|By Mariam Nihal, Arab News, Jeddah, Saudi
ArabiaMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Dec. 14, 2011--Piercing the Riyadh skyline the majestic 267 meter needle of the Faisaliah Tower symbolizes the will to achieve and the pursuit of excellence. The success of these passions lies within the gleaming walls of the iconic structure in the form of a hotel that is so much more than a hotel, it is an institution. Stepping through the majestic doors of the Al Faisaliah Hotel immediately explains why it has been awarded a positive galaxy of stars as well as the accolade of Saudi Excellence in Tourism Awards this year as the Best Luxury Hotel in Saudi Arabia.
"Image is always an important part of my design philosophy. The opportunity to create Riyadh's and Saudi Arabia's first skyscraper was also a tremendous responsibility. I wanted to come up with a concept that was not only original but one that the community would be proud of in years to come," said Lord Norman Foster, the architect responsible for the design of the tower.
Founded in 1979 and headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts manages one-of-a-kind luxury properties in the world's most desirable destinations. Rosewood properties embrace the company's "A Sense of Place" philosophy, reflecting the history, architecture, scale and sensibilities of the destination.
Opened in 2000, Al Faisaliah Hotel has earned more than 24 international awards for excellence in just one decade. The hotel is owned by Al Khozama Management Company (AKMC), the direct property investment and management arm of the King Faisal Foundation. The hotel is renowned worldwide for its exceptional quality, attention to detail and unrivaled personalized service.
The atmosphere of affluent simplicity generated by the lobby and sustained as an identity throughout the hotel. No flash or bling; just slightly understated elegance that does not shout "quality" but reassuringly murmurs it.
Brian Clark the renowned British artist, whose extensive work in stained glass has earned him the distinction of having created more stained glass than anyone else in history, makes his presence felt in the entrance lobby. He combined modern technology and the ancient medium and created a visually stunning offspring from the fusion of the two. "This project is a marriage made in heaven," he said about Rosewood's Al Faisaliah.
The meld of tradition and uber contemporary reappears in the quietly efficient 24-hour butler service that is part of the classic experience that Rosewood offers all their guests. An art of elevation is practiced by Rosewood's service. Not only is their first class service one of a kind in Saudi Arabia but it is distinguished by its quality and luxury to make it unique in the Middle East.
With 330 rooms and suites in two very distinct wings each is a hotel-within-a-hotel with its own style and character. The lavish variety of rooms and suites of Al Faisaliah Hotel-North, each with an individual appeal, start with Riyadh's largest Superior Rooms at 45 square meters.
Princess Al Anood oversaw the interior design and told Arab News each room had a distinctive theme to connect with the guests' aspirations. Her conviction to boost the Arabian hotel industry is evident in her creative insight into each room with bold strokes of color and credo complimented by her inclusion of works by Saudi artists.
The Al Faisaliah Health Club is exclusively available to hotel guests and offers the most modern fitness equipment in Riyadh. The staff members are on their toes and assist with training programs combined with specialist advice.
Al Faisaliah is on its way to launch their ladies-only spa which they say will be an oasis of luxury melding with the spirit of the hotel. Spanning four floors, it will feature 13 treatment rooms, a state-of-the-art fitness center, an indoor pool and soothing private meditation with relaxation rooms.
Covering an area of almost 50,000 square feet within Al Faisaliah's Conference and Banquet Center is Prince Sultan's Grand Hall. With a capacity for 4,000 delegates and 2,800 for banquets it is the largest column free ballroom in the Kingdom.
The Prince Sultan's Grand Hall offers the latest technology including state-of-the-art sound and projection equipment, simultaneous interpretation systems and sophisticated computer-imaging. No wonder it is the hub, albeit opulent, in the Kingdom for government delegates, business officials and the A-list elite crowd.
The Al Faisaliah hosts six distinct award-winning restaurants, including The Globe and new La Cucina. The Cigar lounge is the city's only dedicated cigar lounge in Riyadh, located on the third-floor level of the distinctive Globe Restaurant. From its position high above the city, it offers an oasis of calm and mesmerizing views in a club atmosphere.
It is the Royal Suite, however, that epitomizes the sheer luxury of the hotel. This is private service at its best with exclusive chefs available for in room service and butlers catering to your imperial needs or basic wants.
The Royal Suite offers a designer lounge with a private dining room ideal for hosting events for up to 10 guests, satellite TV, video and CD players in all guest accommodation and opulent bathrooms with separate steam showers and a sunken Jacuzzi. Furthermore, the view of the capital city from the suite provides the sense of majesty to the penthouse suite. It is simply unbeatable.
As a business stopover or a long weekend away with your family, The Al Faisaliah guarantees an experience like no other.
(c)2011 the Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
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