An oasis of luxury, Al Faisaliah Resort & Spa is the first of its kind in Saudi Arabia
When Al Faisaliah Resort & Spa, Durrat Arriyadh welcomed its first guests in the middle of 2016, it marked the beginning of a distinguished new chapter in Saudi Arabia’s hospitality story.
The sprawling real-life oasis, set refreshingly amid lush greenery and rolling natural desert landscapes just 40 minutes from downtown Riyadh, is the first resort of its type in the kingdom – and is already redefining the concept of luxury, eco-friendly leisure in the country.
Tranquillity. Exclusivity. Finesse. Heritage. All terms which succinctly describe the ambience of Al Faisaliah Resort & Spa, which is being developed by Dallah Al Baraka and Al Rawabi Company for Hotels and Tourism in partnership with Al Khozama Management Company (AKMC) – itself renowned for its meticulous attention to detail, excellence and world-class service in Saudi Arabia – who will manage the property.
Al Faisaliah Resort & Spa is the sister property of the renowned Al Faisaliah Hotel in Riyadh, which is considered to be among the finest hotels in Saudi Arabia and the recipient of numerous awards since it opened in 2000.
As the kingdom’s first ‘country club’-style retreat, Al Faisaliah Resort & Spa is a natural star, both literally and figuratively. An ecological gem, two-thirds of the 159,000-sq-m estate is dedicated to green space and water, attracting a variety of wildlife, perfect for outdoor strolls and even enabling the property to grow its own organic vegetables.
Indeed, with such space comes opportunity, and for Al Khozama the resort is a blank canvas on which new experiences are being created.
The rustic charm and time-honoured heritage of the resort meld with the warmth of Saudi hospitality and contemporary flair which have long been hallmarks of the Al Faisaliah brand. The result is quite an outstanding, environmentally-aware property offering something very different for residents of and visitors to the capital city.
“We are a part of the lungs of the city,” says Fred Petry, General Manager, Al Faisaliah Resort & Spa who, with his team and the support of Al Khozama, has overseen the development of this exceptional destination.
Nature is pervasive here, soothing souls with serenity, Saudi-style. By day, the surrounding gardens envelop the resort in a lush green blanket. By night, the black sky heaves with stars, the celestial canopy unfolding spectacularly above the gardens and terraces where guests can sample fine local and international cuisine.
Adjacent to the extensive grounds, and accessible for resort guests, the affluent and aspirational one million-sq-m Durrat Arriyadh neighbourhood offers a multitude of nature walks and facilities, all on the doorstep of the city’s beating commercial heart at Olaya and just 15 minutes from King Khaled International Airport. As effortless and convenient luxury leisure options go, Al Faisaliah Resort & Spa is unsurpassed.
As a sister property to the iconic Faisaliah Hotel in downtown Riyadh, the facilities are, as is to be expected, truly world-class. From the airy lobby, stairs cascade down to beautifully appointed restaurants, with doors which open out onto lounge terraces overlooking manicured lawns, three outdoor pools (including three pool chalets and one of the only Infinity pools in a hotel in Saudi Arabia), and 10 private villas. Silhouettes of the surrounding desert hills dominate the horizon, their hues changing with the position of the sun and a constant reminder of the sheer beauty of the Arabian desert.
Soon the spa, which at 5,000 sq m will be the largest in Saudi Arabia, will pamper both male and female guests in separate facilities over two storeys.
The atmosphere of sanctuary, recharge and rejuvenation similarly extends to each of the 121 standard guest rooms which, at 68 sq m, are larger than the average hotel suite in Saudi Arabia, and the 31 suites, including the 580 sq m, SR50,000 ($13,300)-per-night Royal Suite, a homage to opulence.
The exquisitely appointed private villas, meanwhile, are the ultimate home-from-home for families looking for luxurious space and privacy away from the stresses of everyday urban life, each with private swimming pools and spectacular roof terraces for alfresco entertaining.
Although designed on a vast scale, Al Faisaliah Resort & Spa achieves the perfect balance between space and intimacy within. Colours are sympathetic to the surrounding environment, décor is comfortable and cosy, and local artworks add a further splash of culture, softening the edges throughout.
Less than four months since its opening, Al Faisaliah Resort & Spa is already the preferred choice for a discerning clientele in Riyadh and beyond, and it is expected to be the torchbearer for the kingdom’s five-star resort sector for many years to come.
“At Al Faisaliah Resort & Spa, we are closely aligned with the vision of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Internal Heritage, under the Chairmanship of HRH Prince Sultan, to promote Saudi heritage and celebrate its rich culture, and our appreciation of this is reflected in the design, cuisine and service,” Petry explains.
“This is an entirely new concept for Riyadh and the kingdom and we are proud to be creating history with the full support of Al Khozama, one of the most prestigious names in Saudi Arabia’s luxury hospitality industry.
“A hotel is transitory by nature but a resort is a destination in its own right,” adds Petry, describing the ambience he is successfully creating at Al Faisaliah Resort & Spa and which increasing numbers of customers, both Saudi and international, are now experiencing for themselves.
In today’s highly connected world, word travels fast and the resort is, so soon after opening, making a name for itself in Riyadh social circles as a ‘go-to’ wedding destination with a difference, and the extensive gardens, or the palatial 2,400-sq-m banquet hall which can cater for up to 1,100 guests, lend themselves perfectly to glamorous functions.
A stunning addition to the Al Khozama portfolio, which now includes not only the Al Faisaliah Hotel but also Hotel Al Khozama (also in Riyadh) and Bay La Sun Hotel & Resort in Rabigh, Al Faisaliah Resort & Spa is truly a unique place. There is, simply, nowhere else like it in Saudi Arabia.
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