Want to take advantage of Marriott STARS benefits, including a space available room upgrade, complimentary breakfast, a hotel credit, and more? Contact Ford ([email protected]) for more details. He may even be able to help if you already have a stay booked. This is valid for paid stays at BVLGARI, EDITION, Ritz-Carlton, Ritz-Carlton Reserve, and St. Regis.
We know that Saudi Arabia is investing an unprecedented amount of money to boost its tourism industry. A big part of this is the Red Sea Project, which covers 28,000 square kilometers on the west coast of the country, and includes an archipelago of more than 90 natural islands. The goal is to build dozens of hotels here by 2030.
Many major luxury hotel groups have committed to opening properties here, and it looks like the first of these that’s bookable with points has just opened. Specifically, I’m talking about the St. Regis Red Sea Resort, which is the brand’s second property in the country, after the recent opening of the St. Regis Riyadh.
In this post:
Basics of the St. Regis Red Sea Resort
The St. Regis Red Sea Resort is now open. It’s odd, because I’ve seen no press release or announcement of the opening, but the hotel is accepting reservations for stays effective immediately (thanks to @NDH330 for flagging this).
The St. Regis Red Sea Resort is located on a private island, and features 90 beachfront and overwater villas, each with a private pool. The entry level beach villas are the dune villas, marketed as being 75 square meters (807 square feet), with a bedroom, dining area, living area, and outdoor terrace with pool.
The entry level overwater villas are the coral villas, marketed as being 79 square meters (850 square feet), with a bedroom, dining area, living area, and outdoor terrace with pool.
The resorts features a variety of dining outlets, including Nesma (a Middle Eastern restaurant serving breakfast and lunch), Gishiki 45 (a Japanese restaurant serving dinner), Tilina (a steakhouse serving dinner), The Beach Club at St. Regis (serving light bites and meals for lunch and dinner), and The St. Regis Bar (serving drinks and snacks… but no alcohol… for now).
The resort also features an outdoor pool, a signature St. Regis Spa, a fitness center, and a children’s club.
Since the St. Regis Red Sea Resort is on a private island, you can only get there by seaplane or chartered yacht. The hotel’s website indicates that “exceptional transportation by the yacht is included in your room rate,” so that’s nice, at least.
The best way to get to the area in general is to fly to Red Sea International Airport (RSI), which is currently served by Saudia nonstop from Jeddah (JED) with 2x weekly flights and Riyadh (RUH) with 3x weekly flights.
St. Regis Red Sea Resort rates & points requirements
Rates at the St. Regis Red Sea Resort are roughly what you’d expect, given that all accommodations here are villas with private pools. Rates currently seem to start at ~$1,300 per night, though get a little cheaper if visiting in summer. Rates for overwater villas currently start at an extra ~$400 per night.
I’m kind of surprised by this, but redeeming points at the St. Regis Red Sea Resort isn’t a particularly good deal as of now. Points rates seem to start at north of 160,000 Bonvoy points per night. I value Marriott Bonvoy points at 0.7 cents each, so you don’t come out all that much ahead when redeeming points.
The reason I’m a bit surprised by the high points cost is because I can’t imagine this hotel will be running high occupancy anytime soon, and Marriott’s costs for redemptions reflect occupancy levels at hotels.
If you are going to book a cash stay at the St. Regis Red Sea, I’d highly recommend doing so through the Marriott STARS program. This will score you perks like complimentary breakfast, a $100 food & beverage credit, a room upgrade subject to availability, and more. Ford is more than happy to help with Marriott STARS reservations, and can be reached at [email protected].
It’s going to be fascinating to see how this develops
I’m intrigued by Saudi Arabia’s attempt to develop its tourism industry. That’s not because I’m a cheerleader for Saudi Arabia, but rather because we’ve never seen a country invest so much money in tourism so quickly, all while admittedly having a bit of a reputation issue in the West.
It’s unbelievable how many hotels are slated to open in the Red Sea Project in the near future, from a Four Seasons, to a Rosewood, to a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, to an EDITION, to a Miraval, to a Grand Hyatt, to an InterContinental, to a Fairmont, and many more.
Can you imagine what it’s like to stay at the St. Regis Red Sea right now? You really have no clue what to expect, as there are primarily just renderings of what the property should look like, with little about what it looks like in real life. Furthermore, the logistics just don’t seem very ironed out yet, given you currently have a total of five weekly flights to this airport.
Are there guests at the hotel yet? What are they like? Is the hotel fully staffed? I have so many questions…
“Build it and they will come,” they say. Well, Saudi Arabia has built it. Now we’ll see if they come…
The St. Regis Red Sea Resort has quietly opened as of early 2024. The property consists exclusively of beachfront and overwater villas. This is the first major points hotel that I know of to open as part of the Red Sea Project.
The country is hoping to eventually make the Red Sea a huge tourist hotspot, but as of now that’s still a work in progress. I’m curious how this evolves…
What do you make of the St. Regis Red Sea Resort?