1 It’s the first of its kind
Polo has been the signature sport of The St. Regis brand since the first hotel opened its doors in New York more than 100 years ago. And yet of the 39 hotels currently open and operated by the brand, with another 23 to follow, the Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club is, remarkably, the first St. Regis resort in the world to be dedicated to the “sport of kings” – the phrase used by the hotel general manager Andrew Henning when we caught up with him recently.
2 Everything has an equestrian vibe
Practically the entire resort is, in one way or another, inextricably linked to its sporting heritage. The grand halls, restaurants, suites and function rooms of The St. Regis are all designed with polo in mind. The restaurants pay homage the Spanish and Latin American history of horsemanship from their roots in the south of Spain and Arabian influences of North Africa.
3 You can learn everything about polo here…
With two full-size polo fields and more than 500 stables, the resort is positioning itself as one of the leading equestrian centres in the country. Budding enthusiasts can learn to ride or play at the polo academy, too. Indeed, such is the resort’s dedication to the sport, it immediately hosted the polo season’s showpiece event, the Julius Baer Cup, within weeks of its grand opening in March.
4 …and then take your pick of dining options
There are six separate food and beverage options available for guests at the Polo Resort & Club, each of which brings intriguing flavours with them. Firstly, there’s the Equestrian Lounge, a classically British-themed restaurant where you can indulge in a proper cream tea with a lovely, soothing cup of Earl Grey.
Alternatively, head over to Taperia for a classic sports/tapas bar hybrid. Aided by classic flamenco music, live food preparation stations and TV screens showing the match, guests can pick at nibbles to their heart’s content.
Elsewhere, there are a couple of Argentinian-inspired steakhouses. The Grill Pit is pretty self-explanatory, but offers a more up-market approach to charred meat – with dishes including Argentinian beef, Atlantic lobster, roast baby goat, Chilean sea bass, or a quinoa risotto with seasonal vegetables and smoked Manchego cheese.
There’s also the staggeringly vast Andalucia in the very middle of the building, which is a vibrant, communal open-plan dining venue offering flavours of the Mediterranean, the St. Regis Polo Bar on the first floor, with its more peaceful ambiance and finally Oasis, a poolside restaurant with waterside cabanas and a swim-up bar.
5 Pretty much everything faces the polo field
During the polo season, the resort seems to gravitate towards the fields, with two separate terraces overseeing all the action. When it’s not quite so hot outside in the post and pre-summer months, Friday brunch unfolds in front of the day’s play. Meanwhile, function rooms on the higher floors turn into what are, effectively, private boxes, which can be hired out for parties looking for a prime spot to watch the game.
6 You can literally live and breathe polo
There are 96 different guest rooms and 30 suites available for guests staying at The St. Regis Dubai, Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club. But if you decide that a weekend stay at this resort isn’t enough for you (and who could blame you?), then perhaps you might be interested in taking up residency at one of the 25 immaculately designed villas for the season.
There are four bedrooms within each villa, a maid’s room, state-of-the-art smart home technology, marble bathrooms and private swimming pools, plus the private butler service that has become a signature trait of the St. Regis experience. Villas range from 5,000 sq ft to 6,500 sq ft, and you can even bag yourself one of these for a short-term lease of up to a year. Suddenly, your mate’s idea of a house-share with three of their other mates doesn’t sound like such a bad idea after all…
7 Alternatively just chill, and treat yourself
Dubai’s second Iridium Spa, exclusive to The St. Regis brand, offers up six treatment rooms, each with their own steam room and sauna. Designed to be reminiscent of southern Spanish haciendas and Andalucían vibes with an equestrian touch (of course), this is just the place to work out those knots in your shoulders.
8 You definitely feel like you’re out of the city
It’s just so green. So. Green. And when you’re this close to the centre of the city and not in a park or on a golf course, it’s pretty unusual. It offers a rare level of serenity for a restful and relaxing stay.
9 It’s not as far as you might think
A 30-minute drive from Dubai Marina, and a 25-minute drive from Downtown Dubai means The St. Regis Dubai, Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club is way closer than you imagined.
Emirates Road, www.stregisdubaialhabtoorpoloresort.com.
The St. Regis Dubai, Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club
Take your pick from half a dozen fantastic eateries or bars, including Oasis, the poolside chill-out spot.
Enormous villas are available for weekend, short or medium-term stays – and they have a lot to offer
There are nearly 100 immaculate guest rooms for visitors to choose from.
Stables housing training horses and facilities ready for the polo academy and riding lessons.