An Amazing Stay At Rixos Saadiyat Island – Review

The Rixos Premium Saadiyat Island is a beautiful beach resort and an absolutely perfect place for a relaxing holiday. We have also reviewed the interconnecting family room here.  The hotel is all-inclusive and really everything you could ever want is here.  The same week we visited, we also visited the Rixos Marina in Abu Dhabi.

The resort itself is low rise, and so beautifully decorated both inside and out.  The below photo is of the lobby area, where there is lots of plush seating and you can relax with a drink and a book.

This staircase leads to the lower floor but is worthy of Cinderella I think and would make a perfect spot for a family photo.

The hotel grounds also have some stunning vistas.  This is a courtyard area with lots of seating and evening entertainment.

Bar Lounge

You will find the Bar Lounge just off the lobby.  It’s a lovely relaxed place to sit during the day with a huge menu of drinks.  As well as cocktails and mocktails, they also do a great range of hot drinks.  Don’t miss that stunning ceiling!

There are also a range of cakes in here.

The range of different teas available is on display.

My coffee was served with a freshly made biscuit.

I always found a seat in the bar when I wanted one, but otherwise you could sit in one of the many spots in the lobby and have something brought to you.  On an evening drinks were served from this bar into the courtyard.

Turquoise Buffet

We ate breakfast and lunch everyday in the Turquoise buffet and I have to say it was amazing. There is everything that you could possibly need there. Lots of different regional foods. Many, many hot dishes. Lots of salads, a whole bakery area and the desserts are to die for.  I have taken far too many photos to add to the middle of this review, so have just shared a few here.  If you would like to see more – scroll down to the end of this review.

Whoever is in charge of the patisserie should receive a reward for artistry. Just look how beautiful these cakes are.

When you enter the buffet you give your room number and find yourself a seat. There are plenty of seats and the buffet never felt crowded or rushed. There is also an adult’s seating area if you are not wanting to be near small children. As soon as you are seated, a server will approach you offering water and drinks. Then you are free to roam the buffet and eat to your heart’s content!

Here are the buffet times (and indeed all the different restaurant times.)

L’Olivio Restaurant

We visited L’Olivio, the Italian restaurant during our stay. This was beautifully decorated in a Mediterranean style and also had outdoor seating which would be lovely on a cooler evening.

You can choose to have five courses in the a la carte restaurants, and are also brought bread as an appetiser. Our bread was served with a sun-dried tomato paste. Make sure you try this as it was divine very garlicky possibly with some parmesan in there too (but that’s conjecture!). I wasn’t expecting it to be quite as nice as it was and would have loved to have taken some home with me!

We didn’t have room for five courses so we just ordered a main course each. I could tell that the server was a little concerned that we hadn’t ordered enough and he persuaded us to also order a pizza to share.

I ordered the steak while my son ordered the sea bass, both of these were perfectly cooked and the pizza was very good too!

Orient Restaurant

We also visited the Orient restaurant during our stay. This is beautifully themed in a Turkish style and felt very decadent with beautiful lamps adorning every surface. On a side note, if you visit at sunset, there is a beautiful view from the balcony from which you can take a photograph (which I did).

Again, we were brought bread before the meal accompanied by butter and Turkish cheese which tasted a little like Feta.

We ordered the melon and cheese mezze which was served on a bed of ice with tzatziki, nuts, shrimp and a couple of other things (not sure what they were!).

I ordered the beef shaslick which was delicious and served with an equally delicious potato side, which makes it sound less exotic than it actually was but I’m not sure how else to describe it! My son ordered the chicken kebab which again was very nice.  

Finally, we did manage a pudding here. I chose the rice pudding which came with fresh fruit (it’s quite a big portion so go for one of the other desserts if you’re quite full!). My son ordered the candied pumpkin and has raved about it since requesting that I try and find a recipe and make it at home!

After the sun goes down, the lighting in the restaurant is quite low, hence why the photos are quite dark! There are cute little touch lamps on each of the tables rather than candlelight which you can touch to make brighter.


After dinner each evening there was a singer and a band playing in the main courtyard area outside of the lobby. All of the bands I saw were good and I enjoyed this evening entertainment very much. There is lots of comfortable seating around, and it was a highlight of my day.

We also had musicians playing during meals in the restaurants and in the lobby during the afternoon. It was a pleasure to sit and listen whilst drinking coffee.

