Another day, another Iftar. Though the St. Regis hotel on Abu Dhabi’s corniche have a very special treat in store for diners this Ramadan. The launch of ‘Iftar In The Clouds’ allows guests to dine in the Abu Dhabi Suite, located 220m above sea level, providing stunning views across the city skyline and Arabian Gulf.
The Abu Dhabi Suite bridges Abu Dhabi’s iconic architecture of Nation Towers and is recognised as the world highest suspended suite. Spanning the 48th and 49th floors of the hotel and only accessible via a private elevator. This suite is one of the most exclusive and luxurious spaces in the capital and one that normally costs upwards of 150,000 AED per night.
This Ramadan, St Regis offers the exclusive Abu Dhabi Suite for Iftar gatherings and private functions. Catering to parties of 35 – 70 people, there is no better way to celebrate the holy month, than breaking your fast here with family and loved ones.
Out and About UAE were invited to a VIP media preview of ‘Iftar In The Clouds’ and needless to say, we were more than impressed… in fact you could say that we were completely floored by the experience. Entering the suite via private elevator on the 48th floor, we disembarked into a hallway with a sweeping spiral staircase and gold embossed marble floors. In the centre hangs a glorious chandelier, cascading crystals downwards like a bejewelled waterfall.
The suite has a distinctly Arabian feel, blending traditional Arabic style with contemporary elements and Art Deco design. In keeping with the St. Regis brand, the space is an absolute marvel to behold, with its three bedrooms, three bathrooms, two powder rooms, a lounge/bar and even a cinema room!
Having the opportunity to experience a space that is usually reserved for royalty and VIP guests, we felt truly regal. From the circular bed, to the gorgeous marble bathroom with free-standing roll top tub, the rooms are accented with 24 karat gold finishings, velvet upholstered walls in jewel tones and intricate glass mosaics. There is no doubt that this is a lavish affair of true decadence and we only wish that we had the opportunity to stay ourselves. Did we mention that this is the most expensive suite in the UAE? I think we did!
Exploring the split level 1,120 square meter suite, guests will be astounded by the level of luxury and grandeur on offer. With 360 degree views of the Arabian Gulf, corniche, city skyline and of course Etihad Towers and the Emirates Palace. There are few places like this in the capital and this is an experience to be truly relished. As the sun sets below the horizon, the glittering waters of the Gulf, combine with the final pink hues of the sky, before the city descends into darkness. The view then takes on an altogether different perspective, as Marina Mall and the Marina Eye wheel burst into flashes of vibrant neon colour.
Being a space that very few people get to experience, we felt truly honoured to be invited to the Iftar preview. Dining in a central room with ceilings of pure gold with tables covered in simple bright white linens and elegant cutlery. Ornate golden mirrors hung from the walls, while pretty Arabic lanterns of coloured glass were placed upon table tops. Dining at the St. Regis has always been a refined affair and is about the overall experience – from the surroundings to the ambiance and the service – as opposed to just the food.
Iftar In The Clouds sticks with traditional Arabic offerings and a myriad of Arabian inspired delicacies. Guests are welcomed with dates and Arabic coffee, alongside silver chests brimming with dried fruits, nuts and other Ramadan delicacies.
The Iftar meal itself, is served buffet style, beggining with cold items such as salads and cheeses. Popular Iftar favourites like hummus, fattoush, tabbouleh and mutable (a dip made from smoky egg plant) are present, alongside freshly baked breads. There is the opportunity to create your own salads from a variety of fresh ingredients. Think sweetcorn, lettuce, olives, cucumber and onions.
Turning to the hot buffet, guests can expect many traditional favourites and although the selection may not be the largest, the quality more than makes up for it The centrepiece of the hot buffet is the ouzi (the traditional spicy rice dish presented with a whole lamb). Biryani, chicken mohlakia (cooked with the bitter Nalta jute leaves), Arabic mixed grill, baked salmon, dawood basha (meatballs in a spicy gravy) and a mixture of grilled shrimp and calamari are all available for diners to feast upon.
All dishes are nicely complemented by a refreshing selection of special Ramadan beverages, including fresh juices, leben (a fresh yoghurt drink) Jallab (a popular Middle Eastern drink that mixes dates, grape molasses and rose water) and Amar al Din (made from Apricots). Drinks that are seen to aid the digestive system, which is essential during the holy month. For those looking for something less traditional, there are a delightful array of fruit mojito mocktails – with the strawberry being our absolute favourite.
Desserts can be found in a separate room and displayed as a pyramid of sweet decadence. From Arabic dessert staples like kanufa (a Levantine cheese pastry soaked in sugar syrup) and Umm Ali (an Arabic version of a bread pudding, stuffed with milk, raisins, coconut, almonds, pistachio and condensed milk), to more obvious choices likpistachio opera, chocolate mud cake or the beautiful strawberry profiteroles. The tower of sweet treats had such a strong visual impact with all its bright colours and intricate decoration, that we didn’t want to spoil the immaculate presentation by actually eating anything. The dessert section also features Indian desserts and some moorish baklava.
The St. Regis is a brand known for going the extra mile and providing a personalised element to proceedings. Iftar In The Clouds is no different, with an Emirati calligraphy artists on hand, to write names (or anything guests wanted) in a beautiful Arabic font on lavishly embossed paper. An art form that acts as the perfect memento to remind us of such a beautiful evening.
Location: St. Regis, Nation Towers, Corniche, Abu Dhabi
Contact: 02 694 4721 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Price: Private Iftar buffets start at 250AED per person
We were invited to dine at The St. Regis Abu Dhabi. All views are our own and all photographs are © Out & About UAE, unless otherwise stated. Four photos used courtesy of St. Regis Abu Dhabi.
Read more of Out & About UAE’s adventures at St. Regis Abu Dhabi: Friday Brunch At Villa Toscana