Earlier this year, I had to go to Riyadh for some delicious business, so I chose to stay at the Mövenpick Hotel and Residences Riyadh. It’s only about one year old, but it still looks like it’s a new property.
Located near King Abdullah Financial District, the chief economic zone of the Saudi capital, undoubtedly this Accor hotel appeals more to the businessperson than to leisure travelers. Indeed, Riyadh is still mostly a business destination; however, tourism attractions are certainly being introduced, either through renovations of historical sites and souks, or in the construction of theme parks and shopping centers.
In total, the Mövenpick Hotel and Residences Riyadh has 269 rooms and suites, 90 residences, and 43,000 square feet of meeting space.
It was the start of Ramadan, traditionally a period when business slows down, so I hardly ever saw another guest in the lobby. Breakfast time was a different story, but we’ll get to that later.
Check-in was efficient; I was even reminded to share my Accor account details, so as to get credit for my stay. Truthfully, I had no idea Movenpick was a part of Accor, so that was a bonus.
My room was a Superior King on the 7th floor; the hotel has an Executive Lounge, but my room wasn’t included in that package.
Thus, to the 7th floor I go:
Superior King Room
The bed was comfortable, the air conditioner worked great, and just about every other aspect was fine, save for two points–
1) the internet didn’t work. That’s a biiiig problem. Although I was busy most of the time, I did have work to do; going to the lobby wasn’t a great solution.
2) it was annoying to turn off the lights. How many switches are necessary? Which is which?
Really though, the water pressure in the shower was nice, the room was amply sized and outfitted, and the workspace — if there had been internet, anyway — was sufficient.
The Mövenpick Hotel and Residences Riyadh had a lobby café, a Moroccan restaurant called Fez, and ordinarily a buffet restaurant called Mazaj.
But, due to Ramadan shifting the hours on nearly all f&b options, I only tried breakfast at the executive lounge (during Ramadan, given the smaller crowds, breakfast is offered at the executive lounge).
The hours were generous, 06:30 to 11:00, and the food not so plentiful (again, this was due to Ramadan), but the quality was good enough.
Middle Eastern and Western options were available, plus omelets could be ordered by asking one of the waiters.
Given the lack of customers, I’d say that the waitstaff was bored most of the time, and had to be approached to get anything done.
Having never stayed at a Mövenpick Hotel before, I guess you could say it was a mixed bag. The property was quite clean, reception staff mostly pleasant, and the food alright, but the bored Executive Lounge staff, and the lack of wi-fi in the room were big misses. Nevertheless, I reckon the internet issue would be worked out by my next stay … and there would be lots more food to give a whirl.
For a look at what Riyadh Airport and Saudia business class are like, check out this review.
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