Travelers began eagerly rearranging their bucket lists when Saudi Arabia announced its new tourist visa program in September, opening its doors to visitors from around the world for the first time as part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. Yet at the Radisson Blu Hotel & Residence in Riyadh’s Diplomatic Quarter, it feels as if the borders were opened long ago, with more than 80 embassies and diplomatic missions within minutes from each other.
An oasis within the capital city, the Radisson’s surrounding greenery makes the hotel a private sanctuary, with all the modern comforts at your fingertips. The vibrant local culture is far from forgotten, with a collection of more than 1 000 traditional handicrafts from nearly 60 Saudi artisans featured around the hotel as part of The Living Exhibition, the largest compilation of handmade Saudi crafts in the country.
All 110 rooms and suites embody a contemporary Italian design with warm tones, wooden finishes, and splashes of color. Whether your stay is one day or one month, with the whole family or by yourself, guests can experience the ease and convenience of apartment-style living – with 24-hour room service – as well as full kitchens or kitchenettes, lounge access, multi-bedroom arrangements, and even spacious duplex options.
Savor your favorite Middle Eastern dishes or international classics at the Larder Restaurant and Lounge for a filling meal or a light bite, and don’t miss the Larder Terrace in the hotel’s peaceful gardens for a more intimate social gathering al fresco style. Burn the calories without fear afterwards in separate gym facilities for men and women before heading to the steam rooms or taking a dip in the indoor pool. Guests can also head over to the hotel’s beauty salon, a five-minute walk away, for a quick touch-up.
Not only a destination for leisure travelers, but also those on business, the hotel’s Business Experience offer ensures guests’ fast-paced lifestyles are well catered to, including high-speed Wi-Fi, express dry-cleaning, complimentary breakfast as well as a room upgrade to help ease the pain of having to work abroad. Four furnished conference rooms complete with audiovisual equipment, dedicated staff, and connecting breakout areas can save the day for any last-minute meetings.
Although the hotel is still relatively new, the Radisson Blu’s “Yes I Can!” service philosophy already shines through, giving fresh tourists a glimpse into the warm hospitality ingrained within the Middle Eastern culture. From SAR1270 per night. Radissonhotels.com
Cultural experiences to explore in Riyadh
1). National Museum Discover Saudi Arabia’s heritage at the country’s largest museum, home to eight galleries of cultural antiquities from various eras. Nationalmuseum.org.sa
2). Jebel Fihrayn Find serenity (and a rush of adrenaline) on a desert trek to the “edge of the world” for unrivaled views atop the rocky cliffs of this natural wonder.
3). Ad Diriyah Explore 15th century Saudi Arabia through the Unesco-listed heritage site At-Turaif, with Salwa Palace, traditional craft demonstrations, and a buzzing souq in the ancient city’s restored ruins.
Originally published in the November 2019 issue of Vogue Arabia
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