French construction-to-broadcasting conglomerate Bouygues has won a contract to refurbish the Ritz Hotel in Paris for 140 million euros ($183 million).
The hotel, to close this summer and reopen in 2014, will be completely refitted, Bouygues said, and furnished with a new summer restaurant with a sliding roof, additional suites, an extension of the ballroom and new technology.
The move comes after the five-star hotel in central Paris failed earlier this year to win France’s coveted palace designation marking a top luxury destination.
Once the hotel of choice of Charlie Chaplin, Coco Chanel and Ernest Hemingway, the hotel has not had a major refit since 1979.
The statement said hotel facilities, including its 160 rooms and suites, would preserve their traditional style while “offering the latest technological innovations”.
The hotel’s 450 staff will be laid off during the works, but will receive compensation and have their jobs guaranteed after it reopens.
Founded in 1898 by Cesar Ritz and French chef Auguste Escoffier, the hotel is also home to L’Espadon restaurant, which has two Michelin stars, and the Ritz-Escoffier cooking school. Both will also close during the renovation.
“This renovation project is indispensable. It is the result of a wide reflection carried out with all of the establishment’s partners,” company president Frank Klein said.