The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. continues to show its strong commitment to the Middle East with the opening today of The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh. The palatial hotel, with 493 rooms and suites, is prominently situated next to the Diplomatic Quarter and adjacent to the King Abdul Aziz Convention Centre, one of the largest in the region and host to international summits and conferences.
“This majestic hotel’s prime location in the literal heart of the Arabian Peninsula offers many significant advantages to visiting guests and dignitaries,” said Herve Humler, president and chief operations officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. “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” added Humler. “Having such an impressive presence in Riyadh is part of our ongoing strategy to develop world class hotels in cities where the demand for luxury lodging is high. We believe our service is as exceptional as the surroundings, and the hotel will be the first choice for the local community, as well as visitors.”
The sense of arrival through 213,500 square meters (52 acres) of exquisitely landscaped gardens is befitting of the grandeur of the palace that lie ahead. Designed by Al Rasheed Engineering Company and constructed by Oger International, The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh boasts spectacular fountains that front the one kilometer driveway. Originally envisioned as a royal guest palace for visiting dignitaries and heads of state, the hotel’s stately architecture is modeled on traditional palaces and elegant Arabian residences, with ochre facades blending gracefully 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.
The architecture, interior design, landscaping and accessories 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 colors and ethnic textures of the region, with subtle touches reflecting the Kingdom’s Arabic heritage. Highlights include not just one, but 49 exquisitely appointed two-bedroom Royal Suites, each generously measuring more than 425 square meters (4,574 square feet,) and 50 one-bedroom, opulent Executive Suites at 95 square meters (1,022 square feet,) ideal for senior corporate titans and political delegates.
All guest rooms are equipped with the latest technology, including wireless and wired internet access, flat screen televisions and DVD players as standards.
Already host to several weddings even before the hotel opened, the conference and catering team at The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh is set to accommodate the largest of international summits and social gala events. The hotel offers more than 5,800 square meters (62,000 square feet) of conference space combined, including two colossal ballrooms in a separate wing that are both identical in size at 1,970 square meters or 21,000 square feet each. They are complemented by two vast auditorium-styled theatres with stepped floors and built-in stages, perfect for press conferences and symposium lectures, and a generous variety of smaller meeting rooms. Completing the conference area is Aubergine restaurant that cater exclusively for the invited delegates, journalists and accompanying security personnel.
As befitting a hotel of such imperial stature, guests are offered a selection of gourmet dining venues, including Al Orjouan, the signature all-day dining buffet restaurant featuring Lebanese favourites; and Turquoise, the cigar lounge that will be home to one of the widest selection of Cuban cigars in Saudi Arabia. Presenting an alfresco option is Chorisia Lounge for leisurely breakfast, lunch or the signature afternoon tea, while Strike offers a fun and stimulating atmosphere for mocktails and smoothies within the 1,000 square meter (10,700 square feet) 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 featuring a contemporary fusion of fresh Oriental ingredients with a western flair, and Azzuro Italian restaurant that serves authentic cuisine from the old country.
Also in Saudi Arabia today, City.Mobi is celebrating the success of its new guide to Riyadh.
City.Mobi offers the most comprehensive mobile travel guides available, with over 800 cities in 200 countries listed. Each is developed by the City.Mobi team to combine into a single global travel directory.
Riyadh.mobi is the latest in this illustrious line up, offering click to call functionality – which means no scribbling down telephone numbers.
Most entries are also linked to websites where users can quickly access more detailed information if needed.
Other key features include information on accommodation, restaurants, attractions, entertainment, nightlife, shopping, and transport.
City.Mobi guides include user reviews and traveller utilities such as a translation guide, currency converter, news and local weather guide.