Luxury Hotel to Open At Versailles

Soon, visitors won't need a royal title to spend the night on the grounds of the Palace of Versailles.

Officials have announced an outlying building at the chateau will be turned into a 23-bedroom luxury hotel, with plans to open next year.

The regal Hotel du Grand Controle, traditionally home to the palace treasurers, looks out over an elaborate greenhouse, the "Orangerie," and a Swiss ornamental lake.

A Belgian company, Ivy International SA, has been contracted to renovate and develop the building over the next 30 years. The 18,000 square foot building dates back to the 17th century and was left in disarray until 2006.

"The building was given to us in a very dilapidated state," says Jean-Jacques Aillagon, president of the Chateau de Versailles, to AFP. "I've been given the task of saving it," he adds.

Ivy will pay for the renovations at an estimated cost of 5.5 million euros, or 7.3 million dollars. The company will also pay Versailles an annual fee to lease the building.

The palace is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most famed tourist attractions in Europe, known for its chandeliered Hall of Mirrors where the treaty that ended WWI was signed in 1919.

Amongst all the extravagance, visitors will feel like royalty in no time.

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