Le Grand Contrôle is the first hotel to open within the grounds of the iconic Château de Versailles.
Photo: Renée Kemps

The Château de Versailles Opens an Extravagant Boutique Hotel Fit for Royalty

Le Grand Contrôle features 18th-century furnishings, an Alain Ducasse restaurant, Valmont Spa, and access to the palace's famed gardens

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. Photo: Renée Kemps

King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette might be long gone, but the dream of living like royalty is alive and well at the Château de Versailles, their former residence, where visitors still flock to experience a taste of their extravagant life. Now the landmark is poised to become France’s (and maybe Europe’s) most opulent place to spend the night, courtesy of five-star hospitality group Airelles, which has spent the past four years transforming a trio of historic buildings on the grounds into a sumptuous boutique hotel. 

The structures have been restored to their decadent beauty by French designer Christophe Tollemer, who used the year 1788—the last time the building’s inventory was catalogued—as an aesthetic touchstone. In addition to working with Pierre Frey and the Royal Manufacture of Aubusson to create historically accurate fabrics, Tollemer sought to capture the look of Louis XVI’s personal style by filling the 14 rooms and suites with a dazzling array of 18th-century furnishings and accessories.

The Madame De Fouquet room features historically accurate fabrics reproduced by Pierre Frey and the Royal Manufacture of Aubusson. Photo: Renée Kemps

Amenities include a restaurant helmed by Alain Ducasse, an invigorating Valmont spa, and a 50-foot indoor swimming pool. Guests will also be granted exclusive access to the palace and grounds, so they can literally retrace the footsteps of the royal couple. Maybe you really can have your cake and eat it too. 

Art  +  Culture

The Gardens of Versailles Host Largest Ever Exhibition of Les Lalanne

A version of this article first appeared in print in our 2020 Spring issue in the section The Artful Life. Subscribe to the magazine. See more photos below. 

Now two centuries on, the property has been meticulously restored by architect and interior designer, Christophe Tollemer to reveal 14 regal rooms and suites. Photo: Renée Kemps

Lieux Communs. Photo: Renée Kemps

Lieux Communs. Photo: Renée Kemps

The Salon d'Audience. Photo: Renée Kemps

The Baron de Staël-Holstein Junior Suite takes over the apartment that was once home to Baron de Staël-Holstein, Chamberlain of Queen Sophia Magdalena and Swedish ambassador to France. Photo: Renée Kemps

Overlooking the garden, the Orangery Room features refined and historic details, including chevron parquet floors, a period marble fireplace, a wall tapestry and a thoughtfully sourced 18th-century crystal chandelier. Photo: Renée Kemps

The story of Jules Hardouin-Mansart, architect of the Hôtel du Grand Contrôle, the Hall of Mirrors, the Grand Trianon and the Royal Chapel, comes to life in this room with its hushed and intimate atmosphere, located in Le Petit Contrôle. Photo: Renée Kemps

Guests can relax in a truly regal fashion with a 15-metre indoor swimming pool, Hamman, sauna and a restorative programme of spa treatments from Swiss skincare experts Valmont. Photo: Renée Kemps

The Valmont spa features a hand-painted fresco and Carrara marble checkerboard floor, directly inspired by the Palace’s marble courtyard. Photo: Renée Kemps

Designed for two, the grandest suite at Le Grand Controle boasts four-metre high ceilings, and an impressive layout, perfect for those wanting to relive the lavish palace lifestyle.

Guests can relax and unwind on the spacious terrace that offers sprawling views of the gardens. Photo: Renée Kemps

La Suite Beauvilliers pays homage to the first ever resident of Le Grand Contrôle. Photo: Renée Kemps

The restaurant terrace. Photo: Renée Kemps

The restaurant by Alain Ducasse. Photo: Renée Kemps

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.

The restaurant terrace. Photo: Renée Kemps

Le Grand Contrôle is housed within a beautiful building constructed by Louis XIV’s favourite architect, Jules Hardouin-Mansart in 1681. Photo: Renée Kemps

Cover: Le Grand Contrôle is the first hotel to open within the grounds of the iconic Château de Versailles.
Photo: Renée Kemps


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