Hotel review: voco Riyadh
A fuss-free stay that ticks all the boxes for your next business trip…
Lifestyle hotels have become a preferred choice both for business and leisure travellers, with their personality-packed offering now seen to be far more favourable their more traditional counterparts. When IHG unveiled voco, its own upscale lifestyle brand, its positioning was clear: be relaxed and reliable, while drawing inspiration from the locale.
The brand arrived in Riyadh in 2019, with voco Riyadh rebranding an existing property to create the brand’s flagship Riyadh hotel.
We checked in to check it out.
In a prime location opposite the city’s Ministry of Interior, voco Riyadh is well located to access all of the city’s best bits. If you’re travelling for leisure, foodie hotspots KAFD and Laysen Valley are both within driving distance, and the popular Riyadh Park Mall is easily accessible from the hotel. Business travellers are well positioned in the heart of the city, whether they’re using the wealth of business facilities on property, or in town for business that takes them to Riyadh’s key commercial areas.
Look and feel
Divided between a north and south tower, the large hotel fuses Saudi Arabian heritage touches with voco’s more modern take on hospitality. Dark woods, decadent fixtures and ornate patterns play into the traditional heritage, while the friendly service style ensures the hotel warrants its five-star status.
Guest rooms, of which there are 438, are light, bright and spacious, finished in soft creams and sands, an ode to the desert surrounds of Saudi Arabia. You’ll find some bright pops of colour within the aesthetic too with bright mustard and smart navy breaking up the otherwise neutral colour palette. Amenities include antipodes bathroom amenities, marble bathrooms, and super-sized smart TVs, all aimed at creating a relaxing space that’s both stylish and functional. Our own stay in a one-bedroom suite comes with the added luxury of a separate living area with dark wooden writing desk, adding to the grandeur.
The hotel works well as an address for business, thanks to its close proximity to the airport and extensive meeting facilities, with more than 20 spaces available across the hotel. From the grand ballroom to theatre style meeting rooms, the hotel has a welcome buzz about it when we stay, and not a day goes by where the hotel isn’t playing host to one event or other. But there’s also plenty for the leisure traveller, including six restaurants and a Soul Spa, the latter of which is dimly lit and fragrant. There’s a traditional feel to the well-equipped space, with a Moroccan Hammam, a swimming pool, jacuzzi, dedicated treatment rooms, and a ladies-only fitness area. If you’re in need of some pampering, the massages are excellent, using just the right amount of pressure and soothing essential oils to knead out the kinks and knots during a one-hour signature massage. There’s also an outdoor pool lined with cabanas and a bright fitness centre that’s well-stocked with TechnoGym equipment.
Six restaurants and lounges offer the opportunity to sample globally influenced fare, from extensive buffets to a la carte dining experiences. In the lobby, the elegant surrounds of Rotunda are a lovely place to start your culinary exploration of voco Riyadh. The dazzling dome ceiling and elevated flooring gives Rotunda a regal feel, and the menu of fresh juices and homemade baked goods is extensive and proves popular with a constantly arriving string of guests throughout the day. Breakfast at Horizon is another excellent and wide-ranging offering, where plates of fresh fruit, and baked pastries are neatly arranged alongside traditional Arabic delicacies and a hot buffet that features an eggs station serving up perfectly cooked omelettes.
The room rates
A one-night stay in an entry level deluxe room in August starts from SAR960.
A brilliant address for business, but voco Riyadh shouldn’t be overlooked for a leisure stay thanks to its excellent wellness facilities and close proximity to the star attractions.
voco Riyadh, King Fahad Road, Riyadh 13003, doubles from SAR960. Tel: (0)11 457 9999, ihg.com