Paris's luxury Ritz hotel, owed by Mohamed Al-Fayed, is set to close its doors to customers this summer for a €140 million renovation.

"/> Paris's luxury Ritz hotel, owed by Mohamed Al-Fayed, is set to close its doors to customers this summer for a €140 million renovation.

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HOTEL

Paris Ritz shuts down for massive refurb

Paris's luxury Ritz hotel, owed by Mohamed Al-Fayed, is set to close its doors to customers this summer for a €140 million renovation.

Refurbishments are due to last two years, and will include an extended ballroom, a new summer restaurant with a sliding roof and additional suites. There will also be a thorough technological overhaul.

The 160-room hotel on Place Vendôme has been owned by Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Al-Fayed since 1979 and was was the site of the final meal of Diana Princess of Wales and Dodi Fayed in 1997. The refurbishment will see up to 600 workmen at the hotel during peak periods of renovation. 

Established in 1898, the Parisian palace was last renovated in 1979. Increasing competition from newer luxury hotel brands, such as Mandarin Oriental and the Shangri-La in Paris, means more established brands need to get up-to-date with technological advancements, such as in-room WiFi.

The French company that won the bid for the renovations, Bouygues, is experienced in luxury hotel refurbishment, having worked on refittings for Fouquet’s Barriere in 2006, and the Royal Monceau and the Shangri-La in 2010, among others. 

In a statement made today, Bouygues said: “The luxury hotel is to be totally refitted. This will encompass complete refurbishing of the decoration and renovation of the historic areas, while preserving the spirit of the iconic institution.”

The hotel’s 450 staff will be laid off during the works, but will receive compensation and have their jobs guaranteed after it reopens.

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HOTEL

Firm to buy posh Paris hotel to woo Chinese

A Hong Kong investment group has announced it is buying a plush Champs Elysées hotel, which it plans to market to Chinese visitors. The deal comes at a time when the number of Chinese tourists visiting France is at an all-time high.

Firm to buy posh Paris hotel to woo Chinese
A Hong Kong firm is set to buy the five star Marriott Hotel on the famous Champs Elysées. Photo: Sirsnapsalot/AFP

A Hong Kong steel investment firm said it has agreed to pay €344 million for the five-star Paris Marriott Hotel Champs-Elysées, as it targets Chinese tourists' desire for luxury travel.

Kai Yuan Holdings will pay $467.27 million for the seven-floor, 100-year-old hotel it said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange late Monday. Shares in the firm surged 64 percent to HK$0.159 after the announcement.

"As the capital of the most visited country in the world, Paris has been benefiting from its importance as a global hub for business, culture and tourism," it said.

France is the number one tourist destination in the world, with French government figures showing 83 million people visited last year. It is also the prime destination for Chinese tourists, with a record 1.4 million visitors from the country last year.

Kai Yuan said it would market the hotel to Chinese tourists, adding in the filing that it "takes an optimistic view in the prospect of the global tourism industry".

While the firm is principally engaged in the manufacturing and trading of steel in China, it also has interests in real estate and in December paid $63 million for a hotel in Hong Kong, another popular city destination for rich mainland tourists

It said the deadline for the completion of the sale will be September 5th.

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