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October 27, 2011

Ritz-Carlton Debuts First Saudi Arabia Property

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – Reported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine

In keeping with their commitment to the Middle East and an ongoing strategy to develop hotels in cities with high demand for luxury lodging, Ritz-Carlton has unveiled its first property in Saudi Arabia. The palatial Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh, located in the heart of the Diplomatic Quarter, is reached via a kilometer long driveway that meanders through 52 acres of elegantly landscaped gardens and up to stunning fountains that front the imposing ochre façade. Originally envisioned as a royal guest palace for visiting dignitaries and heads of state, the hotel, designed by Al Rasheed Engineering Company and constructed by Oger International, is architecturally inspired by traditional Arabian palaces and homes. A stunning indoor swimming pool on the ground level features floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the gardens, dotted with native palms, 600-year-old stately olive trees from Lebanon, and bubbling water fountains.

The 493 rooms and suites are styled using decorative elements that recall the Kingdom’s heritage, including pulsating colors and the rich ethnic textures of the Arabian Peninsula. Modern amenities are threaded throughout; wireless and wired internet access, flat screen televisions and DVD players are standard. Most spectacularly, there is not just one, as is regular, but 49 exquisitely appointed two-bedroom Royal Suites, each liberally measuring 4,574-square-feet. The opulent accommodations are rounded out with 50 one-bedroom Executive Suites, which, at 1,022-square-feet, are ideal for VIP guests.

The conference and catering team at The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh is set to accommodate the largest of international summits and social gala events. The hotel offers more than 62,000-square-feet of conference space combined, including two colossal. They are complemented by two vast auditorium-styled theaters with stepped floors and built-in stages, perfect for press conferences and symposium lectures, and a generous variety of smaller meeting rooms. Completing the conference area is Aubergine, a restaurant that caters exclusively for the invited delegates, journalists and accompanying security personnel.

Guests are spoiled for gastronomical choice. Dining venues include Al Orjouan, the signature all-day dining buffet restaurant featuring Lebanese favorites; Asian restaurant Hong features a contemporary fusion of fresh Oriental ingredients with a western flair; and Azzuro offers authentic Italian from the old country. Other entertaining spots include Turquoise, a cigar lounge set to house one of the widest selections of Cuban cigars in Saudi Arabia and Strike, which offers mocktails and smoothies within a 10,700-square-feet indoor six-lane bowling alley.

“This majestic hotel’s prime location in the literal heart of the Arabian Peninsula offers many significant advantages to visiting guests and dignitaries,” said Herve Humler, president and chief operations officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. “We are extremely proud that The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh represents our first hotel into the Kingdom. We believe our service is as exceptional as the surroundings, and the hotel will be the first choice for the local community, as well as visitors.”

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