The ultra-luxurious hotel at the Palace of Versailles is now open
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After a pandemic-induced delay, the long-awaited and highly anticipated luxury hotel at the Palace of Versailles is now open — just in time for Americans to travel to a newly reopened France.
The Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle became the seventh property for the high-end chain and one of the most desirable hotels on Earth when it opened June 1.
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Le Grand Contrôle has just 14 rooms and suites and is set in a building originally constructed by Jules Hardouin-Mansart — Louis XIV’s favorite architect — in 1681. Guests will have views of the Orangerie, the Pièce d’Eau des Suisses and the Château, as well as access to the more than 2,000 acres of gardens, palace halls and apartments, according to a press release from the hotel.
Christophe Tollemer was tasked with leading the design of Le Grand Contrôle, and you can rest assured the property’s design is suitable for kings and queens. According to the press release, each room in the property is “named after prominent individuals who had a strong association with Le Grand Contrôle or the Palace of Versailles,” and decorated in the 18th-century style, with “authentic colors and fabrics, chandeliers, artwork and artefacts including a love letter from Madame De Staël to her lover Louis, Comte de Narbonne-Lara.”
Toellmer selected original period furniture, art and objects from the 17th and 18th centuries with the help of an expert in French heritage and art. A group of French artisans was also employed “to restore and recreate the many historical features, including parquet flooring, fabrics, stonework and wood paneling,” so you can be sure that your stay will be about as authentic as they come.
In addition to the opulent guest rooms, suites and authentic decor throughout the hotel, the property features a restaurant by Alain Ducasse, an international superstar chef with a staggering 20 Michelin stars to his name. Ducasse at Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle features “gastronomic delights from both past and present via a tantalising menu inspired by the flamboyant nature of Louis XIV’s meals.” There will even be a Marie Antoinette-themed afternoon tea service, for an extra spot of the royal treatment.
Of course, part of being royalty (even if just for a day or two) is being pampered, and you can bet you’ll have your fair share of it at Le Grand Contrôle. The spa features a 15-meter swimming pool, hammam and spa treatments designed by Swiss skincare brand Valmont.
As a hotel guest, you’ll be entitled to a number of private tours and experiences not otherwise available to the general public, including tours of The Trianon, the Château, full access to the Orangerie and to boats and golf carts to help facilitate exploration of the sublime grounds.
Unsurprisingly, the royal treatment doesn’t come cheap: Rooms start at about $2,100 per night. The rate includes a dedicated butler, the aforementioned complimentary tours and access to the Palace grounds, breakfast, afternoon tea and minibar.
Though Airelles Collection properties aren’t part of any major loyalty program, they typically can be found through the American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts (FHR) program. So, if you’re a cardmember with The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, for example, you may be able to earn 5x on a prepaid stay if the Château de Versailles property is eventually welcomed into the portfolio.
If you want to take the plunge and live like royalty for a night (or two), you could also maximize your palatial stay with a card that earns you bonus points on hotel stays, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card for 3x and 2x points, respectively.
Featured photo by Renée Kemps.
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