Hong Kong's Mandarin Oriental hotel is to undergo a major refurbishment.
The $140m (£78.4m) renovation is to be completed within an eight month period, starting at the end of this year.
The refurbishment, which will see the hotel's balconies removed, will enlarge the property's bedrooms and bathrooms, reducing the overall number of rooms from 541 to 503.
The hotel's restaurants and bars will also get a revamp while reconfiguration of the ground floor will increase the rental space for retailers.
Mandarin Oriental Hotel's group chief executive, Edouard Ettedgui, said: "This refurbishment is designed to ensure its position as one of the world's legendary hotels."
The hotel will close on 28 December and reopen in late August 2006 during which time employees will be offered training or transferral to other Mandarin Group hotels.
By Kerstin Kühn
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