Hotels, Palaces & Luxury Villas

The Ritz-Carlton Riyadh ... boasting a strategic location in the capital.

The Ritz-Carlton Riyadh ... boasting a strategic location in the capital.

Putting on the Ritz

November 2011

THE Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company has launched its first property in Saudi Arabia in what was originally envisioned as a royal guest palace for visiting dignitaries and heads of state.

The Ritz-Carlton Riyadh, which was opened last month, boasts a strategic location in Riyadh next to the Diplomatic Quarter and adjacent to the King Abdul Aziz Convention Centre, one of the largest in the region.

Set in 213,500 sq m (52 acres) of landscaped gardens, the hotel has 493 rooms and suites including 49 exquisitely appointed two-bedroom Royal Suites, each measuring more than 425 sq m, and 50 one-bedroom, opulent Executive Suites at 95 sq m.

Designed by Al Rasheed Engineering Company and constructed by Oger International, the palatial hotel boasts spectacular fountains that front the 1-km driveway. Its stately architecture is modelled on traditional palaces and elegant Arabian residences, with ochre facades blending with the verdant landscape of the gardens. Native palms, 600-year-old olive trees from Lebanon, and water fountains abound on the property, providing an oasis of serenity amidst the city centre.

“This majestic hotel’s prime location in the literal heart of the Arabian Peninsula offers many significant advantages to visiting guests and dignitaries,” says Herve Humler, president and chief operations officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. “We are extremely proud that The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh, represents our first hotel into the kingdom. We have been aggressively seeking the right first location in Saudi Arabia for a number of years, and believe there could be no better place for a Ritz-Carlton than in this.”

The architecture, interior design, landscaping and fittings fuse to create a marriage of style and sense of place within the Middle East. All guestrooms and suites are elegantly styled using the vibrant colours and ethnic textures of the region, with subtle touches reflecting the kingdom’s Arabic heritage. All guest rooms are equipped with the latest technology, including wireless and wired Internet access, flat-screen televisions and DVD players.

The hotel – geared to cater to the largest of international summits and social gala events – offers more than 5,800 sq m of conference space combined, including two colossal ballrooms in a separate wing that are both identical in size at 1,970 sq m each. They are complemented by two vast auditorium-styled theatres with stepped floors and built-in stages for press conferences and symposium lectures, and a generous variety of smaller meeting rooms. Completing the conference area is the Aubergine restaurant, which caters exclusively for invited delegates, journalists and accompanying security personnel.

Diners have a selection of gourmet dining venues, including Al Orjouan, the signature all-day dining buffet restaurant; and Turquoise, the cigar lounge. An al fresco option is Chorisia Lounge for breakfast, lunch or the signature afternoon tea, while Strike offers mocktails and smoothies within the 1,000-sq-m indoor six-lane bowling alley.

Flanking the stunning indoor swimming pool on the ground level, which features garden views from the floor-to-ceiling windows, are Hong, the Asian restaurant, and Azzuro Italian restaurant.

Recreational facilities include a full-service men’s health club complete with three treatment rooms. For medical emergencies, the hotel features a fully-equipped intensive care unit (ICU) with separate rooms for patients.

The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh joins nine other Ritz-Carlton hotels and resorts currently operating or under development in the Middle East: Bahrain, Dubai, Sharm El Sheikh, Doha, Sharq Village & Spa, Dubai International Finance Centre, Muscat, Abu Dhabi and Cairo (opening respectively in 2012 and 2013).

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