Tipped to be one of the most sought-after addresses in the world, Le Grand Contrôle is the first hotel to open within the grounds of France’s Château de Versailles.
The stunning hotel has views over the Orangerie, the Pièce d’Eau des Suisses and the Château.
Le Grand Contrôle is housed within a stunning 1681 building constructed by Louis XIV’s favourite architect, Jules Hardouin-Mansart.
Over the past decade, architect and interior designer, Christophe Tollemer meticulously restored the property to produce 14 regal rooms and suites. The highlight is the 120-square-metre Signature Suite.
Inside Le Grand Contrôle
Tollemer drew inspiration from the neighbouring Petit Trianon Palace and Louis XVI’s personal style. He focussed on 1788 as a benchmark – the year Marie Antoinette redecorated Petit Trianon.
Le Grand Contrôle’s 14 rooms and suites mimic an elegant 18th-century style. They feature authentic colours, fabrics, chandeliers and artwork. Tollemer worked closely with Emmanuelle Vidal-Delagneau, a highly experienced specialist in French heritage and art in the selection of authentic art and objects from the 17th and 18th centuries.
The prestigious Maison Pierre Frey created period wall hangings for each room, displaying original designs taken from the Château archives. Themes include flowers and butterflies characteristic of the ‘return to nature’ advocated by philosopher Jean-Jacques Rosseau.
Each room also contains a love letter from Madame De Staël to her lover Louis, Comte de Narbonne-Lara.
Le Grand Contrôle has exceptional dining by Alain Ducasse, a restorative spa by Valmont, a 15-metre indoor swimming pool, and exclusive access to the Château.
Guests can also use boats and golf carts to explore the Grand Canal and gardens at leisure.
Hotel owner Airelles has curated a number of exclusive experiences so guests can access areas of the Château and grounds that are normally closed to visitors.
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.
Private tour of the Château
Every evening once all visitors have departed, hotel guests can enjoy an intimate tour of the Palace, taking in the King and Queen’s State Apartments, the Hall of Mirrors, and previously unseen living areas.
Unlimited Access to the Orangery Gardens
Guests can visit the magnificent gardens at any time of day.
Guest can also book the following paid experiences.
- 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
- The chance to follow in the footsteps of the former head gardener to the royals, André Le Nôtre
A feast fit for a king
Dinner at Le Grand Contrôle is a theatrical event. At 8.30pm, the restaurant staff, dressed in period costume, ring a bell for dinner. Guests experience a five-course gourmet feast. It starts with a selection of soups and starters followed by roasts and salads, then dessert and, finally, fruit.
On Sunday the hotel serves a royal brunch inspired by ‘Le Grand Couvert’, an ancient French ritual where the king and queen would dine in front of the public.
Le Grand Contrôle price
Rates at Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle start from €1,700, including a dedicated butler, daily tours of Château de Versailles and the Trianon, access to the Palace grounds including use of boats and golf carts, as well as breakfast, afternoon tea and minibar snacks.