Have you ever wondered how life feels like in one of the skyscrapers in Riyadh? As you know, there are only a few high-rise buildings in Riyadh compared to other cities in the world. As a matter of fact, for a long time, it’s only the Faisaliah Tower and the Kingdom Tower that were dominating the skyline of Riyadh. It’s only been a year or so that the latter got dislodged as the tallest building in Saudi Arabia. But you know what, when I look up the Kingdom Tower, I always wonder how it feels like to be up there, to live a day in my life in the crown jewel of the Saudi Arabia’s capital city. Fortunately, this Saudi National Day, we received an invite from the Four Seasons Hotel in the Kingdom Tower to experience their room, amenities, and hospitality. It was just a daydream from my end… that came true!
The Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh is part of the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, a Canadian-based company that opened its first hotel in 1961 transforming the hospitality industry with their finest traditions of international hotel keeping. Their continuous innovation and expansion has made them one of the most respected hotel names in the world. They offer unique experiences and exceptional quality making them the world’s premier luxury hospitality company. And in Saudi Arabia, what’s more luxurious than one of the tallest skyscraper? The Kingdom Tower is the home of the Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh. The hotel occupies the 30th to 48th floors of the tower making it literally in the center of everything.
I’ve been to the Kingdom Tower a lot of times shopping at the Kingdom Mall, dining at the hotel’s restaurants like Rosso and the Grill and attending conferences and exhibits in their huge ballroom halls. But I haven’t checked in to the Four Seasons Hotel, until this weekend when the largest, brightest and most fun Saudi National Day celebration happened. Stepping into the lobby of the Four Seasons is stepping into numerous possibilities. It puts me right in the center of shops and restaurants and activities during our entire stay. Check in was a breeze. As a matter of fact, I checked in via the Four Seasons app prior to arriving and all I have to do is approach their reception desk and get our card keys. Easy breezy! And even if I had to wait for whatever reason, the hotel lobby is furnished with elegant yet comfortable couches. There are corner nooks where I can take a breather, log in using their free wi-fi, or converse with my husband who’s as giddy as a kid who experienced his first ever valet service.
We were given a superior room at the 30th floor of the tower and as you know, we were truly impressed! I took you with me to discover our room through the Pink Tarha’s Facebook Live.
You know what truly surprised me? That one of the most expensive hotels in the city relish in its simple elegance. The room’s decor, furniture, and amenities are plentiful but minimalist. The room is in subtle, neutral colors. The essentials are all there! Best of all, the views it gives us… OMG! No need to go to the Skybridge! Haha! The room includes a distinct work area where a desk and swivel chair are; has wireless high-speed Internet access (which you all know, I NEED!), dual line phones, international satellite television channels, a DVD player, a private bar with a fully-stocked ref, Nespresso coffee machine, and a bucket filled with ice cubes (I also NEED this in my life; thank you I don’t need to request!). To enjoy the view, they placed a chaise lounge (great decision!). Also great for reading! Another jaw-dropping moment: when I saw their spacious marble bathroom with a bathtub, a shower, and a huge mirror with a tv screen on it! I mean, hello luxurious time in the bathroom! I might have spent more time in the bathroom than in the room. Haha!
The bed is oh-so soft but with a distinct bounce (yes, I jumped in like a swimmer to the water; not jump up and down haha). Their pillows are even softer; I felt my head just going in and it was truly relaxing. I had the best sleep in days. Oh, well I also tired myself out from the festivities. Remember when I said it’s the little things that matter to me? The Four Seasons also offers a selection of various kinds of pillows. Nano, ortho, memory foam, micro fiber, indulgence or medical… take your pick! We settled for the normal ones (aka what’s in our bed already) because they’re perfect. The air-con was so cold! So good! They have almost everything typed up in small card stock. They even have magazines to read during idle times. I’m just so glad I managed to catch up reading Destination Riyadh here (our friend Jou is regional editor so woot! *name drops* haha).
We also had our dinner and breakfast in the Elements Bar and Lounge. I had dinner buffet in Elements before when we gave our Pink Tarha gal Jel her masalamah dinner and we enjoyed our time there. This time, I focused on what I know were truly delicious in the restaurant: the Japanese sushi and maki, the breads and pastries, and the desserts! My plate was filled with all kinds of maki rolls and that made me full fast! I also had a good time watching my order of vanilla ice cream with Twix and flakes get smashed and mixed in their marble slab. Buffet dinner costs SR 260 per person.
After dinner, we decided to watch the projection show done in the Kingdom Tower itself. We went near the gate to the tower and huddled with expats and Saudis alike to watch the show titled “Raise the Saudi Flag” in celebration of the 87th Saudi National Day.
It is considered to be the largest HD projection on a tower in the world and who are we to miss it? The wait of 45 minutes was worth it. The 3D projection and laser show were awesome. I’m not Saudi but when they showed pictures of King Abdullah and King Salman, and the rest of the kings of Saudi Arabia before, I can’t help but feel nostalgic. I guess it just hit me that I’ve been living in Saudi Arabia for years! Anyway, the history and modern achievements of the Kingdom were displayed. We loved the crowd’s enthusiasm and energy! They were cheering loudly, some kids are dressed in green and holding Saudi flags! It was a sight to see! The show was almost 20 minutes long and while it was going on halfway, the fireworks began at the other side of the tower.
When the last part of the show was being shown, we ran inside the tower to catch some of the fireworks in Four Seasons’ The Grill restaurant. There’s a good view in their terrace. So thankful to have witnessed these momentous events at the Four Seasons Hotel which gave us the best views of the festivities.
Breakfast was a treat. There were a lot of options but I really loved Elements’ pastries so I zeroed in on their donuts and cream puffs. I also ordered their freshly-cooked pancakes and French Toast. Drizzled with their chocolate and fruit syrups, they were a delight to eat. They also have freshly-squeezed juice which I might have taken huge gulps of. Good morning, indeed!
I wish we had more days to stay at the Four Seasons Hotel. It was a very memorable time for me and my husband. It is worth the splurge if you’re thinking of having a staycation in the city. The life on the 30th floor, or a higher floor, in the Four Seasons Hotel is an awesome experience that a Riyadhizen must try even for just an overnight! Truly breathtaking!
Four Seasons Hotel
Kingdom Center, Olaya Street
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Disclaimer: The Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh has provided us with this overnight stay. All opinions and comments in this entry are mine.