Royal splendourEnter the world of Versailles
Destination: Versailles, France
Vacation: Regal relaxation
Seeking: History and grandeur
Highlight: Royal feasting
Some hotels and resorts offer an experience so special it’s almost otherworldly, a chance to travel somewhere completely unique, to be immersed in culture, beauty and history found absolutely nowhere else – Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle is just such a hotel.
Le Grand Contrôle is the first hotel to open within the grounds of the iconic Château de Versailles with views over the Orangerie, the Pièce d’Eau des Suisses and the Château.
Guests can take an exclusive peek into the enchanting world of Versailles, exploring the 2,000-acre gardens and palace halls and apartments as walked by Europe’s elite over the centuries. Le Grand Contrôle is housed within a beautiful building constructed by Louis XIV’s favourite architect, Jules Hardouin-Mansartin 1681. Now two centuries on, the property has been meticulously restored by architect and interior designer, Christophe Tollemer to reveal 14 regal rooms and suites including a 120m² signature Suite, exceptional dining by Alain Ducasse, a restorative spa by Valmont with a 15-metre indoor swimming pool, and exclusive access to the Château.
Each of the 14 rooms and suites are named after prominent individuals who had a strong association with Le Grand Contrôle or the Palace of Versailles. Decorated individually in an elegant eighteenth-century style, the rooms feature authentic colours and fabrics, chandeliers, artwork and artefacts including a love letter from Madame De Staël to her lover Louis, Comte de Narbonne-Lara.
From the moment of arrival, guests enjoy a truly immersive stay and Airelles has curated a number of exclusive experiences, providing access to areas of the Château and grounds that are normally closed to visitors. There are also boats and golf carts on hand to explore the Grand Canal and gardens at leisure. Each stay includes a private tour of The Trianon: each morning, before the arrival of the general public, hotel guests are invited to join a tour of The Trianon and The Queen’s Hamlet (Le Hameau de la Reine). The tour differs each day with the guide showcasing different areas, including Marie Antoinette’s much-loved English Gardens and Louis XIV’s Grand Trianon. Every evening once all visitors have departed, hotel guests can enjoy an intimate tour of the Palace itself, taking in the King and Queen’s State Apartments, the Hall of Mirrors, as well as previously unseen living areas of the sovereigns. Guests are invited to visit the magnificent gardens at any time of day. There are also a selection of incredible paid-for experiences available including after-hours access to the Hall of Mirrors, a Marie Antoinette-themed day including a costume fitting, a private performance at the Royal Opera, private dining with a string quartet in the former apartment of Louis XV’s daughters and the chance to follow in the footsteps of former head gardener to the royals, André Le Nôtre.
At the heart of the guest experience is the aristocratic culinary offering provided by the internationally-acclaimed chef, Alain Ducasse. With 20 Michelin stars to his name, Ducasse takes guests on a journey through time experiencing gastronomic delights from both past and present via a tantalising menu inspired by the flamboyant nature of Louis XIV’s meals. With uninterrupted views onto the Orangery parterre, Ducasse at Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle serves a selection of reimagined French classics during the day along with a dedicated Marie Antoinette afternoon tea. Dinner is a more theatrical affair, reminiscent of the King’s royal banquets, with the restaurant team in period costume serving an array of gold, silver or vermeil dome-covered dishes. A bell rings at 9:00pm to signal the beginning of dinner, where guests experience a five-course gourmet feast commencing with a selection of soups and starters followed by roasts and salads, then dessert and finally, fruit. Each Sunday a royal brunch is served, directly inspired by ‘Le Gran d Couvert’, an ancient French ritual where the king and queen would dine in front of the public. An impressive buffet takes centre stage resplendent with classic dishes and seasonal ingredients, as well as some dishes being served directly to the table. A highlight is the King’s Soup in a nod to the past.
- Luxury 100% 100%
- Grandeur 100% 100%
- Immersive experience 100% 100%
- Feasting 100% 100%
“Located in the heart of the Château de Versailles estate, Le Grand Contrôle is a spectacular and historic building. The maison unveils 14 Rooms and Suites restored in the greatest respect of the original spirit. Experience the rarest journey back in time with a multitude of privileges. Benefit from a culinary offer designed by Chef Alain Ducasse, a magnificent Valmont Spa and exclusive access to the Château de Versailles. Le Grand Contrôle is a royal address for a unique and timeless experience.“
Best food & drink
1. A majestic sunrise
Life at court starts early. Admire the breathtaking views of the Orangery and its gardens while enjoying an exceptional breakfast that includes pastries, fresh fruits, cereals and organic cooked eggs, as well as French toast with salted caramel, and other classics with a twist.
2. A royal feast reimagined
As in the days of kings, lunch rivals dinner when it comes to the quantity of food on offer. Here, tradition and modernity blend together happily around a menu served over two, three or five courses. Take a seat at the king’s table and be seduced by delicious dishes inspired by the great classics of French cuisine. Look out for the delicate mallard Galantine with foie gras and pistachios, the traditional Vol-au-vent, the Great Scallops with Jerusalem artichokes and truffles, and save room for the desserts; signature sweet plates such as L’Elixir de Louis XV with citrus fruits and cascara or L’Orangerie with chocolate and its crunchy praline.
3. Meet in the bar
Synonymous with conviviality and enjoyment, the bar is the ideal place to while away a few hours before dinner. Peruse the impressive collection of drinks on offer, each prepared by Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle head sommelier, and enjoy signature cocktails such as the “Royal Snowflake”; Champagne poured over a seasonally scented granite. What’s more, each drink is accompanied by a delicious snack … a match made in palatial heaven.
