Bangladesh Services Ltd (BSL), owner of Ruposhi Bangla Hotel, will transfer 500 employees to other units as the five-star hotel's extensive renovation begins today.
The hotel will keep its entire operations closed for the next 16 months for the renovation work.
Of the 500 employees, 300 will work at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre, 116 for a project of InterContinental Dhaka, 70 at Balaka Executive Lounge at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, and the rest will go abroad for training during the period, the hotel said in a statement.
James P McDonald, general manager of the hotel, yesterday signed an agreement with leaders of Ruposhi Bangla Hotel Shramik O Karmachari Union to ensure continued jobs, salaries, service charges and other benefits for employees in line with BSL's board rules.
The hotel will be rebranded as InterContinental Dhaka after the renovation, which will begin in line with an agreement signed between BSL and InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), a leading global hotel chain.
Ruposhi Bangla, formerly known as Sheraton Hotel, will have to be renovated as per IHG brand standards and the renovated InterContinental Hotel will resume operations in January 2016.
The hotel will be handed over to InterContinental for 30 years after renovation, according to a deal signed in February 2012. BSL will bear the renovation cost of around Tk 400 crore -- a portion from its own funds and the rest from bank loans.
The hotel's net profits plunged 59 percent year-on-year to Tk 19 crore in 2013 due to political troubles for much of the last year.
With renovation, the number of rooms in the hotel will drop to 226 from 272 as room sizes will be increased to 40 square metres from 26 square metres now.