travel journaleuropefranceversailles Airelles Le Grand Contrôle: a world first experience offering stunning behind-the-scenes exclusivity Living history is taken to a magnificent new level at Airelles’ Le Grand Contrôle, set right in the heart of the most regal address in France.
by Ellie Loxton

Le Grand Contrôle marks the fourth venture of Airelles, the acclaimed hotel brand already boasting an enviable portfolio of three world-renowned properties. Epic French culture and palatial glory are at the heart of each Airelles hotel, with Le Grand Contrôle raising historical immersion to new heights within the legendary affluence of the Château de Versailles.

Built in 1681 by Jules Hardouin-Mansart, favourite architect of King Louis XIV, the Château de Versailles has played host to great historical events and dazzled generations of visitors and guests from every corner of the globe. Both the palace and its pristine, 2,000 acre-strong gardens have enticed centuries of speculation and esteem; Versailles remains, to this day, the utter epitome of wealth, splendour and immaculate opulence.

Airelles Le Grand Contrôle: a world first experience offering stunning behind-the-scenes exclusivity
Versailles' corridors are gold-standard in every sense
Courtesy of Airelles' website

Le Grand Contrôle will offer guests a choice of 14 luxurious rooms and apartments. Set to open its (gleaming, golden and perfectly polished) doors in spring this year, Le Grand Contrôle combines historicity with ultraluxe hospitality to delight cultural enthusiasts and discerning, pleasure seeking visitors alike. Offering world-first absorption into the past, the hotel will unveil centuries of secrets as it invites guests to immerse themselves its 18th century splendour.

Visitors can wander through sparkling, mirror-decked palace corridors and savour the delicious notes of fine French champagne aboard a boat on the Grand Canal. There are, likewise, plenty of hidden gems to charm the historically curious. Nestled within the palace gardens is the Petit Trianon, a delightful neo-classical château that was the favourite hideaway of Marie-Antoinette, while indoors the attic and restored library promise unprecedented access to Versailles’ illustrious and ever-tantalising past.

Airelles Le Grand Contrôle: a world first experience offering stunning behind-the-scenes exclusivity
The Alain Ducasse Restaurant will serve unique food honouring the hotel's French heritage
Courtesy of Airelles' website

An expert team piloted by Paris-based interior architect Christophe Tollemer ensure that all renovations remain faithful to the era. Under the vigilant eye of a new Consulting Committee and following four years of archival scrutiny, the original décor has been respectfully restored to create a hotel experience where period features meld seamlessly with modern amenities and up-to-the-minute innovations. The team scoured France to find craftsmen and women of the very highest calibre; specialists with all the expérience to repair and recreate original features like the glass chandeliers – the most seductively shimmering thing you will ever see.

Nor is Le Grand Contrôle a spectacle reserved for the eyes; your taste buds are also in for a treat. In the hotel’s restaurant, guests can dine like a king (waiting staff have been tutored in the art of 18th century-standard ceremony). Head chef Alain Ducasse has curated a menu infused with all the flavours of French heritage, creating dishes which bring past and present into conversation in the most dynamic and delicious way possible.

Le Grand Contrôle is exceptional in every sense; a setting of opulence, allure and glittering perfection it is, quite simply, the palace to out-palace all palaces.

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About me
Since graduating from the University of Cambridge, Ellie Loxton has developed a career as a lifestyle writer with a portfolio of high-quality material relevant to modern readers. Unapologetically passionate about all things luxury, Ellie particularly enjoys writing about five-star hotels, wellness and interiors.