The Palace of Versailles, a World Heritage Site, has confirmed that it is making plans for a luxury hotel to attract private funding and renovate three of its historic buildings on the southeast side of the architectural complex, which will cost between four and seven million euros, according to local media.
AccorHotels would be one of the companies interested in the project. The invitation to tender has set a September 14 deadline for submitting projects for a construction contract that includes a 60-year operating license.
The package includes the Grand Controle, Petit Controle and Pavillon des Premieres Cent Marches. Built in the 1680s, together they add up to 2,800 square metres. The Palace of Versailles is one of France’s must-see tourist attractions with an average of seven million visitors per year.
There is external access to the park and the main attraction is the Grand Controle, a 1,700 square metre mansion that served as the Ministry of Finance for much of the eighteenth century. The rooms in that part of the Palace housed members of the King’s Council at the time.
As it seeks other sources of revenue, the French state has cut subsidies from 47.4 million euros in 2013 to 40.5 million this year. Each year Versailles collects 300,000 euros in licensing fees.
In 2010 the head of the public establishment, Jean-Jacques Aillagon, launched a project for a 23-room hotel and the Ivy International company was selected but that attempt failed.
Workers at the tourist attraction tell France 24 that they hope the winner of the bid will put the cost of overnight stays at prices similar to those of luxury hotels in Cannes and Paris, which are in excess of 3,000 euros per night.