Make like Marie Antoinette when Versailles turns into a hotel
At least, that's how we assume it went down. That emblem of extravagance, the Palace of Versailles, is to be converted into a hotel to raise much-needed revenue in response to government budget cuts, The Age has reported. Should you wish to book, you won't be choosing between the King and Queen's private chambers, however - the palace is currently seeking bids from private companies to open Hotel de l'Orangerie in the three seventeenth-century manors situated 100 metres from the main palace, with views to the famous Orangerie.
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"There will be no other hotel in the world like this one," a palace spokesman has said. "This is an emblem of French history and a cultural landmark. It will be an authentically royal experience." The three buildings were most recently used as an officers' mess but have stood empty and in growing state of disrepair for seven years. The hotel is expected to cost up to 14 million euros to fit out - restoring the buildings, we can only hope, to all their former opulence, with a few macaron crumbs strewn about for good measure (because, authentic).
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The winning company will be awarded a 60-year licence to operate the hotel and will be required to pay a percentage of their profits to the palace, which has several apartments in need of repair. The hotel opening is a long way off, so in the meantime, we're heading home to press play on Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette to start familiarising ourselves with our future residence - a girl can dream.
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