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Versailles Opens Its First-Ever Hotel—With Decor Featuring Louis XVI’s Personal Style

Architectural Digest logo Architectural Digest 6/9/2021 Nadja Sayej
a room filled with furniture and a large window: The Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle features 14 rooms on the grounds of the palatial Versailles. © Photo: Courtesy of Le Grand Contrôle/Renée Kemps The Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle features 14 rooms on the grounds of the palatial Versailles.

Versailles is much more than the gilded palace that was home to Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. This opulent royal residence is a dream home, and now you can now borrow the keys for a night or two. The newly opened hotel Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle features 14 regal rooms on the grounds of the Versailles, which is just an hour’s drive from Paris.

The hotel is in Le Grand Contrôle, a building built in 1681 that hosted guests—from diplomats to ambassadors and artists—during the Age of Enlightenment. These guest houses have been fully renovated to their 18th-century splendor and are featured alongside a pool, restaurant, and spa.

a view of Palace of Versailles: The gardens at Versailles are one of the most iconic settings in the world. © Photo: Courtesy of Le Grand Contrôle/Olga Tselik The gardens at Versailles are one of the most iconic settings in the world.

Each hotel room is named after notables who had close ties to Versailles. One room is named after Baron de Staël Holstein, a Swedish diplomat who was the ambassador of France during the French Revolution, while another is named after Jules Hardouin-Mansart, a French architect who designed the Grand Trianon, a château on the grounds of Versailles.

Expect luxury in the highest order. The stately 18th-century rooms with period furniture inspired by Louis XVI’s personal style. Each room has luscious fabrics, chandeliers, and old-fashioned clawfoot bathtubs. Among the historic artifacts in each room, find a love letter from Madame De Staël to her lover, Louis, Comte de Narbonne-Lara, a French soldier.

a room with a sink and a window: The building used for the new hotel was built in 1681 and hosted guests—from diplomats to ambassadors and artists—during the Age of Enlightenment. © Photo: Courtesy of Le Grand Contrôle/Renée Kemps The building used for the new hotel was built in 1681 and hosted guests—from diplomats to ambassadors and artists—during the Age of Enlightenment.

On the walls there are oil paintings selected by art historian Emmanuelle Vidal-Delagneau, and artisans and craftspeople were commissioned to recreate the historic features in each room, from parquet flooring to stonework and authentic wall hangings by Maison Pierre Frey. The design firm recreated original designs, from florals to butterflies, taken from the Versailles archives.

The hotel boasts private, after-hour tours of the palace, as well as a curated Marie Antoinette–themed day, where guests experience the queen’s favorite activities, from their very own costume fittings to attending an opera performance and dining with a string quartet. Rates start from 1,700 euros ($2,082) a night, which includes a butler, daily tours of Versailles, and access to the palace grounds (including transport via boats and golf carts).

a dining room table: The ornate restaurant inside the new hotel. © Photo: Courtesy of Le Grand Contrôle/Renée Kemps The ornate restaurant inside the new hotel.

It’s a sign of hope for tourism’s return to France, says Guillaume Fonquernie, the CEO of Airelles. “I’m proud of the team involved in bringing this dream to life and the level of detail and dedication that has gone into this very special property,” he says.

a large empty room: The spa features a swimming pool for guests to enjoy. © Photo: Courtesy of Le Grand Contrôle/Renée Kemps The spa features a swimming pool for guests to enjoy.

“This launch represents an exciting new chapter for Airelles at a very poignant time for the hospitality industry as a whole, as we begin to slowly recover from the pandemic and look forward to brighter times ahead.”


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