x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Dh25m homes on Saadiyat Island come with butlers, chefs and masseurs

St Regis branded villas launched on Saadiyat Island, with prices starting from Dh22 million up to Dh25m - take our photo and video tour.

The luxury four and five-bedroom villas on the market for between Dh22 million and Dh25 million. Lee Hoagland / The National
The luxury four and five-bedroom villas on the market for between Dh22 million and Dh25 million. Lee Hoagland / The National
Butlers, chefs and personal trainers will be on hand for residents of the St Regis-branded villas on Saadiyat Island, and all they will need to take advantage of such luxury services is a little more than Dh20 million.

Abu Dhabi's Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) has put the Spanish-style four and five-bedroom villas on the market for between Dh22 million (US$5.9m) and Dh25m, making them among the most expensive residential properties in the capital.

The 32 villas, which are dotted around the St Regis resort and overlook the Saadiyat Beach golf course, are due to be completed by the end of the year.

These are the early parts of a multibillion-dollar island development that is not expected to be completed until 2020.

Analysts say such high-end branded villas were usually associated with exotic destinations such as Bali and the Langkawi islands in Malaysia.

"It is a very small niche market, targeting a very limited segment of potential buyers," said Chiheb ben Mahmoud, the senior vice president for the Middle East and Africa at Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels.

The 380-room, five-star St Regis resort is scheduled to open on November 1. Starwood, the operator, which also has brands worldwide including Le Meridien and Sheraton, is planning to hire about 750 staff for the hotel over the next few months.

"Pretty much any service that you have in the hotel will be mirrored in the villas," said John Pelling, the general manager of the St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort. "If an owner of the villa were having a dinner party .. and wanted to use the services of the hotel - a chef and a team of butlers to come and serve the dinner - then that would be available."

The resident has to pay additional charges for the services, but the prices have yet to be determined, Mr Pelling said.

Other services that could be called upon include valet parking, housekeeping, a florist, 24-hour dining and a personal trainer.

"Really it's as little or as much as each individual would like us to do," Mr Pelling said.

The development is one of nine resorts planned for the Saadiyat Beach District that includes the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi hotel, expected to open a few weeks before the St Regis property. Other companies planning to operate luxury hotels in the area, some of which are under construction, include Mandarin Oriental, Rotana and Shangri-La. The beach district is also home to the Saadiyat Beach golf course, designed by Gary Player, which is already operational, and the Monte Carlo Beach Club, which is due to open this year.

rbundhun@thenational.ae