Saudi Prince buys Hotel de Crillon from Starwood Capital

Hotel de Crillon, a former 18th century palace located at the foot of the Champs-Élysées in Paris has been acquired by a member of the Saudi royal family from the US-based investment firm Starwood Capital for €250 million ($328 million).

The acquisition of one of the world's oldest luxury hotels by the Saudi Arabian royal family member Prince Mitab Ben Abdalah ben Abd al-Aziz Al Saoud, brings to end a long-running dispute between Saudi-backed JJW Hotels & Resorts and Connecticut-based Starwood.

The legal dispute was settled in April this year after a French court ordered JJW to pay Starwood $100 million to settle an alleged breach of contract after JJW reneged on a deal to buy Le Crillon.

Starwood, which was running the hotel through its unit Groupe du Louvre, had acquired the hotels from Champagne producer Taittinger, as part of a $1.5-billion deal in 2005

Groupe du Louvre, will continue to do so for a period of twelve months and Swiss hotel group Kempinski is tipped to overtake the running of the hotel on behalf of Al Saoud.

Le Crillon, one of the two palaces built in 1758 by King Louis XV and named Place de Concorde, was the venue for the official signing of the first treaties between the newly-founded US and France.

Ironically King Louis XVI was guillotined in the square in front of the hotel 35 years later during the French reveloution.

Place de ConcordeThe hotel, which has 147 rooms with suites costing up to $11,760 a night, boasts renowned guests like King George V, Sir Winston Churchill and Charlie Chaplin to have revelled in its ornate ambience.

The Saudi Prince will have to spend €100 million upwards in renovating the hotel.