaited trip to Abu Dhabi.
This article is written by travel writer and Traveltomtom team member Ashley. She recently visited some of the most iconic hotels and wrote about them. Check out the world's most photographed hotel and the amazing Balmoral hotel in Edinburgh.