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Hotel Ritz, Paris' Famed Hotel, To Undergo Two-Year Renovation (PHOTOS)

First Posted: 10/19/11 10:13 AM ET   Updated: 12/19/11 05:12 AM ET

The Hotel Ritz, the renown luxury hotel in Paris' Place Vendome, will soon close its doors to guests as it undergoes a two-year renovation.

The hotel that once hosted the likes of Coco Chanel and Earnest Hemingway, will be completely gutted and rebuilt beginning next summer, reports The Independent. Almost all of its staff will be laid off in the 27-month process.

The 160-room hotel was founded in 1898 by Cesar Ritz and Auguste Escoffier. Its last renovations were in 1979.

As The Independent points out, Hotel Ritz has become part of the English lexicon over the years giving us the word "ritzy". It also served as the inspiration for Irving Berlin's 1929 song "Putting On The Ritz" and F. Scott Fitzgerald's novella "The Diamond As Big As The Ritz."

According to the Telegraph, the overhaul was prompted by the hotel's failure to win France's "palace" designation, a signifier of top luxury destinations.

The hotel is owned by Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Al Fayed, the father of Dodi al-Fayed who died alongside Princess Diana in a Paris car crash in 1997. Before the crash the couple had dined at the Ritz.

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A picture taken on October 18, 2011 in Paris shows the entrance of the Ritz hotel. The luxury hotel, located on the Place Vendome near Le Louvre Museum, closes its doors for a two-year renovation and 450 jobs will be cut.

MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images
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Filed by Rebecca Dolan  |