My pre-booked hotel airport pick up at 5am didnt arrive, the hotel didn't deal with this very well and I ended up getting a taxi myself. If you're in this situation there is a firm in Riyadh called 'The London Taxi Company' right outside who offer an excellent fixed price service, ignore the touts in the arrivals hall.
I later discovered that several of my colleagues had also confirmed airport pick up on their arrival and also didn;t get it. This is a pretty terrible record and I wouldn't rely on them for this service as they do not seem able to deliver it.
The hotel itself is a large, plush, and pretty nice property with the facilities you would expect from a Radisson. My room was large and clean, and nice to come back to at the end of the day, where it was always properly cleaned. The mini bar prices arent too bad either and there are a few English channels to watch on the tv. The air con was a bit noisy and never seemed to hit a consistent temperature.
There is a coffee shop and three restaurants, an Italian, Japanese and a buffet, which is good if you are staying for a few days and working from dusk til dawn, as there isn't much nearby. Like most chain hotels I have stayed at around the world, the food quality is hit and miss. Prices are on the high side, you wont see much change from 300 riyals per person after drinks and sundries have been added on.
The restaurant staff were all very nice and they're pleasant places to spend the evening out of your room.
The front desk unfortunately isn't as welcoming, depending on who you are talking to some people are nice, but the overall impression isn't exactly that nothing is too much trouble. It is here you book the hotel limos, which actually aren't badly priced for a hotel limo service, at a little over double a local cab rate.
Bear in mind however that the driver may well have no idea where he is going, I spent an hour in the back of a car while my driver drove round and round the same one way system, racking up increasingly expensive roaming bills on my cell phone which he said he needed to try to get directions from the people I was meeting; who must have been giving up hope of ever seeing me. He didn't offer to use his own local phone and again, there was no recognition from the hotel of the inconvenience.
My last observation is the location. Riyadh doesnt really have a centre of town as such and there is no night life, but what might eventually be called a downtown is developing around the Kingdom Tower area. The Radisson's location is rather peripheral to all this and there is nothing much nearby, so expect a cab ride through Riyadh's congested streets to get to the 'action' (such as it is).
I understand that Riyadh hotels aren't exactly world famous for excellence or value for money, so I guess the Radisson isn't too bad. Next time (if there is a next time) however, I would probably try and find somewhere a bit more central. For this trip it fit my needs well, as I was working for 13 hours a day so the fact there were 3 restaurants right there and the hotel was nice to hang out in for the few hours downtime I got was very welcome.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Explore the city from centrally located Riyadh hotel. Featuring iconic Arabian architecture, lavish Scandinavian interior and beautifully landscaped grounds, the Radisson Blu Hotel, Riyadh, is ideally located 40 kilometres from the King Khalid International Airport. This Riyadh hotel also affords easy access to the cultural and shopping area of the city, such as the Masmak fortress and famous Kingdom Centre. Guests at this luxurious hotel may relax and unwind with five-star amenities including concierge service, 24-hour room service, health club with sauna, Jacuzzi and massage facilities, and on-site fine dining restaurants Shogun and Olivio's.- The hotel is situated 40 kilometres from King Khalid International Airport. - The hotel offers 234 elegant rooms and suites, all equipped with Free high-speed, wireless Internet access, mini bar and hair dryer. - The hotel offers a variety of dining options including Japanese cuisine at Shogun, fusion delicacies at Brasserie on Four, Italian cuisine at Olivio's and hot coffee and select snacks at Café Vienna. - Off-site hotel catering services offered for up to 1,000 guests. - On-site fitness centre is equipped with outdoor swimming pool, sauna, steam room, whirlpool and massage facilities. - For the convenience of this Riyadh hotel's guests, a barber shop is located on site. - This Riyadh hotel also features an on-site gift store. - This luxurious Riyadh hotel offers 12 meeting rooms, available in various floor plans that can accommodate a maximum of 600 guests. - Free valet parking is available for guests. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Radisson Blu Hotel, Riyadh Hotel Riyadh
- Radisson Riyadh
- Riyadh Radisson