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Hotel review: Al Faisaliah Hotel, Riyadh

This iconic address in the capital is a beacon of luxury…

Since it opened in May 2000 Riyadh’s Al Faisaliah Hotel has been a pioneer for luxury hospitality in the Kingdom. While it might have been easy for this centrally-located hotel to rest on its laurels, Al Faisaliah Hotel has continued to innovate. In 2014, the hotel added a second wing on the other side of Al Faisaliah Tower, adding sumptuous suites and a pampering ladies-only spa.

Then in 2021, the property entered a management contract with another hospitality purveyor renowned for luxury – Mandarin Oriental. Over the last two years, the brand has been transforming the property’s guest rooms, service standards and public spaces, and by the end of 2023 will be rebranded as the first Mandarin Oriental property in Saudi Arabia.

We checked in to check it out.

The location

Whether you’re travelling for business or leisure, the central location of Al Faisaliah Hotel is hard to beat. Located in the heart of Riyadh’s Central Business District, the hotel stretches across an east and west wing of Al Faisaliah Centre, divided by Al Faisaliah Tower, home to offices and a top floor restaurant with commanding city vistas. It also backs on to Mode Mall, a stylish spot for shopping formerly known as Al Faisaliah Mall.

Look and feel

It might be hard to imagine how modern Mandarin Oriental can make sense of the regal Arabian aesthetic of Al Faisaliah. Yet somehow, it does. With Adam Tihany Design behind the new interiors, the Arabian influence remains in dark woods and ornate patterns, but Mandarin Oriental’s Midas touch has been added to the lobby and guest rooms through more timeless and contemporary creams and natural hues.

Rooms

A stay in the South Wing is for suite guests only, which include some of the largest abodes in the Kingdom. Our own premier one bedroom suite was spacious and modern, decked out in stylish cream and dove grey that contrast well with expensive-looking woods. Crisp linen sheets encase a king sized bed, topped with the kind of feather pillows that perfectly frame your face as you sink in for a good nights sleep. Bathrooms benefit from both a large walk-in shower and sunken tub, with as little plastic as possible found across the amenities. Suite guests benefit from around-the-clock butler service, meaning whatever you’re looking for – from a car into the city, to a restaurant reservation within Al Faisilah – it’s instantly taken care of.

Facilities

Within the Al Faisaliah development, there’s everything you need for a stylish city break, from the array of restaurants from big international names like LPM and London-born Meraki, to the top-tier fashion brans housed within Mode Mall. For pampering, ladies are invited to enjoy the relaxing surrounds of the Al Faisilah Spa, a haven of wellness. From the soothing music to the light floral scent, this spa is a five-senses treat. Book in for an aromatherapy massage for blissful relaxation in one of the softly lit treatment rooms, or refresh with a cup of speciality tea in the relaxation or tea lounge. There’s also a 16-metre indoor pool and jacuzzi for guests to enjoy, plus gym and fitness studios.

Food and drink

With no less than nine dining options to choose from across Al Faisaliah, the hotel has one of Riyadh’s most impressive collections of restaurants. International names LPM, Meraki and Yauatcha are institutions in their own right, but meals at La Brasserie and oh-so-pretty Amalfi-inspired Mamo Michaelangelo shouldn’t be missed on a visit to this hotel. All-day dining is given a decadent upgrade at La Brasserie, with live cooking stations and themed nights offering inventive culinary options, while the expansive restaurant features a grand private dining room designed to look like a library, and a lovely alfresco terrace.

Room rates

Room rates start from SAR1,500.

The verdict

With age comes experience. Al Faisilah Hotel has been a luxury leader for more than 20 years – and it still shows. Coupled with an injection of global luxury influence from Mandarin Oriental, and this is one of Riyadh’s finest addresses for business or leisure.

Al Faisaliah Hotel, King Fahad Rd, Olaya, Riyadh. Tel: (966) 11 273 2000, mandarinoriental.com

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