Madinah (or Medina) in Saudi Arabia is where the Prophet Muhammad migrated from Mecca, and is also his final resting place. Therefore, it is considered the second holiest city for followers of Islam. Often described as being composed yet alluring, this is a destination on the bucket list of many adventurous travelers who are looking to experience a unique destination.
With a combination of warm hospitality, gentle pace, delicious food, and spectacular cultural sights, your trip to Madinah will be unlike your adventures anywhere else.
Obviously, a crucial element of your travels is where you lay your head at night, and choosing the right hotel sets the basis for the rest of your trip. To assist you in your search for the right place, here are four tips for booking a hotel in Madinah.
1. Research the locale
Before you commit to a 5-star hotel in Madinah, it is crucial that you spend some time doing research on the area. Have a thorough look at your options and compare and contrast the costs and amenities offered by different hotels and types of rooms.
If you know of anyone who has visited Saudi Arabia, speak with them about their experiences and their recommendations and, of course, utilize the Internet to read reviews left by previous travelers.
Once you start researching what is available, you will begin to understand what it is you are looking for in your hotel choice. For example, do you want a luxurious experience? Do you want an apartment-style room? Is there a certain amenity that is a deal maker or breaker?
2. Understand the areas of Madinah
It is essential to understand that non-Muslims are stringently forbidden from entering Central Madinah (you will be deported from the country); however, the rest of the city is open to all.
Hotels in Madinah may also have strict policies about food, alcohol and smoking that are different from those where you reside. So, during your research, make sure you are learning about the cultural norms and rules. For example, alcohol is prohibited, so you will be drinking a lot of the delicious mint tea that this city is known for instead.
Generally, travelers want to stay in a hotel in Madinah near Haram. Here, you are able to experience the unique beauty and culture of Madinah by starting your day with the remarkable sound and sight of the muezzin calling for prayers.
3. Figure out the holiday season
As Madinah is a desert city, you can expect scorching summers and warm winters. Usually, November to May is considered the best time to visit the town as June to September can be unbearably hot.
No matter what time of year you choose to go, religious pilgrims will be seen.
When choosing a hotel, speak with them to see if they have any deals going on because many luxury hotels offer rooms at a lower tariff, giving you the ability to visit Madinah at a lower price!
4. Consider the amenities offered
Not every hotel is created equal, and that is indeed true when it comes to the amenities that are offered. Only you know what you will require during your stay in Madinah; however, you should be looking for a hotel that has an airport arrival service, a concierge service, currency exchange, Wi-Fi, a kids’ club, and a gym.
Additionally, while there are many fantastic restaurants in Madinah, it is always a good option to choose a hotel that has its own restaurant so that you know you can always dine in-house. Whether it is 24-hour in-room dining, an all-day dining option with international offerings, or a mezzanine-level tea salon, consider these when you are making a choice.
The best hotels in Madinah go out of their way to ensure that guests have the opportunity to experience, see, and taste the traditional culture of the city with style and flair.
Have you ever been to Medinah? Or Saudi Arabia? Are you considering a trip there? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
About the Author
Amjad Irshaidat is the Country General Manager – Saudi Arabia for Shaza Hotels. The 5-star Shaza Hotel in Al Madina combines sophistication and location in effortless style, with each suite being, by intention, an emphatic expression of generous warmth and Eastern hospitality.