Historic Red Palace in Riyadh Transformed into Ultra-Luxury Hotel

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In the heart of Riyadh, the historic Red Palace, once home to King Saud bin Abdulaziz, is being converted into an ultra-luxury hotel by the Boutique Group. This 365,000-square-foot Art Deco mansion, built in the 1940s, will open in 2025, offering a unique blend of historical preservation and luxury hospitality.

The Red Palace, which played a significant role as a government headquarters during Saudi Arabia’s rise as a global energy power, will feature 70 rooms. Guests will experience a taste of royal life with menus showcasing the Saud family’s favourite recipes, spa treatments using ancient healing rituals, and the scent of native Taif roses, a favourite of King Saud.

Boutique Group, funded by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, emphasises the project’s goal to preserve history and culture. CEO Mark De Cocinis describes it as “the experience of being treated like royalty, where everything is taken care of for you down to every detail.”

This transformation is part of Saudi Arabia’s broader initiative to diversify its economy by developing new industries such as tourism. The kingdom plans to invest $800 billion in tourism over the next decade, aiming to host 150 million tourists annually. In 2023, Saudi Arabia welcomed over 100 million visitors, primarily locals exploring their newly accessible country.

The Red Palace aims to attract international tourists who might be hesitant due to Saudi Arabia’s past human rights issues. Boutique Group’s project could redefine Riyadh’s appeal, offering a luxurious and historically rich destination.

Located about an hour from the main airport and soon to be accessible via a new metro system, the Red Palace is near key landmarks such as the National Museum of Saudi Arabia and Murabba Historical Palace. Despite its proximity to Deera Square, known for public executions, the hotel’s focus remains on offering an unparalleled luxurious experience.

Boutique Group is also working on converting other royal residences, including Tuwaiq Palace in Riyadh and Al Hamra Palace in Jeddah, into luxury resorts. De Cocinis notes, “We are providing the location, the palace, the history, the culture, and the exclusivity of that service in Saudi Arabia.”