Paris {Le Grand Controle at Chateau de Versailles}

During our week in Paris, we enjoyed the two most romantic, indulgent and memorable nights that we’ve had in our twenty-five years at Le Grand Controle, a jewel of French history. I fully realize that is a bold statement, but I think once you read about our experience you will understand. Here, you experience an unparalleled immersion into the calm of the iconic Chateau de Versailles and the chance to sample Court life as it was during the 18th century. 

When you’re ready for the stay of a lifetime, let’s chat. I secure special amenities and treatment for my clients at Airelles Chateau de Versailles and would love noting more than to make this dream come true for you. I always feel sad when my friends and readers go and book themselves, I would love nothing more than the opportunity to send you here!

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Le Grand Controle at Chateau de Versailles
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Le Grand Controle at Chateau de Versailles

Le Grand Contrôle, the hotel in the Château de Versailles, is akin to stepping back in time. A stay in this historic place means being immersed in refinement, elegance and authenticity. A truly one of a kind hotel, Le Grand Contrôle is luxurious, warm and intimate, offering its guests many benefits they won’t experience anywhere else. This exact staircase was used by kings, scientists, artists and the political and cultural elite.

The History

Widely thought of as one of the best examples of 17th century French architecture, the Château de Versailles is famous throughout the world for being the home of the Courts of Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI.

Le Grand Contrôle, a former private home built by Louis XIV’s favorite architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart, is now an exceptional, breath-taking place at the heart of Versailles Palace. It is a spectacular building which has welcomed the European political and cultural elite over the years. This iconic and historic Palace has also received some of the most important scientists and artists from the Age of Enlightenment.

Arriving at Le Grand Controle

Almost 200 years on, there are now 11 rooms and 2 Signature Suites in this luxurious, peaceful haven, all restored with the utmost respect to the original building. Luxury without compromise and exquisite 18th century furniture is combined with every modern comfort to provide you with an extra-special and unique stay. Le Grand Contrôle promises you a memorable escape at one of the most sought-after locations in the world.

On arrival at Le Grand Controle, you will be greeted by footmen and your personal butler. Ours was just exceptional in every way and I miss her so much! She first took us on our tour of the stately and historic grounds. At every turn you find antique furnishings, fresh flowers, bowls overflowing with the most decadent fruits, and plates of macarons for your indulgence. All lighting is by “modern” candle, and you won’t find a television during your stay!

Necker Suite

We had the supreme pleasure of spending our time in the spacious Necker Suite – 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 arguably the most popular minister of the era.

Designed for two and the grandest Suite at Le Grand Controle, the suite boasts four meter high ceilings, and an impressive layout, perfect for those wanting to relive the lavish Palace lifestyle.

The Dressing Room

His and hers toilet rooms

Living room complete with Versailles parquet flooring. Flower arrangements, macarons and beverages were replenished daily.

The bedroom with its magnificent four-poster bed was heaven.

The bath room features a freestanding tub of dreams

Shower and dressing room

Thoughtful treats

Our suite offered breathtaking views of the Palace’s Orangerie.

Chateau de Versailles Butler

White-glove service is taken to another level as soon as you enter the stately doors and are assigned a personal butler. Your gracious host will be happy to organize any activity you can imagine: private tours of the hotel, golf cart rides through the maze of gardens, three-course picnics on the lawns of the Grand Canal, or candlelight dinners in the privacy of your apartment. Our itinerary was updated and printed for our room each time we made a change!

Afternoon in the French Gardens

We spent our first afternoon exploring the French gardens at the Château de Versailles, designed by gardener André Le Nôtre in the time of King Louis XIV. The secret door leads straight from Le Grand Controle to the Orangerie. Access to the palace and gardens is included in your stay.

Afternoon Tea

All guests enjoy a Marie-Antoinette style Afternoon Tea each day of their stay. We couldn’t resist the Viennese-style brioche rolls, treats made by the pastry chef, and the much-adored Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse chocolate, served on ice, after our afternoon of exploring..

After tea we relaxed in our suite and enjoyed cocktails from Le Grand Contrôle Bar, macarons and chocolates. Getting ready for dinner in a dressing room at an antique table while looking at Versailles was a pinch-me-now moment.

