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Airelles is delighted to announce the opening of its much-anticipated seventh property, Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle.


Airelles is delighted to announce the opening of its much-anticipated seventh property, Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle.

Category: Europe - France - Industry economy - Hotel opening
This is a press release selected by our editorial committee and published online for free on 2021-06-10

Photo credit © Renee Kemps / Airelles Collection

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 the iconic Château de Versailles with views over the Orangerie, the Pièce d’Eau des Suisses and the Château.

Guests can take an exclusive peek into the enchanting world of Versailles, exploring the 2,000-acre gardens and palace halls and apartments as walked by Europe’s elite over the centuries.

Le Grand Contrôle is housed within a beautiful building constructed by Louis XIV’s favourite architect, Jules Hardouin-Mansart in 1681.

Now two centuries on, the property has been meticulously restored by architect and interior designer, Christophe Tollemer to reveal 14 regal rooms and suites including a 120 m² signature Suite, exceptional dining by Alain Ducasse, a restorative spa by Valmont with a 15-metre indoor swimming pool, and exclusive access to the Château.

Tollemer has drawn direct inspiration for the project from the neighbouring Petit Trianon Palace and Louis XVI’s personal style, focusing on 1788 as a benchmark, the year of Le Grand Contrôle’s last inventory.

Remarking on the landmark opening for the brand, Airelles’ CEO Guillaume Fonquernie comments, “We’re thrilled to be finally opening the doors to Le Grand Contrôle, a project which started out as an ambitious vision in 2016 is now ready to be shared with our much-loved guests. I’m extremely 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. 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.”


Each of the 14 rooms and suites are named after prominent individuals who had a strong association with Le Grand Contrôle or the Palace of Versailles.

Decorated individually in an elegant eighteenth-century style, the rooms feature authentic colours and fabrics, chandeliers, artwork and artefacts including a love letter from Madame De Staël to her lover Louis, Comte de Narbonne-Lara.

The property is largely furnished with original period furniture and 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 seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

As well as Vidal-Delagneau, a number of highly-respected French artisans and craftspeople were commissioned to restore and recreate the many historical features, including parquet flooring, fabrics, stonework and wood panelling.

The prestigious Maison Pierre Frey has 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.


From the moment of arrival, guests enjoy a truly immersive stay and Airelles has curated a number of exclusive experiences, providing access to areas of the Château and grounds that are normally closed to visitors.

There are also boats and golf carts on hand to explore the Grand Canal and gardens at leisure.

Each stay includes the following experiences:

- 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 daywith the guide showcasing different areas, including Marie Antoinette’s much-loved English Gardens andLouis 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 itself, taking in the King and Queen’s State Apartments, the Hall of Mirrors,as well as previously unseen living areas of the sovereigns.

- Unlimited Access to the Orangery Gardens: Guests are invited to visit the magnificent gardens at any timeof day.

There are also a selection of incredible paid-for experiences available including 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 and the chance to follow in the footsteps of former head gardener to the royals, André Le Nôtre.


At the heart of the guest experience is the aristocratic culinary offering provided by the internationally-acclaimed chef, Alain Ducasse.

With 20 Michelin stars to his name, Ducasse takes guests on a journey through time experiencing gastronomic delights from both past and present via a tantalising menu inspired by the flamboyant nature of Louis XIV’s meals.

With uninterrupted views onto the Orangery parterre, Ducasse at Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle serves a selection of reimagined French classics during the day along with a dedicated Marie Antoinette afternoon tea.

Dinner is a more theatrical affair, reminiscent of the King’s royal banquets, with the restaurant team in period costume serving an array of gold, silver or vermeil dome-covered dishes.

A bell rings at 9:00pm to signal the beginning of dinner, where guests experience a five-course gourmet feast commencing with a selection of soups and starters followed by roasts and salads, then dessert and finally, fruit.

Each Sunday a royal brunch is served, directly inspired by ‘Le Grand Couvert’, an ancient French ritual where the king and queen would dine in front of the public.

An impressive buffet takes centre stage resplendent with classic dishes and seasonal ingredients, as well as some dishes being served directly to the table. A highlight is the King's Soup in a nod to the past.


After all that indulgence, some down time is recommended in the tranquil surroundings of the Valmont spa, featuring a hand-painted fresco and Carrara marble checkerboard floor, directly inspired by the Palace’s marble courtyard.

Guests can relax in a truly regal fashion with a 15-metre indoor swimming pool, Hamman, sauna and a restorative programme of spa treatments from Swiss skincare experts Valmont.

A signature 90-minute Majestic Mirror facial treatment has been developed especially for Le Grand Contrôle, designed to nourish and sculpt the face and décolleté. The treatment includes the trademark Valmont regenerating collagen mask treatment.


Le Grand Contrôle provides the most glamourous of backdrops for private events including intimate weddings, private dinners and exclusive launches, for up to 54 guests.

For the ultimate wow factor, there is also the option of hosting an event inside the Palace itself followed by an exclusive overnight takeover, accommodating up to 36 guests across the 14 rooms and suites.

The opening of Le Grand Contrôle marks the seventh property for the prestigious hotel collection which comprises 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.

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 and breakfast, afternoon tea and minibar.

About Airelles

Airelles prides itself on creating the most magical guest experiences at each of its sevent properties, all handpicked for their incredible locations and strong links to France’s rich regal heritage. Warm and generous hospitality is at the heart of the brand; found in the elegant accommodation, exceptional culinary offerings, nurturing wellness experiences and inspiring family programming.

The Airelles Collection comprises Les Airelles (Courchevel), Mademoiselle (Val d’Isère), La Bastide (Gordes), Le Refuge de La Traye (Méribel), Château de la Messardière and Pan Deï Palais (Saint-Tropez) and Le Grand Contrôle, (Versailles).

Looking to the future, Airelles hopes to create a remarkable and exclusive collection of luxury hotels in France and abroad. Projects in the pipeline include a property in Venice in 2023 which will mark the brand’s first property outside of France.

Photo credit © Renee Kemps / Airelles Collection

Photo credit © Renee Kemps / Airelles Collection

More about...
Airelles Collection
17 rue Sommeiller
74000 Annecy


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