For anyone who’s ever dreamed a dream about spending the night at Château de Versailles, your fantasy has finally been realized this week with the opening of Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle.
The first hotel to ever open on these palatial grounds in Versailles’ 340 year history, Le Grand Contrôle is set on what is arguably the most famous residence in the world. In pre-Covid times, Versailles attracted more than 10-million visitors year-over-year, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations of all time.
Housed within three historic buildings dating back to 1681, this exquisite new property will feature 14 regal rooms, suites and a signature suite, as well as dining by none other than acclaimed French chef Alain Ducasse as well as a restorative spa by Valmont. The sumptuous indoor swimming pool and exclusive access to the Château and grounds are just a few of the perks that come included with your stay.
With properties in the French Alps, Avignon and Saint-Tropez, Le Grand Contrôle marks the sixth property for the prestigious French hotel collection that comprises Les Airelles.
For guests who are lucky enough to spend the roughly $2,000 a night it costs to stay at Le Grand Contrôle, Airelles has curated a series of exclusive experiences that will provide access to areas of the Château and grounds that are normally off limits to visitors. There will also be boats and golf carts on hand for guests to explore the Grand Canal and gardens at their leisure.
There are also a few experiences not included in your stay but sound positively mesmerizing nonetheless. From an after-hours tour of Versaille’s Hall of Mirrors to an intimate dinner for two created by Alain Ducasse that’s accompanied by a string quartet in the Orangery Garden and a tour that lets you “follow in the footsteps of Maria Antoinette.”
The interior spaces were each reimagined by acclaimed architect and designer Christophe Tollemer who says he drew inspiration from Marie Antoinette’s Versailles estate, Petit Trianon.
Each of the 14 rooms on property have been individually decorated in an elegant eighteenth-century style with authentic colors and fabrics, handpicked period furniture, chandeliers, artwork and decor.
In keeping with the time Versailles was built, wall hangings will very much be a focal point and each room will feature original patterns, recreated by the artist Maison Pierre Frey.
To keep with the theme, all of the rooms and suites have been named after prominent figures who hold a strong attachment with the property. Some perhaps less known names include Jacques Necker, the director general of finance under Louis XVI, Madame de Fouquet, a celebrated socialite who married Marquis de Fouquet, a hero of the American Revolutionary War and Madame de Staël, a famous novelist, essayist, philosopher and a close confidant of Marie-Antoinette.
Over at Valmont spa, the space features a hand-painted fresco and Carrara marble checkerboard floor which was directly inspired by the Palace’s marble courtyard.
Guests who stay here can look forward to relaxing like royalty in the 50-foot indoor swimming pool, Hamman, sauna or indulge in the restorative array of spa treatments including a signature 90-minute Majestic Mirror facial that was developed especially for Le Grand Contrôle.
With 20 Michelin stars to his name, Alain Ducasse has created a menu fit for the kings and queens of the world. Inspired by the flamboyant nature of Louis XIV’s meals, the restaurant offers uninterrupted views onto the Orangery parterre and will serve a selection of reimagined French classics during the day along with a dedicated Marie Antoinette afternoon tea.
Dinner will be a more theatrical affair, reminiscent of the King’s decadent royal banquets and the restaurant team will be wearing period costumes. A bell will ring at 8pm to signal the start of dinner, where guests will experience a five-course gourmet feast including contemporary adaptations of 18th century favorites like veau à la bourgeoise.
Here’s a look inside at some of the hotel’s most exquisite details.