The Best Luxury Hotels in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

The opulence of Riyadhs hotels impresses discerning travellers from around the world
The opulence of Riyadh's hotels impresses discerning travellers from around the world | Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh / Expedia
Judy Cogan

Riyadh, home to the medieval Al Masmak fortress and buzzing Souk Al-Zal, is one of the wealthiest cities in the world. It’s not surprising that it has a growing reputation for being the bling empire of the Middle East. Want to lounge by your own private pool, shop in a gold-dipped mall and dine like royalty? Here’s our pick of the best luxury hotels in the Saudi Arabian capital.

1. Narcissus Hotel & Residence Riyadh

Luxury, Spa Hotel

Narcissus Hotel & Residence Riyadh
Courtesy of Narcissus Hotel and Residence Riyadh / Expedia

The famous King Midas is remembered from Greek mythology for his ability to turn everything he touched into gold. You’d be forgiven for assuming Midas has stayed here – everything from the curtains to the cakes glitter with gold. Bling aside, this is a five-star experience all the way. Inside, you’ll find 280 palatial apartment-style rooms and an impressive luxury spa, plus a Rolls Royce airport transfer for the end of your stay.

2. Crowne Plaza Riyadh Al Waha

Luxury

Crowne Plaza Riyadh Al Waha
Courtesy of Crowne Plaza Riyadh Al Waha / Expedia

The hotel’s limo service extends beyond airport pick ups, ready to whisk you wherever you’d like to go in the city. The nearby upmarket shopping malls – Al Nakheel Mall, Granada Mall and Hayat Mall – are a good start. Return for dinner at the hotel’s Oasis restaurant, which combines traditional Arabesque style with charming European touches. Don’t miss the luxurious spa with an indoor pool, jacuzzi and fully equipped gym.

3. The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh

Luxury, Chain Hotel

The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh
Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh / Expedia

The Ritz-Carlton Riyadh was originally designed as a royal palace before opening as a hotel in 2011. 52 acres (21ha) of manicured gardens feature 600-year-old olive trees and swaying palms. The grand marble-clad lobby secures first impressions with an ornate water fountain and plenty of dramatic gold accents. There are 492 opulent guest rooms and a world-class spa with a majestic indoor pool, topped with its own sky — see it to believe it.

4. Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh

Hotel

Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh
Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh / Expedia

The locale alone is reason enough to book a stay at Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh. It occupies the 30th to 48th floors of the prestigious Kingdom Centre, a 99-storey skyscraper known as the tallest building in Saudi Arabia. Suites are decorated in an earthy, vibrant colour palette as a nod to Riyadh’s literal meaning of “garden,” while soft furnishings are handcrafted by local artisans. In-room technology includes automated curtains and lighting systems, iPads, smart TVs, Bose Bluetooth speakers and smart makeup mirrors.

5. Burj Rafal Hotel

Hotel

Burj Rafal Hotel
Courtesy of Burj Rafal Hotel / Expedia

This 17-storey hotel is a sturdy sun-splitting glass tower, dominating King Fahad Road. Inside, 349 rooms and suites are hi-tech to suit modern travellers, with tasteful nods to Najdi architecture. The luxurious, marble-clad bathrooms all have deep-soak bathtubs with floor-to-ceiling windows, offering incredible city views.

6. Al Faisaliah Hotel

Hotel

Al Faisaliah Hotel
Courtesy of Al Faisaliah Hotel / Expedia

The Al Faisaliah Spa by ESPA is exclusively a man-free zone, and a real highlight within this five-star hotel. Sparkling crystals and soothing waterfalls make way for signature treatments and opulent relaxation areas. There are 95 modern guest rooms here, but also 106 separate suites with 24-hour butler service – making this Riyadh’s only dedicated luxury suite hotel.

7. Shaza Riyadh

Luxury, Chain Hotel

Shaza Riyadh
Courtesy of Shaza Riyadh / Expedia

Small touches go a long way at Shaza Riyadh. Listen to beautiful bird song in the grounds, enjoy the Shalimar tea selection in your room and glide around the property where the smiley staff will greet you by name. Rooms and suites are bathed in sunlight and soft colour palettes, with magnificent views of Riyadh. The hotel’s two restaurants, MeNa and Midan, offer menus that remain faithful to Middle Eastern culture, while the Garden View cafe is the perfect spot for a late night coffee and sweet treat.

8. Fairmont Riyadh

Chain Hotel, Luxury

Fairmont Riyadh
Courtesy of Fairmont Riyadh / Expedia

Do you like to zip from plane seat to luxury bolthole within minutes? Fairmont Riyadh is the nearest five-star hotel to King Khalid International Airport, so they claim. The hotel embraces Arabian decadence in all of its 298 rooms and suites. They also offer a variety of lifestyle facilities, from the Gentlemen’s Tonic Spa, with a state-of-the-art fitness centre and indoor pool, to the Ladies Lounge with spa, pampering beauty salon and boutique gym.

9. Fraser Suites Riyadh

Hotel

Fraser Suites Riyadh
Courtesy of Fraser Suites Riyadh / Expedia

Freedom with a dollop of opulence is what Fraser Suites offer inside their serviced luxury apartments in downtown Olaya. From studios to two-bedroom flats, each one is elegantly designed with fully equipped kitchens and laundry facilities on every floor. Cool down in the hotel pool, or sweat out the dust in the sauna, steam room or 24-hour gym.

10. Hilton Riyadh Hotel & Residences

Chain Hotel, Luxury

Hilton Riyadh Hotel & Residences
Courtesy of Hilton Riyadh Hotel and Residences / Expedia

This 21-floor property was purpose built by Hilton, and stands next to the Granada shopping mall – with its 420 stores and 10 high-end restaurants. Deluxe rooms, suites and apartments offer outstanding views of the city and plenty of natural light, thanks to wrap-around windows. Choose from three in-house dining options: Anar (Armenian), Arabica (Arabic) and Lotus (Asian).

11. Durrat Al Riyadh Resort & Spa

Resort, Luxury, Spa Hotel

Durrat Al Riyadh Resort & Spa
Courtesy of Durrat Al Riyadh Resort and Spa / Expedia

With lush green gardens and no less than 18 swimming pools, this vast property feels more like a luxurious village than a resort. Book one of 10 stately villas for an opulent stay – each one has marble floors and a sweeping terrace with a private pool. The two-storey spa, which takes up 5,000sqm (53,820sqft) of space, is the largest in Riyadh. Inside, they offer indulgent treatments, wellness experiences and a full beauty salon.

12. Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya

Hotel, Luxury, Chain Hotel

Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya
Courtesy of Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya / Expedia

For keen sightseers and no-nonsense shoppers, this is the perfect luxury base for your escapades. Riyadh’s upmarket designer mall, Centria, and the National Museum of Saudi Arabia are both close to the Hyatt Regency. Rooms and suites are top-tier deluxe. Head to the 26th floor for a refreshing drink at the swish Regency Club, the city’s highest lounge.

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