Staycation Review: Nofa Riyadh, A Radisson Collection Resort
The exclusive all-villa resort tucked in the outskirts of Riyadh put the focus on slowing down and just being still…
Located just outside Riyadh, about an hour’s drive from the city centre, Nofa Riyadh, a Radisson Collection Resort, is nestled in a landscape of golden dunes and green lawns.
You can’t get more exclusive than this all-villa resort, a magnificent property that offers every type of luxury and facility. It ticks all the boxes – its spectacular setting overlooks Nofa Wildlife Park, and it provides a treasure trove of delights, including an 18-hole golf course and an equestrian field, meaning that every stunning attraction in the area is within reach.
Just getting there is an adventure itself. You’ll be greeted by a massive wooden gate separating the resort from the rest of the world. Continue driving for another four kilometres on the quiet road until you pass the wildlife reserve, meandering through the verdant greenery and a man-made lake that takes you into the reception area.
It’s like a scene straight from Africa. Adorned with natural, earthy materials and an abundance of textural elements, the freestanding thatched accommodation blends beautifully with its surrounding environment. There’s an African safari-style interior across the public spaces, too. Think rustic elegance, with animal motifs and sculptures, walls of stone, sculptural tree trunk supports, and tamboti-beamed thatch roofs. The scenery here is breathtakingly beautiful, the surroundings picture-perfect, with lakes, pools, lush gardens, and a canopy of trees creating a natural paradise.
Mixing modern comforts with an African feel, guests can check in to one of the 57 well-spaced luxury bungalows and villas, all of which come with a garden and a heated private pool. With plenty of dark wood furniture, its warm décor gives it a more intimate setting. Other features include a smart TV, a Nespresso coffee machine, a hairdryer, a spacious ensuite bathroom complete with a drencher shower, and sun loungers outside for relaxation. We also love each villa’s secluded ambience – you’ll feel like the only people for miles.
A retreat to Nofa is not complete if you do not experience the safari tour. In addition to the countless statues of safari animals, they can be found in the living form at Nofa Wildlife Park, home to about 500 animals of 23 species. Among the many animals roaming freely are giraffes, zebras, gazelles, oryx, ostriches, flamingos, pygmy hippos, elephants, magnificent lions, and two rare golden tigers, in which only 30 are believed to exist in the world. Whether private or with a group, each itinerary is tailored to be the most luxurious, comfortable, and exciting adventure possible.
Past the wildlife park, visitors can explore Nofa Golf Resort and Nofa Equestrian Resort, which features a show jumping arena, a specialised racetrack, a polo field, and an extensive stable complex. The fully grassed 18-hole golf course is a marvel that’s bound to excite and challenge even the most experienced golfers. The golf resort also features a driving range, a putting green, and a clubhouse.
Other exciting leisure activities include lazing around the main swimming pool surrounded by plush sunbeds, showing off your putting skills at the mini-golf, or horseback riding for those who enjoy being in the saddle. The resort also offers bike-friendly amenities to help guests better explore. Plus, a dedicated kids’ club ensures little travellers are catered to.
Moreover, guests can soon look forward to an impressive entertainment centre, which will be up and running by year-end. Get ready for endless family-friendly fun as it will house a bowling alley, a cinema, an indoor playground, and even a spa.
Though there are ample activities to keep guests busy at the resort, it is truly life at your own pace. Just by being there makes one feel special as Nofa Riyadh centres on relaxing amid its stunning scenery.
All in all, the resort is well-run, and the service is exceptional – from the very welcoming management and staff to the knowledgeable guide who will escort you on the safari tour. They ensure that no whim goes unindulged.
The resort features five on-site restaurants. Tswalu restaurant (8am to 11am) provides an international array of dishes for breakfast. However, guests who would rather stay in and experience a luxury breakfast with style in your private pool can opt for the floating breakfast.
Imagine waking up in your villa and having a beautiful breakfast waiting in your private pool outside. The wooden tray is filled with goodies like bowls of luscious fresh fruits, bread and pastries baskets, granola, pancakes and waffles, omelette, sausages, hummus, as well as freshly squeezed juices, coffee, and tea. It doesn’t get more luxurious than this.
At the Waterhole Alfresco restaurant (noon to 11pm) located by the resort’s main swimming pool, Italian delicacies await, with a menu packed with comforting flavours, from pasta and risottos to stone-fired pizzas. The African Tea Lounge (2pm to midnight) has a lovely, relaxed atmosphere, and its all-day menu is ideal for grabbing a light bite.
Those looking for a more upscale culinary experience can enjoy grilled specialities from The Butcher’s Den steakhouse (7pm to midnight) for dinner or pop by Aji Lounge (7pm to midnight) for when you get a sushi craving.
The BBQ Boat experience (SAR500 per person) is also a must-try for waterfront dining at Nofa. All you have to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy grilling your meat while cruising around the lake on the electric doughnut boat.
The room rates
A night in the bungalow starts from SAR2,205, while the three-bedroom family terrace villa is priced from SAR7,321.50.
Nofa Resort Riyadh, a Radisson Collection Hotel, Riyadh Makkah Highway, Exit 857, Riyadh, 66223, Saudi Arabia. Tel: 011 521 2300. Radissonhotels.com