Last December, the scaffolding came down on one of Paris's palace hotels, and the Hotel de Crillon (www.crillon.com) unveiled the results of an ambitious project: the 18th century façade was completed restored, its sculptures and colonnades buffed, scrubbed, and touched up. The original inspiration for the white house, the Crillon was designed by the architect Ange-Jacques Gabriel at the request of Louis XV in 1754, and so the craftsmen recruited for the restoration had lots of experience with historic-listed buildings.
And just today we’re getting wind of another project in store for the landmark on the Place de la Concorde. Rumor has it that the Crillon—purchased by Saudi royalty in 2010 for $355 million—will close completely at the end of 2012 for a top-to-bottom overhaul that will last two years. The renovation will add a spa and increase the event space.
Noteworthy: The Hotel Ritz Paris is also shuttering for a makeover this year. With the arrival of several ultra-luxury Asian brands on the Parisian hotel scene, the established palace hotels are on a renovation spree.