When a new brunch gets up and running, everyone gets a little excited. And, while a few have joined the crowd in recent months, I finally made it out to the newly opened Saadiyat Rotana, on the beautiful Saadiyat beach. It is nestled just between two other prime properties (The St. Regis and The Park Hyatt), so it has some good competition to live up to. It actually looks and feels very similar to the Park Hyatt with low sand-hued buildings and an expansive back yard pool area that blends right into the calm sandy beaches.
The expansive brunch is held both indoors and outdoors (poolside) with everything so well spaced out that you need to make sure that your host/ waiter shows you around so that you don't miss something...like the well-hidden and deliciously curated Pork Room. The Rotana excels at making its guests feel both special and relaxed at the same time. The atmosphere is calm, while the live band makes it feel vibrant. The January breeze makes outside the optimal spot to sit, but even indoors, there is so much natural light that you won't necessarily have a preference.
The food is on par with other 5-star brunches, with a few stand outs.
1. The fresh seafood: Take a fresh Canadian lobster to the grill and in just minutes it will arrive at your table caramelized to perfection with a pat of butter for dipping. Eat as many as you want.
2. The craft brew and Moet Chandon. This is the only brunch so far to offer Brew Dog, and that Moet just goes down so easily.
3. Cocktails: The outdoor area is scattered with cocktail bars, each specializing in a different liquor or drink...Aperol Spritz, Jack Daniels, Vodka and even a special wine area. You can dangerously just brunch on cocktails if you are not careful.
4. Pork: While most brunches will offer a few pork dishes, the Saadiyat Rotana has The Pork Room. It is nestled in a back corner of the space, curated with heavy European influence. All of the cured pork that you could want from Iberico to Mortadella is sliced thin and just waiting for your plate. But, if your want something hot, head outside to the whole roasting pig. The pulled pork was some of the best that you will find here in the UAE.
When you have had enough of the savory and it is time for dessert, be sure not to miss the homemade gelato and bubble waffles. The waffles are made to order and the super creamy and thick Pistachio gelato was my favorite. In fact you should maybe save room for seconds.
Before you head back home (assuming you haven't had too many cocktails) take a walk around the pool area and ideally down to the beach. Once you hit the sand, the quiet of the ocean sets in and you see can see up and down the coast line. Beach chairs crowd the hotel fronts, but there is sand and waves for miles. Not a bad place to digest all that brunch.
Starting at 335AED pp
Saadiyat Rotana Resort and Villas
T: +971 2 697 0000