Paris’s celebrated Ritz hotel is to close its doors for two years while extensive renovations take place.
The 140m euro works are a result of failing to win France’s coveted ‘palace’ title given to only a few top luxury establishments.
There have been negotiations with trade unions over how to address the needs of the 470 employees. They can come back to their jobs in two years’ time or they can take redundancy.
“For those with 12 years experience it’s about 15 to 20 000 euros. But for some managers that could go up to around 80 000 euros”, said trade union representative Didier Del Rey.
The Paris Ritz was once the hotel of choice for the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Coco Chanel and Ernest Hemingway. The current owner is Egyptian tycoon Mohamed Al Fayed. His son Dodi and Princess Diana dined there before their fatal car crash in 1997.