Every room and suite at Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle has a story to tell so where you choose to stay will enhance your overall experience with a particular narrative. We’ve chosen a few of our favourites to highlight to give you a better idea of what’s on offer.
The Madame de Fouquet Room is inspired by the extraordinary life of the celebrated socialite who married the Marquis de Fouquet, a hero of the American Revolutionary War. Together they lived at Le Grand Contrôle until 1787. Designed for two people, this beautiful Room benefits from impressively high ceilings and a generous 60m² layout, with two bathrooms included. Meticulously adorned with delicate woodwork and period Versailles parquet floors, guests will discover 18th-century cornices and original bas reliefs that have been lovingly restored. Reminiscent of a royal bedchamber fit for Louis XVI, the Madame de Fouquet Room boasts a generous ‘à la polonaise’ four poster bed. Guests can relax and unwind on the spacious 30m² terrace that offers sprawling views of the gardens.
The spacious Necker Suite is the former private apartment of Jacques Necker, the finance minister and statesman who became a significant figure in the French Revolution. Serving under Louis XVI, he was arguably the most popular minister of the era. Designed for two, the grandest suite at Le Grand Controle boasts four metre high ceilings, and an impressive 120m² layout, perfect for those wanting to relive the lavish Palace lifestyle.
With Versailles parquet flooring throughout and a magnificent four-poster bed, guests will also benefit from a generous living room space. Featuring a freestanding bathtub of dreams, guests will enjoy breathtaking views over the lush Orangery Garden and the Palace from their bathroom. With triple aspect views, this light filled suite is a must for experiencing Le Grand Contrôle in all of its 18th-century splendour.
The highlight of staying at Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle is the incredible access you will have to some of the most incredible historical sights and settings in France.
Beyond the gardens of Versailles lies Trianon, and the Estate of Marie-Antoinette. As part of your stay at Le Grand Contrôle, enjoy complimentary access to an exclusive private tour of The Trianon, as your very own guide will unlock a new room and garden for you every morning, before opening hours. With a different tour route each time, expect to discover the true gems of Versailles – everything from Louis XIV’s Grand Trianon to the English Gardens lovingly created for Marie-Antoinette.
A highlight of any stay at Le Grand Contrôle, explore a different part of the Palace every evening, with a complimentary private tour after opening hours. Joined by just a handful of fellow guests, discover the Palace of Versailles like never before. With access to the main areas of the Palace; the State Apartments, the Hall of Mirrors, the Royal Opera House and the Royal Chapel, your guide will also reveal previously unseen spaces and rooms.
Enjoy private, after hours access to the most famous room in the Palace – The Hall of Mirrors. Explore the room and its 357 mirrors completely uninterrupted, as your personal guide helps you navigate the space at your own pace. A once-in-a-lifetime experience, this tour is packed full of wow factor, just remember to bring your camera!
A must-do for fans of the much-adored TV series, Versailles, enjoy exclusive access to the costumes used in the production, followed by a photoshoot in your suite to capture the moment.Whilst the photographer heads back to the ‘editing suite’ to prepare your photos, enjoy a decadent room service dinner served by your private butler, reminiscent of Louis XIV dining in his private apartment.
Dine like royalty in Salle des Hoquetons, with an intimate dinner for two in the former apartment of Louis XV’s daughters. With rare after-hours access and a dining room that opens onto the gardens, this is a special opportunity for guests to dine like never before, with a three course Ducasse feast serenaded by a string quartet.
Trace Marie-Antoinette’s fashionable footsteps with a day packed full of the former Queen’s favourites. Begin the day with a costume fitting in your suite, and a private tour around the Estate of Trianon, the Love Monument and the much-talked about Grotto. In the afternoon, enjoy a pamper session fit for royalty, with the Signature Treatment at the Valmont Spa, closely followed by a macaron tasting session. End the day in true style with a very special dinner served in the French Pavilion; a spot much loved by Marie-Antoinette herself.
Being pampered is taken to another level at Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle. The Valmont Spa is home to the prestigious Swiss skincare brand renowned around the world for its high-quality products and treatments.
In homage to the lavish surroundings, the Spa features textured Carrara marble checkerboard and stone trace wall features and busts – all of which were directly inspired by the marble courtyard in the Palace of Versailles. On the ceiling is a hand-painted fresco which lights up the Spa and allows guests to retreat from the world.
For a truly royal experience, Valmont has designed an exclusive Signature treatment inspired by Marie-Antoinette’s legendary beauty rituals. Perfect for relaxing and recuperating, guests can also discover the sauna, hammam and the indoor swimming pool.
Other treatments include Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle Purity of the Alps treatment; a complete renewal for the face, blending delicate and subtle gestures with the effectiveness of Valmont products. Created to purify and balance complexions, this Valmont treatment has been designed for everyone, restoring radiance once more.
Created as an antidote to the demands of modern day life, restore youthfulness with the Vitality of the Glaciers treatment. Using smart science, the skin is stimulated and cell renewal is encouraged with a collagen mask, tackling any wrinkles and fine lines to leave behind a fresh and radiance complexion. A true biological facelift.
And a lesson in lasting hydration, the Sources des Bisses treatment is a must for those wanting to bolster their skin’s moisture barrier. Designed to deliver the optimal level of hydration, the treatment from Valmont focuses on ultra-plumping and anti-ageing, leaving complexions restored with a little help from a collagen mask.
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