All but eight of the 331 staff working at the Four Seasons Park Lane have been made redundant ahead of the five-star hotel's closure on 30 September for an 18-month refurbishment.
The redundancies were made on 24 June following a 90-day employee consultation. The remaining staff - general manager, hotel manager, HR director, finance director, marketing director, engineering director, accounting support and administration assistant - will all be working towards the reopening.
John Stauss, general manager and Four Seasons regional vice-president, told Caterer that a third of the hotel's staff had already arranged to transfer to other hotels in the group, while a further half attended a jobs fair at the beginning of this month for employees looking to stay in London.
Stauss described the jobs fair as a "fantastic success" and added that many employees were now in the process of securing employment in other London hotels, restaurants and retailers. The fair was attended by 52 employers, including non-hotel businesses such as Harrods and Fortnum & Mason.
Stauss - Caterer‘s Hotelier of the Year 2005 - also revealed, for the first time, the plans behind the refurbishment.
"We'll be adding another floor to the top of the building, which will take us to 10 storeys," he said. "The new top floor will contain a roof-top spa, which will almost be another floor in itself, and will be overlooking Hyde Park."
In addition, the Lanes restaurant on the first floor is going to be renamed and rebranded and will be moved down to the ground floor so that it opens on to the hotel's private garden area. "The restaurant garden will be a unique feature for a five-star hotel in central London," Stauss said.
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By Gareth Cosslett
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