PARIS Oct 14 Luxury hotel chain Mandarin
Oriental Group has picked Vinci to handle
the multi-million pound revamp of its landmark 19th century Hyde
Park hotel in London, the French construction group said on
The 60 million pound ($75 million) renovation of the
Edwardian-style property overlooking Hyde Park, its first in 16
years, will allow the five-star hotel to better compete with a
host of luxury rivals in the British capital.
Its owner, Mandarin Oriental Group, is one of the powerful
Asian chains such as Shangri-La and Peninsula that have been
investing heavily in recent years in European capitals and top
tourist destinations such a London and Paris.
All bedrooms and suites of the iconic hotel where Queen
Elizabeth II first learned to dance and where the late Margaret
Thatcher held her 80th birthday party, are being refurnished
under the 18-month makeover.
In addition, two new 165 square meters (1776 square feet)
penthouse suites overlooking Hyde Park will be created as well
as an expansion of the spa facilities and improvements to core
During the renovation the hotel will stay open with reduced
Vinci Construction said it had brought together a team of
firms specialising in luxury renovations to restore the hotel.
The finest materials will be used, including stone from
Thessaloniki, Greece, in the bathrooms, and Carrare marble in
The property was built in 1889 as an exclusive Gentleman's
Club but opened to the public in 1902 as The Hyde Park Hotel.
Its palatial interior decoration, lavish use of marbles and
gilding were then years ahead of other London's bests hotels.
Mandarin Oriental Group, which operates 29 hotels and eight
residences in 19 countries, bought the hotel in 1996. It
reopened in May 2000 after a 57 million pound renovation.
($1 = 0.8042 pounds)
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Geert De Clercq)