As the capital of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh is a thriving cosmopolitan city filled with cultural attractions, historical heritage sites and a burgeoning dining, retail and wellness scene. From gilded Arabian glamour to head-turning European-style properties, here are the best hotels in Riyadh to check into when visiting the ever-evolving, exciting metropolis.
In the sprawl of Riyadh’s Central Business District, one hotel cuts a commanding figure against the skyline: the grand, domed Fairmont Riyadh. The glamorous hotel opened in 2019 with 298 rooms combining old-world grandeur, modern elegance, five-star facilities, and Fairmont’s world-famous hospitality. Rooms and suites have great city views, elegant décor and technology like media panels – the most elegant and expensive, being the Al Malai suite – a three-bedroom luxury residence with spacious spa marble bathroom, indoor jacuzzi, personalised Le Labo amenities and Fairmont’s signature butler service. There’s the signature Fairmont Gold Club for ALL Gold status members and three great dining outlets spanning nine cuisines. Afternoon tea is a ritual – savoured in the Savoy Lounge – and the wellness centre has a heated indoor swimming pool, sauna, hammam experience and a 24-hour high-tech fitness centre, plus a dedicated ladies-only lounge and a beauty lounge for gentlemen. As far as hotels in Riyadh go, this ticks all the boxes for design, facilities and location.
Doubles from SAR1,375; fairmont.com
The Ritz-Carlton Riyadh
Be it the stately double staircase, the ballroom filled with chandeliers and frescos, rows of swaying palm trees or 600-year-olive trees, The Ritz-Carlton Riyadh is one of the most opulent and OTT hotels in Riyadh, if not Saudi Arabia. The luxurious 52-acre property has played host to heads of state (including President Barack Obama and Donald Trump), Saudi royals and high net-worth individuals and is an elegant oasis in the heart of the city. Guests can expect manicured gardens dotted with fountains and greenery, a spacious all-encompassing spa with an indoor pool, myriad event spaces and dining options and gilded suites – the latter are mini baroque palaces with glittering chandeliers, elaborate cornicing, chaise lounges and antique furniture. This is a hotel for occasions and making an occasion out of your hotel stay.
Doubles from SAR1,530; ritzcarlton.com
Al Faisaliah Hotel
Al Faisaliah Hotel lies in the city’s trendy Al Olaya area, in the heart of the city centre, and is well located for Riyadh’s top attractions. The hotel is operated by Mandarin Oriental, and all the hallmarks of the luxury Hong Kong-based brand are apparent – the white glove service, private butlers, the modern-yet-traditional cream and taupe rooms with elegant wood accents, and the five-star facilities. What makes this hotel a cut above the others is its dining offering, home to some of the top restaurants in the city – many of which are global brands – like French-Mediterranean LPM, Greek Meraki and Chinese Yauatcha. That, alongside a ladies-only indoor spa that has an indoor swimming pool, relaxation rooms, steam room and gym, and garden-view suites with private spaces overlooking the resort’s beautiful, well-kept lawns.
Doubles from AED1,280; mandarinoriental.com
Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh
Four Seasons Hotel is one of Riyadh’s most recognised and popular luxury hotels, located in the iconic 99-storey Kingdom Centre high above the city skyline. Four Seasons regulars will feel right at home, with the brand creating an urban oasis of peace and sophistication, which is a true triumph on the city’s hotel scene. Inside is all light, airy and modern with high ceilings, cases showcasing high-end designers, palm trees and marble floors throughout. Plus, there’s an elegant Arabesque coffee lounge serving one of the best afternoon teas in the city. This is also one of Riyadh’s top wellness hotels, and the wellness centre and spa is a health destination in itself, with an indoor pool, steam, sauna, jacuzzi, cold plunge pool and juice bar serving freshly squeezed concoctions. Tops sites like the National Museum and UNESCO World Heritage Site At-Tura at Ad Diriyah are all close by, making it a great base for both business and leisure travel.
Doubles from SAR1,900; fourseasons.com
Mansard Riyadh, a Radisson Collection Hotel
Looking at its grand 19th-century-inspired Haussmann facade, you’d be forgiven for thinking the Mansard Riyadh was in Paris; after all, it gets its name from the distinct roofing style best associated with the City of Light. The elegant new hotel – by Raddison Collection – is one of the city’s leading luxury lifestyle hotels, more stripped back, European and elegant than its opulent Arabian competitors and located in the peaceful northern neighbourhood of Ar Rabi. Designed to transport guests to the boulevards of the French capital, the 191-key hotel has a mix of rooms, suites, duplex villas and serviced apartments, all decked in soothing hues of cream, beige and blue with elegant, Parisian-inspired touches like panelled walls and paned windows looking onto the relaxing central plaza. Artwork from local artist Mishal Saad Alzaid lines the corridors, and an iteration of New York City’s ‘impossible to book’ Italian-American restaurant Carbone opened in late 2022, cementing it as one of the trendiest hotels in Riyadh.
Doubles from SAR1,005; radissonhotels.com
Marriott Riyadh Diplomatic Quarter
Marriott Riyadh Diplomatic Quarter is one of the city’s most striking design-led hotels. At first glance, it looks futuristic, like a spaceship, but the hotel’s design is actually inspired by nature’s organic curves and shapes. The exact inspiration is Riyadh’s Wadi Hanifa, a desert valley that runs through the city, and its fluidity translates to the hotel’s facade and lush grounds – of which are home to native date palms, cacti and vines. This is a hotel with art and design at its core, from the sculptural work by Saudi artist Maisa Shaldan to 690 contemporary pieces throughout the property from 14 Saudi artists. Much like the earthy wadi, interiors boast warm, earthy tones like gold and wood with creamy marble in the chic public spaces, and, unlike many hotels in the region, sustainability is a key focus. Marriott has recently claimed the title of being Saudi’s first gold LEED-certified hotel. Guests have three on-site restaurants, a heated pool, spa, co-working spaces, and the trendy Diplomatic Quarter right on their doorstep – an up-and-coming hub of dining, retail and landscaped public spaces.
Doubles from SAR1,000; marriott.com