Obama. Blatter. Clinton.
These are just some of the few names who have had the luxury of staying at the renowned Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Forget the media and people’s perception about the Arab country, and instead prepare yourself to witness Saudi Arabia like you’ve never seen it before.
Pulling up to the grand entrance of the luxurious hotel, our vehicle is run through a quick precautionary check before we were permitted to proceed forward. Driving down the short boulevard, you are surrounded by luscious greenery through the 52 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens and captivating water features. One of the most mind-blowing entrances to a hotel I have ever seen. I do not think the White House’s entrance is of this caliber.
Italian and Brazilian marble, copper horse statues from Portugal and a vaulted ceiling creates an unbelievable grand welcoming to The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh. Impeccably symmetric mosaic ceilings, hospitable staff roaming around and traditional coffee and delicious dates being served, I felt right at home.
The buffet breakfast spread was out of this world. Everything imaginable was available at your fingertips. From a dozen assorted cheeses, olives and cold-cut meats to sugar-coated pastries and personalised omelettes, I was in food heaven. As for lunch, it was the same experience all over again, except with dozens of different offerings. You are sent on your very own culinary journey from the most desired flavors globally. Let me just say I required a power nap after each meal.
The spacious suites offer opulent and refined comfort. With divided living and sleeping rooms, each suite features a separate working and dining area and branded amenities. With sumptuous bedding that will have you knocked out in a couple of minutes and breathtaking views such as the above, this is just a cherry on top towards the whole experience.
After a long day filled with back-to-back meetings, it was time to relax poolside. The stunning indoor swimming pool features floor-to-ceiling windows with garden views, grand arches and a domed ceiling that mirrors a clear blue sky. Order a couple non-alcoholic cocktails as well as a fruit platter and your afternoon is set.
Now for the entertainment and leisure based facilities within the hotel. Get this right, the hotel has a bowling alley. Yes, a bowling alley, and not just your ordinary bowling alley. An eight-lane Strike Bowling Alley with a full-blown lounge area and a four meter bar (serving only water and soft drink beverages of course). This place is man’s dream.
One thing that captured my complete attention was the 600-year old olive tree within the Chorisia Lounge. Standing tall in the middle of the garden, my mind automatically associated the tree to my Lebanese heritage.
All in all, my inaugural stay at the The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh was one that cannot be compared for years to come. Everything from the professionalism of the staff to the breathtaking interior decor was simple impeccable.
Make sure you follow The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh on: