DHAHRAN: Although there is no shortage of business hotels in the Saudi capital, Radisson Blu Hotel and Residence in Riyadh’s Diplomatic Quarter stands out for several reasons. Located away from the densely populated Olaya Street, guests will find it a welcome change from the concrete jungle. After all, how often, in the capital city, can you step out of your room and be greeted with a view that makes you forget that you’re in Riyadh?
Radisson Blu’s newest location in the heart of the Diplomatic Quarters (home to over 80 foreign embassies and diplomatic missions) has been open a little more than eight months. It is a 30-minute drive from the King Khaled International Airport and a 15-minute drive to the Riyadh Seasons Boulevard and the location of Ad’Diriyah Season— making it an ideal location for both business and pleasure.
The 29,000-square-meter property is situated amid lush palm trees and foliage, an open courtyard and fountain with a seating area, and a tranquil garden terrace. There are several cafés — so plenty of options for working outdoors or unwinding once work is done. The hotel’s in-house business center also offers an appealing and comfortable space to work from, with enough solitude, amenities, and complimentary coffee and snack refills to keep you going.
The hotel lobby is bright and spacious — furnished with neutral lounge chairs, but with bright, vibrant color accents, sleek light fixtures and chandeliers, and wall-to-wall windows, overlooking the Larder Garden terrace.
The interior’s upscale, modern décor is strikingly juxtaposed with nearly 1,000 pieces of traditional Saudi artwork currently on display throughout the hotel’s public and private spaces. Sponsored by the King Salman Center for Disability Research, the exhibition is a collaboration between the Saudi Handicrafts Programme at the Ministry of Culture and a Scotland-based charitable trust, the Turquoise Mountain, and features the handiwork of 60 Saudi artisans. The exhibition runs until December 2020 and is currently the largest collection of Saudi handmade crafts in the Kingdom.
To the side of the lobby, the Larder Lounge, serves light bites and is a great place to burrow into a good book with a cup of coffee. The spacious lobby also includes intimate corners for one-to-one conversations and meetings.
The Larder Restaurant serves the usual breakfast, lunch, and dinner fare with à la carte and buffet options. The International and Mediterranean menu may seem uninspiring, but it is wholesome, flavorful, and done just right. With an extensive selection of fresh cheeses, fruit, nuts, salad fixings, smoothies, and detox drinks, the breakfast spread offers many healthy options, in comparison to other hotels across the country.
With 110 rooms and suites, the options range from Standard to Presidential and a two-bedroom Duplex Suite. We stayed in the Junior Suite that came with a fully-equipped kitchenette, a separate seating area, individual climate control, digital media players, and a spacious balcony. Although there isn’t much difference in the amenities included in different types of rooms, guests who stay longer can opt for a more spacious abode, like the one-bedroom suite.
Another impressive feature of the hotel is their use of smart technology, like the digital panel on the door, with an electronic button for the doorbell, ‘Do not Disturb’, and housekeeping; plus smart glass for the shower; and a television with mirror casting.
Whether you’re in Riyadh for business of pleasure, a stay at the Radisson Blu Hotel and Residences makes for a serene, tranquil and rejuvenating experience.