Palace of Versailles to Open Luxury Hotel

Meeting planners that want to treat their groups like royalty will soon be able to do exactly that thanks to a new French hotel at the famed Palace of Versailles, west of Paris, the French press reported last month.

Home to French king Louis XIV — and every French monarch from 1682 until 1790 — the Palace of Versailles was evacuated in the 18th century, when the French monarchy was overthrown as a result of the French Revolution. Although the main palace has since been restored, at least one outbuilding — the Hotel du Grand Controle, built in the 1680s as the offices and home of the king's treasurer — has fallen into disrepair.

Because Versailles lacks the $7 million needed to restore the building, it has turned to a private company, Belgian hotel company Ivy International, to do the restoration for it.

In exchange for renovating the Hotel du Grand Controle, Ivy International will be allowed to turn its 23 bedrooms into a luxury hotel, paying a percentage of its profits back to Versailles in the form of rent money that can be used for further restorations and renovations.

The hotel is currently scheduled to open in late 2011, although it's not yet clear how much guest rooms will cost — or if common rooms also will be available for rent, perhaps as meeting space.