The Palace of Versailles is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a landmark in French history. It’s where a bunch of people called King Louis’ lived, where Marie Antoinette resided during her reign (and where the Sofia Coppola film telling her story was shot), and where the Treaty of Versailles that ended WWI was signed.
The expansive palace saw around 10 million visitors a year in pre-COVID times, and while only select chambers out of the castle’s more than 2000 rooms have ever been on display to the general public, spending a night at the property was even rarer of an experience to be had.
Now though, the Château de Versailles is ready to host overnight guests who dream to spend an evening living like royalty, with its first-ever hotel called Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle.
In Versailles’ 340-year history, the property is the first hotel to ever open on the palatial grounds at one of the world’s most prestigious addresses. The accommodation spans across three historic buildings that date back to 1681 and includes 14 rooms, as well as signature suites.
Of course, a visit is not without those lavish extras. Over the duration of their stay, guests are treated to menus by 20-time Michelin star chef Alain Ducasse, and are given access to a Valmont spa and swimming pool. There’s even the option for private access to the Palace of Versailles and its expansive grounds, including chambers and sites that are normally off-limits to regular tourists, including an after-dark tour of the Hall of Mirrors.
Each of the suites has been fitted out with 18th century-style furnishings and decor that draws inspiration from Marie Antoinette’s Versailles estate, Petit Trianon. Think coloured, veined marble, gold chandeliers, historic artworks, and floral wallpaper. Each suite also comes with its own butler, because of course it does.
A stay at the Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle starts from €1,700 (AU $2674) a night. It includes a tour of the Château de Versailles and the Trianon as well as Palace grounds access and yes, a personal butler.
While borders remain closed for international travel, there will come a time when we’ll be able to venture overseas once more. And if there’s any home we’d choose to be cooped up in of our own volution, it would be this one.