travel

Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle

by



Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle
Palace of Versailles, Photo by Leah Kelley, Pexels / via World Travel Magazine

Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle

The Château de Versailles, the royal residence where Marie Antoinette lived, was once a modest hunting lodge built by Louis XIII in 1623. His son, Louis XIV, extended and transformed it when he installed the Court and government there in 1682, creating a magnificent palace that is now renowned throughout the world. Over the course of more than 100 years, a succession of kings—including Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI—continued to embellish the palace up until the French Revolution. Now considered one of the finest achievements of French 17th century art, the Palace of Versailles remains a cultural symbol of royal splendour that has been listed as a World Heritage Site for 30 years.

Now, for the first time in history, you can stay within these palace grounds. Yesterday, on June 2, 2021, French luxury hotel brand Airelles added a sixth property to their hotel collection, which currently includes Les Airelles in  Courchevel; La Bastide in Gordes; Mademoiselle in Val d’Isère; and Château de la Messardière and Pan Deï Palais in Saint-Tropez.

This new property, Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle, will be the world’s first hotel officially stationed within the palace grounds, tucked within a trio of 1681 buildings (Le Grand Contrôle, Le Petit Contrôle and the Pavillon des premières cent marches) designed by King Louis XIV’s architect, Jules Hardouin-Mansart, an icon of French classicism. Some of Mansart's works include the Grand Trianon, the Hall of Mirrors, and the Orangery. This new unique luxury heritage boutique hotel consisting of 14 rooms across three buildings includes special access to the Château de Versailles, an Alain Ducasse restaurant and a Valmont (Swiss luxury skincare brand) spa, a sauna, hammam, and 50-foot indoor swimming pool.

Le Grand Contrôle, a grand and imposing building, once played host to Europe’s political and cultural elite, including ambassadors and artists, musicians and writers, and scientists of the Enlightenment. Now, more than two centuries later, it has been entirely restored, in a painstaking process that took over four years, beginning in 2016, when the Public Institution of the Palace of Versailles awarded Airelles and Ducasse Paris the contract to develop a luxury hotel within Le Grand Contrôle.  Architect and interior designer, Christophe Tollemer, was appointed to painstakingly restoring the property back to its original eighteenth century splendour, a task that required spending many hours consulting the palace archives. The year 1788, the year Marie Antoinette redecorated Petit Trianon as well as that of Le Grand Contrôle’s last inventory, was selected as a benchmark for the renovation. A dedicated Scientific Consulting Committee was established to supervise the restoration and ensure accuracy and authenticity throughout.

Tollemer, who also designed the existing Airelles properties, handpicked original eighteenth century furniture, art and artefacts representative of the era, taking direct inspiration from the neighbouring Petit Trianon Palace and Louis XVI’s personal style. He worked closely with Emmanuelle Vidal-Delagneau, a specialist in French heritage and art, in the selection of authentic art and objects from the 17th and 18th centuries and used local highly-respected craftspeople were commissioned to restore and recreate many historical features, including flooring, stonework and wood panelling, and even the gilt 18th-century style chandeliers. Maison Pierre Frey and the Royal Manufacture of Aubusson created beautiful bespoke fabrics for the hotel’s upholstery. Maison Pierre Frey created period wall hangings for each room, featuring original designs taken from the Château archives, with themes of flowers and butterflies characteristic of the “return to nature” advocated by philosopher Jean-Jacques Rosseau.

Rates at Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle start from €1,700 and include a dedicated butler for each suite; breakfast, created by Alain Ducasse, is included in the stay, along with complimentary minibar and daily Afternoon Tea. Guests will also receive exclusive experiences such as access to areas of the Château and grounds that are normally closed to visitors; and unlimited complimentary access to electric golf carts and electric boats to explore the Grand Canal and gardens. Private yoga and fitness classes are available on request, and full access to the Valmont Spa. Guests also enjoy direct access to the Orangerie garden any time of day, the restored library and behind-the-scenes tours of sites such as the Petit Trianon, The Queen’s Hamlet (Le Hameau de la Reine); Marie Antoinette’s English Gardens and Louis XIV’s Grand Trianon.

