We recently spent 6 days with my husband attending a conference as a family with two small children. We were apprehensive once we realised how restrictive it would be for us. The hotel was the bright spot of the trip. We opted to upgrade to the executive club which not only served great food four times a day (one of the best buffet breakfasts) it also gave us an extra space to while away our time. The cost of the upgrade was pretty much covered by what we would pay for a buffet breakfast for two and we certainly got our moneys worth if only in the constant availability of (soft)drinks., especially since leaving the hotel required a taxi journey...The other food we had at the hotel was reasonable if expensive. We loved the soups at the restaurant by the pool.
It was frustrating not being able to swim or use the gym (as a woman) but this is more a Riyadh issue than a hotel decision. Having said that I would think it would be possible for the gym (which apparently has an indoor pool) to set aside some women's hours. We were told by the concierge I could have a bike and weights sent to our room but the gym refused.
The staff were extremely friendly and tolerant of two small children roaming about. On one of the few occasions I took the children out alone the bell boy was very keen to ensure we had a safe taxi.Our room was very spacious - although this may have been because of the upgrade.
In general however, Riyadh is a difficult city especially when it is hot. There is little to do apart from go to the shopping centres which close in the middle of the day as well as during all of the prayer sessions.Taxis are an issue as many do not have seat belts in the back. The driving was variable although not nearly as bad as we have experienced in Nepal and some Asian countries. It was too hot and too far to walk anywhere.It is important to check carefully the opening hours of everything - and that it is a family or whatever type of day you require. Even then various places (in our case the National museum) close without notice. In general I would advise avoiding Riyadh but if you have to go I would definitely recommend the Intercontinental.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- InterContinental Riyadh brings rare treasures to the heart of the city: a 9-hole golf course, a 12-lane bowling alley, tennis and squash courts, two pools and 100 acres of mature gardens. The business district is five minutes away, and the concierge can direct you to sights such as ancient Diriyah, Masmak Fortress and Al Murabba a Palace. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Intercontinental Riyadh Hotel Riyadh