Manhattan Lounge in Abu Dhabi

Check out the bar for grown-ups at the St Regis on Saadiyat Island Discuss this article

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The Manhattan Lounge is located at the relatively new St Regis Hotel on Saadiyat Island. The St Regis is a real standout in the hotel game here in the capital, boasting lavish yet intimate spaces and magnificent views over either Saadiyat’s pristine beach or the impressive Saadiyat Beach Golf Club. Manhattan Lounge is predominantly an indoor bar but there is very nice outdoor seating also available, from where you can indulge in the previously mentioned great views. As soon as you sit down, you are taken back to old New York and you can almost hear Miles Davis playing Smoke Gets In Your Eyes.

What makes Manhattan Lounge, and the St Regis in general, great is the amazing service from the staff, ensuring that you enjoy your visit and that you are happy. The staff are impeccably dressed and are very friendly and knowledgeable. They know the menu inside out and are happy to suggest one of their signature blends or make you something else that’s not on the menu, depending on what you feel like. Once we had ordered, the very talented bartender quickly and professionally whipped up our blends from behind the bar as we watched from our big, leather chairs.

View and atmosphere
Whether you choose to sit inside the bar or outside on the terrace, you will be in for a visual treat. Sitting inside you are whisked back to Manhattan, circa 1920. Drinks are served in fine, Art Deco glasses and the bar tender is dressed to suit the theme. The drinks menu is beautifully presented with a selection of house blends, old fashioned blends and signature blends to choose from. The menu itself is weighty and refined, a heavy brown leather cover, with thick cream paper and lovely Art Deco touches embossed at the top of each page.

Soft jazz tunes play in the bar which really adds to the ambience, as does the heavy timber finishing and the thoughtfully designed interior. The room itself includes a larger than life wall mural behind the bar that tells the story of the origins of Abu Dhabi’s early settler’s, which adds a nice Arabian touch. The bar’s signature drink is fantastic, it is essentially a traditional spiced, tomato blend with an Arabian twist. Another standout is a zingy citrus blend with a strong lemon flavour. A wide range of malts and fortified beverages are also on offer, and are presented on beautiful wooden drinks trolleys. Sitting outside on the terrace is also a delightful way to spend an evening because you’ll be able to gaze out at the ocean or watch the happenings taking place around the hotel grounds.

The food is very good and suits the drinks menu very well. It is essentially a bar bites menu that consists of light foods to snack on while having a beverage. Highlights include lobster lollipops, meatballs, tuna tartare and assorted cheeses. Full of great options for when you just want something to nibble on. The attentive waiters also constantly top you up with bite sized wasabi and sweet chilli rice crackers. Which is a nice touch.

This is a very grown up bar and the perfect place to wind down after work, to indulge in an aperitif before dinner or to end your night. You won’t be disappointed with the service or the view. It feels like a very chic club lounge where business men in the 1920s would have done deals and smoked top notch cigars. A little piece of Manhattan right here in our fair Abu Dhabi.

Cigar smoking is permitted, so things can get quite smoky when the bar is busy which can become irritating for non-smokers. And if you like big, pumping nightclubs then this is not the place for you. Some may say that it is too far out of the way, however we would disagree and suggest that you try it out for yourself.
Manhattan Lounge, open daily 5pm-2.30am, St Regis, Saadiyat Island (02 498 8888).

By Angela Beitz
Time Out Abu Dhabi,

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