Four Seasons Contract Falls Through for Hotel du Palais in Biarritz

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Last year we reported on the pending Four Seasons management contract for the legendary Hotel du Palais in the French seaside resort of Biarritz. Perched on the coast directly overlooking the Atlantic, the grande dame— awarded the coveted “palace hotel” distinction in 2011— was first built in 1855 by Empress Eugenie (the wife of Napoleon III) before she sold it to the city in 1880.

In recent years, the city of Biarritz sought a new management company and spoke with “a dozen” major hotel groups before choosing Four Seasons. In France, the Canadian luxury hotel group currently operates the George V in Paris, the Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat on the French Riviera, and the highly anticipated Four Seasons Hotel Megève, expected to open in the glamorous alpine playground, just in time for the 2017-18 winter ski season.

However, France 24 reports that the deal recently fell through. The article, entitled “An Uncertain Future for the Prestigious Palace Hotel du Palais,” reports that the municipality of Biarritz announced the “rupture” of “exclusive negotiations” with the luxury hotel company because of a disagreement about the necessary investments in renovating the Hotel du Palais to ensure it maintains its “palace status:” 48.5 million euros according to the city, but 64.5 million euros according to Four Seasons. Financial experts enlisted by the city did not find the business plan sufficient to cover the expenses. 

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What this means: A new phase of negotiations has been opened, including top-tier international hospitality companies but not excluding Four Seasons. The negotiations and a contract must be signed by October 31. Stay tuned!

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