Anjana Spa

I visited the spa during our stay. Now, I didn’t visit the spa when we stayed at Rixos the Palm in Dubai or at Rixos Marina (also in Abu Dhabi), and I am completely kicking myself now because it was just incredible! Such a beautiful spa and a bit of a hidden gem within the hotel. Although looking back, I don’t know why I didn’t think it would be good when everything else in the hotel is so marvellous. I would also like to say that I have been in many hotels, mostly in the UK but also around the world and this was very impressive. It was also very quiet. I only saw four other people using the spa while I was there, and this gave for a very relaxed vibe.

Below is the entrance to the spa.

It is worth noting that it is free to visit the spa. The only time you would pay is if you were having treatments.

When I first arrived in the spa reception I was greeted warmly by a member of staff who asked if I had visited before. When I said that it was my first time in there, she kindly gave me a tour of the facilities.

The spa is divided into male and female areas. The majority of the experience rooms being, I believe, on the female side. I can’t really talk about the male side as of course I didn’t go into that bit, but the women’s side was lovely. There are all the usual spa accompaniments such as changing rooms, showers, lockers, etc. Then comes the experience rooms.

There is a large sauna and a steam room, with their own large tropical showers.

There is also a plunge pool with bubbles, not exactly a jacuzzi as the bubbles are just in two spots, it has a much more relaxed and sociable feel than a jacuzzi would have.  This area is in an inner courtyard and open to the sky.

If you are feeling very brave and very hot after the sauna, you could take a turn in the Snow Room. This is exactly how it sounds a room full of snow! I spent a few minutes at the entrance to the room but wasn’t brave enough to have a roll in the snow!

There is also a hammam, which is a huge room with lots of stone (marble?) benches. The floor and the benches are heated and actually quite hot. I gave myself a little surprise when I sat down and then leapt back up again! 

There is also a Turkish bath, a small plunge pool within the hammam. Some treatments take place in there and the hammam can be closed if privacy is needed. It was never closed when I was there.

There is also a fabulous relaxation area on the walk up to the hammam. A perfect spot to sit and chat to friends.

Finally, the pool has its own outdoor swimming pool and jacuzzi with lots of sun loungers around it. There were people here so I didn’t get too many photographs. You do not need to visit the spa to visit the spa pool and the spa pool is adults only, but of course there is no pool bar there although flavoured water is available. It was a beautiful and quiet sanctuary though.

Abu Dhabi would not be somewhere that would immediately come to mind when you think of going abroad for a spa break. However, after my experience in their spa, it’s definitely something I want to do in the future.


There are lots of pools to choose from at the hotel. There is the big main pool with its accompanying pool bar, the spa that I’ve mentioned, a  wave pool and kids waterpark. (scroll down for these photos). There are also many swim up rooms, with pools just outside their terrace. 


I didn’t take a picture of the main pool as it was busy here and I didn’t want to impinge on anyone’s privacy.  Instead, I am using an official photo so you can see how lovely it was.

I did snap a couple of pictures of the Pool Bar Menu though!  (It’s included in the All Inclusive package).


Rixos Saadiyat Private Beach

The Rixos Premium on Saadiyat Island has its own (huge) private beach with lots of comfortable sunbeds, showers and towels. The sand is very white and soft and you can walk out into the Arabian Sea quite far before it gets too deep. Also, the water is warm like a hot bath! For those of us who are used to the North Sea off the coast of Scarborough, this is quite a novelty!

The beach bar is beautifully decorated and relaxing.

Rixy Club

All of the Rixos hotels I have visited cater really well for children.  The Rixy Club has a packed itinerary and a large indoor space as well as a large enclosed outdoor space.


Just next to the kids club is a bar that is geared towards kids and serves snacks and slushes.

I mentioned the kids water park earlier and it’s a fabulous facility for little ones and medium size ones as well. 

There is a Teen club that has arcade games, table football, large screen TVs and (I think) games consoles.

There are highchairs and items specifically aimed at kids in the buffet too.

To summarize, before you move on to my millions of buffet photos, we had a fabulous time at Rixos Premium Saadiyat Island and would thoroughly recommend a stay here.  It caters for couples, families and would even make a perfect spa break.  Would we go back?  Oh yes, in a heartbeat!

You may also be interested in our review of the Rixos Marina in Abu Dhabi and Rixos the Palm in Dubai.

More Food Photos from the Buffet

We visited as part of a press trip.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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