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The ultra-luxurious hotel at the Palace of Versailles is now open

June 09, 2021
5 min read
Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle
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.

(Photo by Renée Kemps)

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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.

(Photo by Renée Kemps)

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.

(Photo by Renée Kemps)

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.

(Photo by Renée Kemps)

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.

(Photo by Renée Kemps)

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.

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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 image by Olga Tselik - stock.adobe.com
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
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  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees