Ritz-Carlton Riyadh is Now a Saudi Torture Site

Early last month Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia moved to consolidate power, arresting senior princes, the wealthy, and former government leaders under the banner of a new anti-corruption campaign.

The high profile prisoners were held inside the Ritz-Carlton Riyadh. All guests on property were unilaterally kicked out, reservations dishonored. A second Marriott was commandeered by the Saudi government as well.

Ritz-Carlton Riyadh, Credit: Ritz-Carlton

Here are photos from inside the Ritz-Carlton prison.

The hotel still shows unavailable for guest reservations for most of January. Oddly there’s one night where the property appears to be open for bookings.

Reportedly one of the prisoners at the Ritz-Carlton, Major general Ali Alqahtani, died from electric shocks on December 12. That gives new meaning to the Ritz-Carlton daily line up at that property. I don’t think it’s what Marriott had in mind when introducing experiential redemption ‘Moments’.

Politico‘s Jake Sherman asks how the Ritz-Carlton Riyadh can keep its flag. Goodness knows the Sheraton in Basra was bombed and the Sheraton Baghdad attacked 14 years ago, but those were ‘rogue’ Sheratons continuing to operate with the name even though they had no relationship with Starwood as a result of US sanctions on Iraq from the first Gulf war.

(HT: Larry L.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. “That gives new meaning to the Ritz-Carlton daily line up at that property.” The man was tortured. To death. Pretty glib

  2. Since there is no chance of a guest leaving the property untortured or alive for that available night, I’m surprised the rate isn’t lower.

  3. Another article from the Shiite Mooslim, Gary Left. Every keystroke from his fingers are worthless.

  4. omg- No coasters on the mahogany.

    How do they decide who gets the Club Level? Upgrade certificates?

    Define “severe penalties” for smoking in room.

    WHY would anyone in their right mind ever want to visit Saudi? (Sure Trump did.)

  5. In very poor taste. Gary – A new low for you (and some of the commenters”.

    You really had to say that “ I don’t think it’s what Marriott had in mind when introducing experiential redemption ‘Moments’.”

  6. @Hadley-you apparently prefer Pravda for your news now that the Rs love Russia and Putin-I liked it better when you all were Birchers (!?!)

    @Radster_Kid —-you hate all Muslims because of their religion or what? There were not good people on both sides in C-ville….does a flaming Tiki torch get hot in your hands?

    regardless of how lunatic/racist their politics, the Ritz was a dry hotel even before it was taken over to become a prison…can’t even get an overpriced beer after you’re tortured by the new order in Saudi Arabia

  7. Who really gives a rat’s ass if a Saudi government official was killed, much less tortured? Is his ghost going to haunt your room?

    The hotel did what it had to do. I’m sure of the hotel management had refused, it would have been a hotel manager also amongst the dead.

    Let the Saudis deal with their own problems in their own unique way. In fact, when you think about it, public beheadings might have a positive influence on the Chicago drive-by shooting epidemic.

  8. Crap article… Gary you don’t have any other topics to write about…How about Israeli torture in Palestine

  9. While I’d want to know more about the source of this torture report before giving it complete credence, I wouldn’t discount it out of hand either. Thanks for posting this, Gary.

  10. Why are you attacking Gary for reporting on this? By the way, I live in Riyadh and everyone here knows exactly what is taking place there and so far, Gary has reported what we are hearing here on the ground.

  11. Do you really think its appropriate to joke about people being tortured to death by a supposed US ally? It just seems to be in incredibly bad taste for what is supposed to be a travel website.

  12. It is so (un)surprising that some people trash any news (and the bearer) if it doesn’t conform to their ideaology.

    Why news about (alleged) torture in a hotel elicits (typical) far right reaction of name calling and trashing? I guess their little brains cannot fathom the meaning of constructive conversation.

  13. Big Bird — Continue to stick your head in the sand about your Dims and the Lamestream Media and the unconscionable wrondoing that went on at Justice and the FBI during Obama, not to mention the Uranium One, Hezbollah drug dealing and the myriad of scandals involving ole ‘Hill.

    You can cry distraction from the Russia probe all you want, but you want to know what else hasn’t had a leak??

    The 450 employees under Justice’s Inspector General Michael Horrowitz who is investigating the above and other scandals. His staff make’s Muddle’s look puny — and well it should, as he is investigating the upper echelon of that Department as well as those that come under his pruview, notably the FBI and DEA.

    Come March or hopefully sooner, we’ll have the unvarnished truth about as to whether one section of the media or another has been carrying water for one political party and lying for the past year.

    Wonder why Snidely McCabe is in such a rush to get his full pension vested with the FBI before March ‘2018?

    Ahhs — While we are investigating so-called “Israeli torture,” it would be beneficial if we were to compare such “torture” with those who seek to remove them from the map of the Middle East — would you care to investigate the extra-judicial killings by Hamas in the Gaza Strip and the general rule of law by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank?

    I’m sure the Israelis could learn a thing or two about such procedures from their peaceful neighbors.

  14. Hossein —

    Sadly, it appears that it is your compatriots that are the individuals that are infected with a nihlistic death cult ideology, not those from other regions….

    Res ipsa Loquitir……

  15. “I don’t think it’s what Marriott had in mind when introducing experiential redemption ‘Moments’.”

    That’s hilarious.

  16. Well, if you think so, then I’m happy to oblige.

    With respect to your compatriots who are infected with a nihlistic death cult mindset, are you going to argue that too is a figment of (alleged) right wing media, as well?

    Res ipsa Loquitur….

  17. Gary, Your comments section is starting to look a lot like facebook and youtube. Might be time to start moderating.

  18. Hadley V. Baxendale—the actual case, stands for the proposition that the consequential damages caused by one’s conduct is on you…and then, the poster who goes by the name “Hadley v Baxendale” piles on and ridiculously uses the term “res ipsa loquitur”—which simply establishes negligence w/o any direct evidence.
    Therefore, I can infer from the case Hadley v Baxendale in combination w/the res ipsa doctrine, that the person who posts under the name “Hadley v Baxendale” loves Trump, hates the FBI, and hates the more than a billion Muslims (based on their religion), and is part of the alt-right—and reads Breitbart for educational purposes. Sad.
    Wonder how prison at the Ritz is going—-the commandant’s new house near Versailles is gorgeous and I think the .5 billion dollar yacht he got is really something…the world progresses and is yet moored w/the looney tunes from a day gone by. But the Hadleys v Baxendales short renaissance is likely to be short lived…and if not, oh dear!

  19. Wow. I was not previously aware of what had happened lately regarding the people imprisoned in that Ritz-Carlton in Saudi Arabia. I think it’s quite important that we get more reporting about this how its billing as an “anti-corruption campaign” juxtaposes with the prince’s purchase of what is being called the most expensive home in the world, in France ( https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/18/300m-french-chateau-bought-by-saudi-prince-linked-to-da-vinci-purchase-report ).

    Thank you for covering this, and, thanks also for holding Marriott reputationally responsible for not distancing their themselves as much as they should. It is information that many of us may want to consider in our future booking decisions, and, therefore, completely on topic for your blog, comments by Saudi propagandists notwithstanding.

  20. BigBird you have shown yourself to be truly a Birdbrain as I do not love Trump (but I do like many of his policies) nor do I hate the FBI, although its recent leadership prior to Wray’s nomination left alot to be desired — and that will soon become public knowledge once the Justice Inspector General issues his report.

    I.G Horowitz released a scathing report on Holder’s Fast and Furios policy decision and I have no doubt that Obama’s Justice and FBI will be excoriated for both their improper and inappropriate handling of the Clinton e-mail proble, as well as the Democrat bought Steele Kompromat dossier and it’s use to bootstap a domestic spying operation against an opposing political party.

    Furthermore, your facile and wrong description of my hating Muslims based on their religion — or any other ridiculous reason — is erroneous, as is my being from the alt-Right, that, too, is laughable as they demonize many ethnicities, one of which I am a member.

    Therefore, the Avian A$$hole, has shown himself to be wrong on all counts.

    As to others who await the termination of the Mueller probe, keep your eyes on the IG report concerning the above-noted matters, as well as Justice’s review(s) of both Uranium One and the Clinton Foundation, as well as the Hezbollah drug smuggling cases squelched by Obama’s National Security toadys and their willing accomplices in Justice.

    Finally, there will be at the very least, a Congressional report on Rice and Power’s improper unmasking of citizens for illegitimate domestic surveillance of the political opposition — remember James Rosen and Sheryl Atkisson.

    As I have noted earlier, we will see who is righ in the end.

  21. @Hadley V. Baxendale,
    You shout out “death cult compatriots” merely based on my name being ‘Hossein’. You went out ranting about current (and previous) policies in the US and then lash out by asserting “…wrong description of my hating Muslims based on their religion — or any other ridiculous reason — is erroneous…”!!

    Haha, just admit you have been ousted and you are not man enough to have a constructive dialog.

    Not that it needs defending, but to show you what I mean by constructive dialog (if you can possibly get your head around the concept), my name has nothing to do with my religious or where I am coming from; I have nothing to do with Muslim or the Middle East. I am proud of my name, not because of any possible religious or cultural significance it may have, but because my parents have chosen it for me, and I am proud of my parents.

    Have a nice life in your own small cocoon. Over and out!

  22. Nicely said Hossein. Hadley v Baxendale is a member of the angry Rs who are thankfully, aging and dying—amazing we need to deal w/white supremacists or those who support them in 2017. I heard Hadley thinks this whole Riyadh Ritz thing is “fake news” and is on the next flight to Saudi Arabia to expose the truth and his alt-right “news” sources are paying for a premium economy seat(!) and everything. Good bye and good luck Hadley!

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