Saudi Arabia’s capital (and its financial hub) sits almost at the centre of the country. It features glitzy, illuminated skyscrapers, along with the more traditional architecture you’d expect from a city built on the an-Nafud desert plateau. One of the richest places on earth, it’s overflowing with designer boutiques and polished air-conditioned malls. Those wishing to explore Riyadh’s cultural heritage can do so at the UNESCO Heritage site of Diriyah, Masmak Fortress and the Murabba Palace. For the best views across the city, climb up the landmark Kingdom Tower to the Skybridge. Here are our favourite 5-star and luxury hotels to stay at in the city.
The St. Regis Riyadh
St. Regis Hotels & Resorts has officially opened The St. Regis Riyadh, marking Marriott International’s 500th luxury property worldwide. Positioned as a new standard of luxury in Saudi Arabia, the hotel combines modern bespoke service, sophisticated dining, and avant-garde design, becoming the sole accommodation in the recently launched Via Riyadh destination. Located at the entrance of the Diplomatic Quarter, the hotel embraces Salmani architecture, featuring artwork that blends tradition and modernity. With 83 guestrooms, including 21 suites and a Royal Suite, The St. Regis Riyadh offers a light and spacious atmosphere, complemented by the brand’s legendary Butler Service. Culinary experiences include The Drawing Room, Jackie, and Stella Sky, while the rooftop features a St. Regis Bar and a spa with a variety of treatments. The ballroom, catering to 650 guests, serves as a versatile space for weddings and social events.
Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh At Kingdom Center
Stay in what is perhaps the city’s most iconic building, the 99-storey Kingdom Centre. 274 guest rooms at the Four Seasons range from deluxe doubles to a four-floor Presidential Suite, offering far-reaching views across the skyline. Guests can dine at The Grill, specialising in meat and seafood, with a semi-open kitchen; at the Asian and Middle Eastern fusion Elements; and in the Lobby Lounge. Leisure facilities include an outdoor pool, tennis courts, two indoor squash courts, a basketball court and a TRX room, and there are two spas (one for men and the other catering to women).
Le Méridien Riyadh
Just a 25-minute taxi ride from the airport and a minute from a metro station, this contemporary chic property places travellers at the heart of the Business District. The decor throughout is simple and sleek, with a European leaning, combining Arabian accents. Get together with colleagues for food anytime of the day or evening at Milwan; order signature coffee from the baristas at Latitude 24; or tuck into Asian dishes come dinnertime, at Kazo. Le Méridien has a 24-hour fitness centre, a pool and children’s pool and LMR SPA by Le Meridien (treatments can also be booked in-room).
JW Marriott Hotel Riyadh
The 349 bedrooms and public spaces of the 66-floor JW Marriott in Riyadh, embody modern Najdi architecture. This hotel may have all the trappings of an international chain, but it also offers authentic Arabic hospitality. A full-service spa incorporates two outdoor freshwater swimming pools, a large jacuzzi set beside floor-to-ceiling windows, a health club, and a sauna. Dining takes place at Kitchen On 3, via around-the-clock room service, or guests can buy snacks and drinks in the coffee shop/cafe. Valet parking, an airport shuttle, bicycle hire and a local limo service makes getting around, a breeze.
Hotel Fairmont Riyadh
298 guest rooms at the Hotel Fairmont (including state-of-the-art Fairmont Gold suites) provide Le Labo design bath products, in-room business facilities, hypo-allergenic bedding and Nespresso coffee machines. The property houses a gentlemen’s spa, a ladies’ lounge spa area with a beauty salon and a health club featuring a sleek indoor pool. Grab a quick bite to eat at Cafe Connect with its menu of gourmet snacks and wellness treats, served in a lounge planted with indoor trees. Take high tea in The Savoy Room. Or linger over a meal at one of the Fairmont’s restaurants; The Plaza, The 365 and Pesto.