Hotel Review: Al Faisaliah Hotel, Riyadh

Hotel Review: Al Faisaliah Hotel, Riyadh

A timeless address: Al Faisaliah Hotel is an institution in itself, and now, under the Mandarin Oriental, it is elevating its offerings
13 September 23
Al Faisaliah Hotel, Riyadh

Since opening its doors in May 2000, Al Faisaliah Hotel stands not only as one of Riyadh’s most enduring establishments, but also as a pioneer for upscale hospitality in Saudi, serving as a benchmark to be admired and emulated – even as the Kingdom’s hospitality sector undergoes rapid transformation.

When I ventured into the hotel, I immediately revelled in its elegant yet subtly contemporary décor, accentuated by soft lighting and plush seating. Situated in the buzzing Olaya commercial district, home to restaurants and trendy nightlife, the hotel continues to be a centre point in the city’s growth.

Cordial, top-notch service greets you as soon as you walk in.

Throughout my stay, I had a personal butler who helped me with everything – guiding me to local destinations, unpacking and packing my luggage, preparing special meals, and scheduling wake-up calls.

For decades, Al Faisaliah has been the place to stay in Riyadh. And while it is often challenging for brands to preserve their character and maintain exceptional standards, this hotel has done so superbly. During my previous visit, the hotel was under the ownership of Rosewood Hotels. Now it belongs to Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, which has managed to retain the hotel’s signature elements, while giving it a boost in service and refinement.

Al Faisaliah now features newly refurbished and opulent interiors. In my junior suite, stunning floor-to-ceiling windows frame a patch of greenery aligned with palm trees outside the property. The bathroom, with its large bathtub and amenities, is separated from the bedroom by a glass wall – an open plan that allows for a contemporary feel with lots of light, both natural and artificial.

The hotel now boasts 120 rooms and 106 suites with cutting-edge entertainment systems and 24-hour butler service. For those seeking a more opulent stay, the 575-square-meter Royal Penthouse Suite spans two floors and features Arabian-inspired design, high-end modern furniture, a personal gym, and exclusive massages.

Al Faisaliah’s spa offers indulgent experiences to try, such as the Golden Hammam’s full body experience, taking the traditional hammam experience and elevating it by incorporating a golden body mask, moisturiser, and scrub – in line with the hotel’s luxurious character.

For those wishing to go shopping, there’s the neighbouring Mode Mall, an upscale destination I've explored numerous times, delighting not only in its proximity but also its mix of international and local brands.

One of my favourite moments, aside from waking up to the panoramas of Riyadh, is spent at La Brasserie, the perfect spot for a good meal – be it breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

This modern multi-cuisine restaurant has various interactive stations set within high-end yet inviting and cosy surroundings. Before starting a busy day in Riyadh, this area energises and inspires, much like the renowned hotel that surrounds it.

In this every-changing city, Al Faisaliah Hotel is indeed an iconic address, adapting with the times while staying true to its character and elevated offerings. More than a premier stay, it is a symbol of excellence, reflecting Saudi’s evolving hospitality landscape.