The Ritz-Carlton Riyadh: A culinary wonderland
When food blogger and popular media personality, Talal Al Rashed, wants to engage in a new experience, naturally, food is usually involved.
During his stay at The Ritz-Carlton Riyadh, Al Rashed got to stick around for the famous Friday brunch and even got to help the chef in cooking the pasta.
Here, he talks about that experience and other activities he engaged in during his stay:
Tell us more about your stay for the Friday brunch at The Ritz-Carlton… How was your experience?
It was a royal feast; I could tell. From the reception to the table setting, the buffet and the service… I really enjoyed the chilled orange juice station, the homemade pastas and the sunshine coming into the venue from the glass walls all around, such a refreshing morning atmosphere.
What were some of the details that made the biggest difference in your stay at The Ritz-Carlton Riyadh?
The property is all about the details. The massive unassuming marbled palace with the long fountain extending from the gate to the main entrance is hiding a world of interior-design wonders: the chandeliers, the floors, the grand floor-to-ceiling doors, the domes, the walls covered with fabrics, the mirrors, etc. I felt like I was in a palace of a king in some fiction novel.
You have praised the level of service at The Ritz-Carlton Riyadh. What stood out to you the most and how do you compare the hotel’s service to others in the city or around the world?
Obviously, with the profile of the guests staying at the property: presidents, ministers, high-ranked government officials, businessmen and -women, high-net-worth individuals, etc., the service has been raised to an unmatchable level. Of course, it is not easy to impeccably service such a massive property and discerning guests; however, I could tell the difference in this property through its service.
You have made use of the different entertainment and sports facilities and enjoyed many activities during your stay, from swimming to bowling. Tell us more about these experiences.
In a city like Riyadh, where the weather can be harsh during both summer and winter, it is only a plus to have indoor activities. The bowling also was fun to try for a change; I am not a good bowler, but I get surprised how I can hit a full score one time and on next attempt, I miss them all. It’s frustrating, but I do not take it seriously; it’s such a fun sport with friends and family. The pool is such an amazing place to resort to away from the mess of work and the stress of flights.
What would you tell people who do not make use of a hotel’s offered activities? Those who stay in their rooms and maybe just go for the breakfast?
I do that sometimes, but not when I’m at The Ritz-Carlton. Hotel staff are trained to be real hosts; they are always happy to give you a tour of the hotel or suggest an activity of your interest in the property or in the city. Many ladies and gentlemen I’ve met as staff at The Ritz-Carlton properties around the world are now friends.
Ayse and Gizem from The Ritz-Carlton Istanbul always comment on my Instagram pictures and, when I visit, they make sure the phone charger is within my reach once I arrive to the lobby, because I always sit there and not in my room. Sandy from Ritz-Carlton Bali helps me in taking my picture since he is a professional photographer besides his position at The Ritz-Carlton and, in The Ritz-Carlton DIFC, Dubai, I can always be found having a coffee in Cake or working out in the gym, but not in my room.
I tend to sit in my room for reading or writing articles and, of course, to sleep as well, but most of the time, I am seen walking around the hotel.
When will we see you swimming at The Ritz-Carlton again? Tell us about your swimming experience – you seem to have really enjoyed the pool.
I could book and come to Riyadh just for the swimming pool and call it a swimming vacation. I find peace and stress-relief in swimming when travelling. Therefore, swimming pools catch my attention. The pool at The Ritz-Carlton Riyadh is a masterpiece. I cannot remember seeing anything like that anywhere else, especially for an indoor pool.
For further information about The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh, please visit www.ritzcarlton.com/riyadh