Book by telephone +33 (0)1 85 36 05 50 or email [email protected]

Le Grand Contrôle,
12 rue de l’Indépendance Américaine
78000 Versailles
FRANCE

Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle
Renee Kemps



Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle
@airelleschateaudeversailles
Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle
@airelleschateaudeversailles

"When it comes to sustainability, historical traditions have been replaced with 21st-century thinking, with new technology embraced throughout the hotel. Geothermal energy has been used to heat the building whilst LED lights give new life to antique chandeliers. Ingredients for the restaurant have been sourced from local suppliers, and guests will discover zero reusable plastic in rooms." 

Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle
Airelles
Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle
Airelles

Each of the individually-designed 14 rooms at this unique luxury heritage boutique hotel pays tribute to a renowned Controller-General who has left his or her mark on the history of Le Grand Contrôle.

Above: 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. 

GET TIG ARTICLES IN YOUR INBOX

Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle
Airelles

Guests of Le Grand Contrôle will receive an aristocratic culinary experience provided by the internationally-acclaimed chef, Alain Ducasse. With 20 Michelin stars to his name, Ducasse has created a menu inspired by the flamboyant nature of Louis XIV’s meals. The restaurant features uninterrupted views onto the Orangery parterre, where guests will enjoy a selection of reimagined French classics during the day along with a dedicated Marie Antoinette afternoon tea. Some of the menu items include Wild Swiss chard pie, morels with vin jaune, Bellevue-style langoustines with sorrel Seared white asparagus, shellfish and bitter herbs, St. George’s mushrooms and morello and Lettuce royale, gold caviar, tangy cream and buckwheat.

Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle
Airelles

Above, 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. Filled with antique furniture and handcrafted 18th-century objets, this suite overlooks the main courtyard of Le Grand Contrôle, with additional views of the south wing of the château.

Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle
Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle
@airelleschateaudeversailles

Above, the Orangery Room, inspired by Marie-Antoinette’s estate, Petit Trianon, gifted to her by her husband in 1774. The 55m² room features chevron parquet floors, a period marble fireplace, a wall tapestry and a thoughtfully sourced 18th-century crystal chandelier. The Orangery Room opens to an expansive 40m² terrace with spectacular views of the Orangery Garden and the First Hundred Steps.

Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle
Airelles

Above, the Necker Suite was 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 widely thought to be the most popular minister of the era.

Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle
Airelles

Above and below, the Suite Loménie de Brienne, decorated with boiserie, chevron parquet flooring, a period fireplace and furniture. The former office of Marc Etienne de Villiers du Terrage, lawyer at the parliament and First finance Commis, La Suite Loménie de Brienne, is dedicated to Cardinal Étienne-Charles de Loménie de Brienne. This 70m² suite has a separate living room with convertible sofa bed and overlooks the main courtyard of Le Grand Contrôle and the Lake of the Swiss Guards.

Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle
Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle
@alainducasse
Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle
Airelles
Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle
The Madame de Fouquet Room / Airelles
Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle
The Madame De Staël room / Airelles
Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle
@airelleschateaudeversailles
Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle
Airelles
Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle
The Madame De Staël room / Airelles
Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle
Airelles
Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle
Airelles
Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle
Airelles

Located on the second floor of the Grand Contrôle, the Calonne Room (above) is dedicated to Charles-Alexandre de Calonne, Controller-General of Finances and minister of Louis XVI from 1783 to 1787. 

Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle
Airelles
Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle
@alainducasse
Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle
@alainducasse
Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle
The Madame De Staël room / Airelles

The Madame de Staël suite was once home to writer and philosopher Madame de Staël. Here you will find 18th-century crystal chandeliers, intricate wall hangings and embellished drapery that features motifs inspired by Petit Trianon, where the former Queen, Marie-Antoinette once lived. This wonderfully spacious 150m² suite also features triple aspects views of the Lake of the Swiss Guards, the palace and the Orangery Garden.

Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle
The Madame de Fouquet Room / Airelles
Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle
Ducasse at Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle / Photo by Renée Kemps
Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle
@alainducasse
Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle
@alainducasse



More Travel Inspiration

Shop Belgrave Crescent

Moodboard | Holiday Inspiration 2019 : Winter Whites
0 Notes
  • Thank you for stopping in to say hello — it's lovely to hear from you!

    Please note that comments are moderated for spam, profanity, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business.