The Ritz Hotel in London is to move forward with a major £300m development after plans were green-lit by councillors.
The Grade II-listed hotel will build a five-storey basement extension including a two-storey pool, gym and spa.
A statement from the hotel said: "We would like to convey our thanks to Westminster City Council for their decision to approve the sensitive enhancement of the Ritz London.
"Over the course of the application, we have welcomed the opportunity to work constructively with Westminster councillors and officers along with a range of key stakeholders and neighbours.
"Working with an exemplary team, we firmly believe this inspired project will continue to evolve the vision of our founder, legendary hotelier César Ritz, and will ensure that the unique essence of the hotel is retained, sympathetically restored and sensitively enhanced to reaffirm the Ritz London's status, for generations to come, as one of the world's most iconic hotels."
An additional 53 bedrooms will be added to the property as well as underground parking to cater for VIP guests such as the Royal Family and international heads of state.
It is estimated the development will cost £300m and take over three and a half years to complete.
A Westminster City Council committee voted in favour of the plans on 28 September.
As part of the planning agreement, the Ritz will pay £188,911 to the Westminster Employment Service, a recruitment service for local residents and businesses, as well as £10,000 for replacement tree planting and a carbon off-set payment of £509.352.
The hotel, which was founded in 1906, currently has 138 rooms and features the Michelin-starred Ritz Restaurant, the Rivoli Bar, Ritz Club and cigar shop.
An application made on behalf of the Ritz argues that despite major refurbishments taking place in the 1970s and 1980s, the hotel has not been upgraded for decades and has fallen behind the "standards for luxury hotels".
The aim is to upgrade the property to become one of the most luxurious hotels in the world.
The Ritz is owned by Qatari tycoon Abdulhadi Mana Al-Hajri, who paid around £700m for the hotel in March 2020. It was previously owned by the Barclay brothers, who bought it for £75m in 1995.
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