10 June 2012

posh weekend: st. regis, saadiyat island

One of the prizes we won during the Starchoice Party was an overnight stay for 2 in a St. Regis suite (yup, not just a room, but a SUITE!) at The St. Regis, Saadiyat Island, so last weekend was the best time for us to use it as a post-celebration of our anniversaries. After leaving The Farm, we headed to Mall of the Emirates first to enjoy the cold air conditioning and buy some lunch for Caila since she didn’t eat that much. Then at half past 12, we left for Abu Dhabi. The journey took more than an hour and we arrived at the hotel just before 2pm.

As soon as we drove up and got down from Piper, we were immediately taken cared of by a bellboy and valet who instantly knew who we were (talk about service!) and helped us with our stuff. Then we were directed to one of the three Reception Desks where we registered and surrendered the voucher we won. I really liked that it wasn’t a big counter where guests had to stand around. Each desk had 2 chairs for the guests to sit down and relax a bit while the Reception Officer did the necessary paperwork. A few minutes later, we were accompanied by a bellboy who showed us where the restaurants and pools were before leading us to our room.

As soon as we entered our suite, Caila immediately trumped over to the bedroom and, seeing that there was a TV there (in addition to the one in the Living Area), placed herself comfortably on the bed and asked us to switch the television on. 
claiming her "throne"
While waiting for our bags to be delivered, we oohed and ahhed and took pictures of our suite. A few minutes later, our bags were delivered and we started putting our stuff away before taking a rest. I took a nap while Hubby enjoyed the free internet and Caila enjoyed watching the shows on Disney Junior. Later in the afternoon, because Caila had been bugging us since the night before that she wanted to make sandcastles, we took her to the Children’s Pool which had an area of sand where she could play in before enjoying the water.
When we had enough of that area, we all trooped to the Family Pool and swam around in the clear water until the sun began to set and our hands became wrinkly.

After our afternoon swim, we went back to our room to wash up before dinner. While I was drying up from my shower, the doorbell rang. Hubby answered the door and after a few seconds I heard him shout “Mahal, come here! May surprise tayo!” Even Caila was shouting “Mommy, come! Mommy, come!” So out of excitement, I just put on one of the hotel’s bathrobes and went out to the Living Area where Caila was enthusiastically pointing at this while enjoying a chocolate topping piece that she had already helped herself to:
Our reservation was for 8pm at 55 & 5th The Grill, so it gave us enough time to rest a bit. I was hesitant to have dinner there at first (or in any of the hotel’s restaurants, actually) because I knew it would be expensive, but Hubby said that considering our stay was free, we had to spend for something. And besides, we were celebrating our anniversary after all. Oo nga naman; may point sya. So at 8pm, we rode down the lift and entered the restaurant where a waitress met us and led us to our table.
We ordered pasta for Caila, scallops for our appetizers, and a spring lamb with side dishes which Hubby and I shared. For drinks, we ordered Lemon & Mint juice and a Strawberry Smoothie. Either Caila was really hungry from all the excitement and swimming from the day, or she really liked the food because she ate most of the pasta on her plate (and it was a big serving, considering it’s a Kid’s Meal).
Aside from the scallops, we were also served some other appetizer (compliments from the chef) which I can’t remember the name of, but was yummy just the same. After a while, a waiter came pushing a tray, and lifting the lid, presented the rack of lamb which he swiftly carved in front of us.
Like everything else we had just eaten, the lamb was really tasty and absolutely delicious! The sauce was a bit spicy, but I managed to enjoy it, practically finishing everything off my plate. Sarap to the bones! After we had filled our stomachs and signed the bill, we went back to our suite where we saw this on one of the bedside tables, which gave us an idea on what we could plan on doing the next day.
here's a closer look
A few minutes later, we conked out and called it a night.

We had planned to go to the beach area the following morning, but because we had a hard time waking our daughter up before the sun’s rays became strong, we had to forego that idea. It wasn’t until around 9am that Caila finally woke up to our badgering, and allowed us to get her ready for breakfast.

We enjoyed the buffet breakfast at the hotel’s Olea restaurant which offered all sorts of breakfast goodies: pancakes and waffles, a variety of breads and toasts, pastries, sausages, bacon, beans, cereals, cold cuts, fresh fruits, dried fruits, fresh juice, coffee, hot chocolate, and so much more. There were even 2 separate egg stations: one for omelets and one where you could ask to have your eggs cooked any way you wanted. Again, we thoroughly enjoyed everything we ate.

Finally, we headed to the Family Pool where we swam and floated around, and Caila allowed us to release her tight grips on us so she could float and splash about on her own.
Just before noon, we left the pool and returned to our suite to wash up. We had requested for a late check-out until 3:30pm, so we had plenty of time to just enjoy our last few hours at the hotel and lounge around. By 12:30pm, Caila had grown hungry (she didn’t eat much during breakfast) so we decided to order lunch through room service. Again, the spaghetti from the Kid’s Menu was more than enough for her, the remnants of which Hubby and I finished. With still lots of time remaining, I decided to tour the hotel. Hubby preferred to stay in the room and take a nap in preparation for the long drive back to Dubai, but Caila wanted to go with me. There wasn’t much to see, actually. It was too hot to go outside, so we just walked around the hotel and I took pictures of whatever I found interesting.

Finally, it was time for us to go; so after packing all our stuff and making sure we didn’t leave anything behind, we headed to the Reception. A bellboy took our parking ticket and luggage while we signed the check-out papers and settled the bill, and by the time we exited the hotel doors, Piper was cooled, ready and waiting for us.  It was a really fantastic way to celebrate our anniversary!
And when you ask Caila to tell you about our weekend, she’ll answer “We went to our new, nice house…far, far away!” =)

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