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A closer look at Saudi’s burgeoning luxury hotel scene

Need some travel inspiration? We take a look at the best hotels to visit in Saudi Arabia.

By LLM Reporters  |  November 20, 2021
Nofa hotel saudi arabia

This August, Saudi Arabia announced the resumption of international tourism e-visas, allowing travellers to explore this fascinating, untouched destination. Since reopening, leisure travellers are making plans to experience Saudi’s tranquil beaches, engage with native nature and wildlife up close and explore the country’s deep-rooted heritage among its beloved and bustling cities. 

Here are some of Saudi’s hottest luxury hotels for every type of traveller – including exciting openings to meet this new and ever-growing demand. 

Nofa Riyadh

Nofa Riyadh
The resort overlooks Nofa Wildlife Park, where guests can experience a unique African safari that’s home to more than 700 animals

Just an hour’s drive from Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport, or 45 minutes from downtown Riyadh, Nofa Riyadh allows you to experience the magic of the desert, the changing landscapes, and the majestic sand dunes all in lush greenery. The remarkable African-style resort has 57 luxurious bungalows and villas overlooking Nofa Wildlife Park and features an equestrian estate as well as a world-class golf course surrounded by sand dunes and mountains.

The resort overlooks Nofa Wildlife Park, where guests can experience a unique African safari that’s home to more than 700 animals – including zebras, sables, giraffes, cheetahs and many other wild animals. Other exciting leisure activities include an impressive equestrian resort that features a show jumping arena, a specialised race track, a polo field complete with an extensive stable complex, a luxury health club and spa and a challenging 18-hole golf course – one of the very best in Saudi Arabia.

Ritz Carlton, Jeddah

Ritz-Carlton, Jeddah
Downtown in Saudi Arabia’s second-largest city, guests can explore commercial and diplomatic areas along Tahlia and Palestine Streets, the historical Al Balad and the Floating Mosque

The Ritz-Carlton, Jeddah maintains elements of its palatial roots, welcoming hotel guests with a magnificent fountain, majestic arches and traditional Saudi Arabian hospitality. Set along Al Hamra corniche and overlooking the Red Sea, the five-star hotel is a destination for international business travellers, newlyweds, pilgrims journeying to Makkah and families seeking a weekend escape.

Addressing the wishes of both international and regional travellers, the hotel offers sea-view guest rooms and suites; restaurants highlighting local and global cuisines; a gentlemen’s spa and the city’s largest conventions space. Downtown in Saudi Arabia’s second-largest city, guests can explore commercial and diplomatic areas along Tahlia and Palestine Streets, the historical Al Balad and the Floating Mosque.

Discover Jeddah’s enchanting history and culture through its narrow streets, museums and artistic galleries. Being surrounded by deserts and a sea front city, you will enjoy the adventures of safari trips and water sports. 

Sunset Beach Resort

Sunset Beach
Guest can choose to stay in one of Sunset Beach’s 251 luxury accommodation units, varying between villas, chalets and beachfront cabanas

Located in the Eastern Provence, Sunset Beach is more than a resort. Its private location, top-of-the-line service, and luxurious amenities make it a true Arabian oasis. The five-star private resort covers more than 550,000 square metres of beautifully landscaped gardens and soothing beaches, situated along a 1.5-kilometre-long peninsula with one beachfront facing Aziziyah Bay and another along the Arabian Gulf coastline. 

Guests can choose to stay in one of Sunset Beach’s 251 luxury accommodation units, varying between villas, chalets and beachfront cabanas. All of the units are opulent, private and spaciously designed. 

Activities are abundant, including tennis and squash courts, a paintball field, bowling alley and a family water park. The resort is home to the calmest and clearest waters of the Arabian Gulf, with an incredible variety of leisurely and exciting beach activities. 

New hotels coming soon:

Banyan Tree, Alula

Banyan Tree AlUla
Banyan Tree Alula is inspired by more than 200,000 years of human heritage and unique landscapes

Opening Q4 2021

The Banyan Tree is nestled against sky-high rock formations in a pristine valley, the resort blends into the sands that surround it with epic views from each of its one, two and three-bedroom pool villas.

Located in the Ashar Valley near the city of Alula, Banyan Tree Alula is inspired by more than 200,000 years of human heritage and unique landscapes that have created the world’s largest living museum.

This beautiful luxury tented resort is situated in an eco-tourism region just a short flight from either Jeddah or Riyadh.

Habitas Alula Resort

Habitas AlUla's
The hotel also offers the opportunity for guests to enjoy unique spa treatments and wellness experiences

Opening Q4 2021

This eco-friendly resort blends in seamlessly with Alula’s landscape, bringing guests closer to the culture, heritage and environment around them.

In the heart of the ancient Nabatean region, guests can lose themselves in the ancient civilization and local culture – from Hegra to Alula’s Old Town and more. The hotel also offers the opportunity for guests to enjoy unique spa treatments and wellness experiences that are locally-inspired, with a Habitas twist.

Intercontinental Durrat Al Riyadh Resort and Spa

InterContinental Durrat Al Riyadh Resort & Spa
Enjoy the a wide array of restaurants and facilities including a spa, indoor and outdoor pools

Opening early 2022

Characterised by the architectural grandeur, and the only resort in Riyadh City, InterContinental Durrat Al Riyadh Resort and Spa is cradled within the distinguished neighbourhood of Banban, Riyadh. This unique property resides on 154,000 sqm of a lush green oasis. 

Well positioned for business or leisure travellers alike, guests will be able to enjoy the a wide array of restaurants and facilities including a spa, indoor and outdoor pools and soak up the elegantly designed hotel created by beautifully weaving the opulence of the Arabian heritage, the resort offers guests a retreat that is a cut above the rest. 

Voco Jeddah North

Voco Jeddah North
The hotel is close to Obhur Bay, near the east coast of the Red Sea and provides guests with easy access to some of the best beaches

Opening Q3 2022

Guests staying at voco Jeddah North will be treated to a unique upscale experience, combined with a great location. The property will feature 145 rooms with a bold, distinctive identity, a range of best-in-class facilities and warm hospitality. 

Being one of the closest hotels to the new Jeddah airport, the hotel offers 1,710sqm of meeting and banqueting space (including two ballrooms of 500sqm and 400sqm), the hotel is the perfect destination for upscale corporate guests. With its prime location, voco Jeddah North is in close proximity to Jeddah Seasons square, Obhur Corniche and the Alexandria beach, and only 3km from Kingdom City, the new anticipated centre of Jeddah. The hotel is also close to Obhur Bay, near the east coast of the Red Sea and provides guests with easy access to some of the best beaches in the northern corniche of the city. 

IHG Hotels and Resorts, the multinational hospitality company headquartered in the UK was named ‘Green Hotel Chain of the Year’ at the Finder Green Awards as well as ranked second for the Best Business Hotel Brand in Europe as well as the Middle East/Africa at the Business Traveller Asia Pacific Awards.

Red Sea Project

End of 2022

The much-anticipated Red Sea Project will open its first hotels by the end of 2022, welcoming first guests to the incredible destination. 

A sanctuary offering indulgent experiences, seamlessly customised to the unique needs of each visitor. Extending over 28,000 square kilometres on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast, the destination will offer a uniquely diverse range of experiences, from island getaways to resort holidays, mountain retreats and desert adventures.