Al Faisaliah Hotel – Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
In a city that gracefully melds tradition with sophisticated style, Al Faisaliah Hotel, defines the ultimate in modern elegance. It brings its own superlative standards, housing some of the most sought-after restaurants in the city of Riyadh, in addition to two indoor lobbies that offer an imaginative array of choices to suit every taste and occasion.
The Al Faisaliah Mall, an ultra-exclusive shopping mall, is attached to the hotel, and comprises a veritable who’s-who of the fashion world with many boutiques previously unattainable in Saudi Arabia. In 2010, in celebration of its 10th anniversary, the hotel unveiled a stunning new South Wing, complete with La Cucina, a contemporary Italian dining destination with an open-kitchen concept.
Long considered among the best in Riyadh, the restaurants merge authentic Middle Eastern culture and heritage with top culinary influences from across the globe. Offering a focus on the best, freshest local ingredients, Al Faisaliah Hotel creates exceptionally unique & stylish dining experiences.
Set over four floors, the luxurious ladies-only spa includes 13 treatment rooms, a pool, meditation and relaxation rooms and a state-of-the-art fitness center. Treatments inspired by local traditions include pampering rhassoul and hammam experiences. The spa also offers results oriented anti-aging services and weight-loss therapies.
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RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA
Once a walled, mud-brick way station along desert trading routes, Riyadh (‘The Garden’) is the Kingdom’s political, financial and administrative capital and one of the wealthiest cities in the world. It also has a very Saudi subtext: nowhere are the contradictions of modern Saudi Arabia more evident than in Riyadh. Seen from afar, soaring, sparkling, stunning modern towers rise above the desert and shiny 4WDs throng modern highways. Up close, Riyadh is cautious and sober (certainly compared to Jeddah), not to mention conservative and deeply rooted in Saudi traditions. Throw in fine hotels and restaurants and some excellent sights, and it’s a fascinating place to spend a few days.
The birthplace and spiritual home of Islam, Saudi Arabia is as rich in attractions as it is in stirring symbolism. It is also one of the most difficult places on Earth to visit.
For those who do get in, rock-hewn Madain Saleh is Arabia’s greatest treasure. Other wonders abound, from the echoes of TE Lawrence along the Hejaz Railway to the mud-brick ruins of Dir’aiyah. Fascinating Riyadh is a showpiece for modern Saudi Arabia, Jeddah blends ancient and modern and has an enchanting old city made of coral, while the Red Sea coast has world-class diving. And for Muslim travellers, Mecca and Medina represent the most sacred destination you can imagine.
There are few places left that can be said to represent the last frontier of tourism. Whether you’re an expat or a pilgrim, Saudi Arabia is one of them.