PARIS Bouygues said on Monday that it had won a contract to refurbish the Ritz Hotel in Paris for 140 million euros ($183 million), as the city's old guard of luxury hotels struggles to maintain standards and win clients under increased competition.
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.
Luxury Parisian hotels, which can charge 700 euros a night for even basic rooms, are fighting competition from a host of new hotels operated by Asian companies that emphasize not only comfort, but reliable wi-fi service and modern bathrooms.
In recent years, the Mandarin Oriental and the Shangri-La have opened their doors, threatening the dominance of the city's traditional five-star hotels, among them the Four Seasons George V and Plaza Athenee.
Bouygues said it had renovated the George V in 1999, the Grand Hotel InterContinental in 2003, Fouquet's Barriere in 2006, and the Royal Monceau and the Shangri-La in 2010. ($1 = 0.7644 euros)
(Reporting by Nina Sovich; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford)