Staycation review: Rixos Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi


Perfect for a weekend getaway, the newly-opened Rixos Saadiyat Island is located just an hour’s drive from Dubai. Considering it’s just a straight-through, easy ride along Sheikh Zayed Road and across Yas Island, arriving at Rixos Saadiyat Island makes you feel like you’re a world away from the hustle and bustle of city life, with beautiful aqua waters and white sand beaches stretching along the private front of the property – and not a crane in sight (bliss!).

Representing the first resort of its kind on the island to provide an all-inclusive offering within its room rates, Rixos Saadiyat Island represents the brand’s fourth opening in the Middle East, following Rixos Premium Dubai, Rixos The Palm, and Rixos Bab Al Bahr in Ras Al Khaimah.

Inside, the hotel’s interiors are luxuriously designed, and our first impressions are that it feels nothing like an all-inclusive property. No expense has been spared on the design, with a grand chandelier, opulent water feature, marble flooring and vaulted ceilings to greet guests as they enter the lobby.

Drawing inspiration from the brand’s Turkish roots, design elements throughout the hotel are selected to mirror palaces of the Ottoman Empire. Think fresh shades of green, blue and turquoise on crisp white backgrounds with plush velvet fabrics and rich golden furnishings – it’s all very tastefully done.

Located on the private beachfront of Saadiyat Island, the resort’s location is what really sets the scene for an inviting stay, with uninterrupted views out over the Arabian Gulf and an unpopulated stretch of sand that’s perfect for taking morning and sunset strolls upon.

During our visit, we stayed in a spacious One-Bedroom Family Suite with Pool Access, which offered plenty of space across the separated living room area, bedroom, two bathrooms, walk-in wardrobe and terrace. Although the room pools are not exclusive per suite, they’re separate from the main pools and allow access to only a couple of guests per pool (not all room categories have this access) – which is ideal for stays during high occupancy periods as the main pool area can get quite busy.

All-in-all the resort has 366 rooms and suites, plus 12 three- and four-bedroom villas, each of which boast shared or private pools with direct access to the beach and a dedicated butler – a great option for those travelling as a family, a larger group or for anyone looking for a little more privacy.


To ensure your culinary needs are catered to during the stay, Rixos Saadiyat Island is home to ten restaurants and bars, so you’ll always have the option to try something new, should you wish.

What we liked about this resort, is that all of the F&B outlets are included in the all-inclusive package, so you needn’t worry about select venues not being available to you – just be sure to make reservations ahead of time, as certain restaurants book up before others.

Restaurant highlights include Aja, the hotel’s Japanese restaurant where you can enjoy a sit-down meal in the main dining room or alternatively an interactive Teppanyaki dinner around one of two teppan tables as chefs cook live in front of you.

For breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner, the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant Turquoise specialises in authentic Turkish cuisine, but also boasts an international spread ensuring there’s something for everyone.

If you spend the evening enjoying live musical entertainment at the Lobby Bar over drinks, you’ll be pleased to hear that Turquoise also offers a midnight buffet, so that you can enjoy a cheeky snack before bed.

Another one to try is the hotel’s nautical-inspired seafood restaurant, Mermaid, which sits overlooking the beach – it’s quite a romantic setting at night and perfect for those celebrating a special occasion.

Find Italian classics served at L’Olivo, tastes of Oriental Turkish cuisine at Orient, beachside snacks from People’s or one of many Food Carts dotted around the resort. There’s also a series of beach bars, tea and shisha lounges and the Club House – an exclusive restaurant reserved for villa guests.


Designed to cater to all members of the family, Rixos Saadiyat Island has a wealth of activities and entertainment to keep everyone happy and satisfied.

Especially inviting for families, the resort houses a mini water park complete with wave pool for all ages and a children’s aqua park to keep the little ones happy. There’s also the Rixy Kids Club, plus a wide range of in-resort activities – from sunset paddle boarding and in-pool aqua aerobics, to yoga on the sand to suit those looking for something active.

As the resort is just a 10-minute drive from the capital’s center or Yas Island, there’s also of plenty out-of-resort options too like a trip to Yas Waterworld, Ferrari World or the Abu Dhabi Louvre.

For ultimate relaxation, a trip to the hotel’s Anjana Spa is not to be missed, where age-old wellness customs from Turkey are practiced with expertise. From the moment you set foot through the spa’s door, expect to unwind in a fully-immersive setting that boasts traditional Ottoman architecture, plus indoor and outdoor relaxation areas with steam room, sauna, outdoor pool, and ice room facilities.

There’s plenty on the spa menu to choose from, however, an experience in one of the Turkish Hammam rooms here is definitely something to consider treating yourself to. It’s truly a space to restore balance for mind, body and soul.

Whether you’re looking for an activity-packed weekend or a relaxing escape, we’re certain that Rixos Saadiyat Island holds the key to ultimate enjoyment – all without having to step food on an airplane.

Details: To make a reservation, call 02-4922222, email or visit If you enjoyed this article, you may be interested in reading more of our local UAE hotel reviews here