DUBAI, United Arab Emirates and BETHESDA, Md. – The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. has announced plans to continue its rapid expansion in the Middle East with its first hotel in the capital and largest city in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA.) The 493-room Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh is prominently situated within the Diplomatic Quarter and is next to the King Abdul Aziz Conference 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, luxury accommodations, variety of dining and meeting facilities, combined with The Ritz-Carlton renowned service, will produce memorable stays for all our corporate and diplomatic guests,” says Herve Humler, president and chief operations officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. “We are extremely pleased that The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh represents our first venture into the Kingdom, and it is a magnificent addition to our international portfolio,” he adds.
Enjoying a pre-eminent address in the capital and situated within 213,500 square meters (52 acres) of luxuriantly landscaped gardens, the hotel will position itself amongst the grand palace hotels in the world. Designed by Oger International, The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh regally faces spectacular fountains fronting a 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.
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 lavish and exquisitely appointed two-bedroom Royal Suites, each generously measuring more than 430 square meters (4,630 square feet,) and 50 two-bedroom, opulent Executive Suites at 104 square meters (1,120 square feet,) ideal for senior corporate titans and political delegates.
To accommodate the largest of international summits and social gala events, The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh 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 are two restaurants 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 the signature restaurant featuring Middle Eastern favourites, an international buffet outlet, a Lobby Lounge serving the traditional and beloved afternoon tea as well a variety of fresh-baked pastries, cakes, coffee and teas; and a Piano Lounge.
Flanking the indoor heated pool on the ground level, which features garden views from the floor-to-ceiling windows, are the pan-Asian restaurant featuring a contemporary fusion of fresh Oriental ingredients with a western flair, and the Italian restaurant that serves authentic cuisine from the old country.
In addition to the swimming pool, a full-service health club and spa, tennis courts and a 1,000 square meter (10,700 square feet) six-lane indoor bowling alley will offer fitness, wellness, and recreational options for guests. For medical emergencies, the hotel features a fully-equipped Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with separate rooms for patients. A private helipad on the hotel grounds provides swift access for corporate magnates and dignitaries.
The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh joins eight 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, Abu Dhabi and Nile Cairo (opening in late 2011 and 2013 respectively.)