Chateau de Versailles Private Evening Tour

A highlight of any stay at Le Grand Contrôle, all guests are offered private tours of the Chateau de Versailles. Along with just a handful of other guests, you explore a different part of the Palace every evening with a private guide after opening hours. With access to the main areas of the Palace; the Hall of Mirrors, the State Apartments, or Marie-Antoinette’s Private Chambers, your guide will also reveal previously unseen spaces and rooms.

On our first evening, we toured the Kings Apartments with just four other guests and our private guide. You truly discover the Palace of Versailles like never before, and like very, very few ever have the opportunity to do.

The Hall of Mirrors, the most famous room in the Palace, was built to replace a large terrace designed by the architect Louis Le Vau, which opened onto the garden. The terrace originally stood between the King’s Apartments to the north and the Queen’s to the south, but was awkward and above all exposed to bad weather, and it was not long before the decision was made to demolish it. Le Vau’s successor, Jules Hardouin-Mansart, produced a more suitable design that replaced the terrace with a large gallery. Work started in 1678 and ended in 1684. On each evening of your stay at Le Grand Controle, you have this historic and resplendent spot to yourself.

After the private tour, we enjoyed a serene walk back to Le Grand Controle.

The Royal Feast

Each evening of their stay, guests enjoy The Royal Feast at Le Grand Contrôle: a Michelin-star restaurant at the Château de Versailles. It is a unique dining experience designed by Alain Ducasse where the Kings’ feasts are brought up to date with contemporary twists. On our first evening, The Royal Feast was served on the beautiful terrace overlooking the Orangerie.

Bonne Nuit

As evening falls, Le Grand Controle is lit only by candlelight in what is the most beautiful and romantic experience ever.

The King’s Awakening

Both mornings of our stay I indulged in The King’s Awakening experience. The butler awakens you by scratching on your door and enters the room by lantern light and to the soft sounds of chamber music. He spritzes the air with scent, offers an orange-scented milk, and draws a hot bath. As he announces that the sun has joined us, he opens the curtains and shares the day’s weather report. I will never, ever forget these mornings, dipping into my hot bath full of roses while looking at Versailles.

A Majestic Sunrise Breakfast

Breakfast is an exclusive experience of delicate, subtle flavors offering a dream start to the morning at Le Grand Controle. This  exquisite breakfast at Versailles can be served in the salon or in the comfort and privacy of your sumptuous room, where the bed is still unmade and silence is guaranteed. Getting up has never been so perfect!

Domaine de Trianon Private Morning Tour

Each morning of your stay you enjoy a private tour of the Domaine de Trianon with the other guests of Le Grand Controle. Our tour took us through the gardens and Queen’s Hamlet.

Marie-Antoinette’s reconfiguration of the Trianon gardens can be divided into two distinct phases. The first, starting in 1777, corresponds to the creation of the English Gardens. Subsequently, in 1783, she tasked Richard Mique with extending the gardens to the north and building a whole model village, with three distinct spaces, around an artificial lake. The first, to the south of the stone bridge which spans the stream, contains the reception facilities: the windmill (whose wheel is purely decorative), the boudoir, the Queen’s House, the billiard room and the stove room. These are cottages whose rustic exteriors concealed interiors which were carefully-decorated and often richly furnished, where the queen could host small parties of guests invited to join her on the Trianon estate. On the other side of the bridge stand the structures actually used for agricultural purposes: the barn, the working dairy, the model dairy, the fisherman’s cottage and the guard house. The tower overlooking the lake was named the ‘Marlborough Tower’, in reference to a popular song of the day. Further down the bank stands the farm, which was a going concern until the onset of the Revolution, complete with stables, pig sty, sheep pen and hen house. Contrary to the deeply-entrenched public image of Marie-Antoinette, the queen and her entourage did not “play at being farmers” amidst these bucolic surroundings, complete with sheep trussed up in ribbons. The queen actually used the hamlet as a place for relaxing walks, or to host small gatherings. The fact that the hamlet was also a functioning farm, a point upon which the queen insisted, meant that it served an educational role for the royal children. 

Golf Buggy and Picnic on Grand Canal

We spent our afternoon touring the palace gardens, Petit Trianon and Grand Trianon using one of the complimentary golf buggies (with audio tour) available to Le Grand Controle guests. Access to the estate is included with your stay. Our butler prepared a luxurious picnic to enjoy along the Grand Canal. It was a spectacular afternoon.

Back in the Necker Suite, our butler left us the sweetest card, photo, personalized journals and embossed luggage tags.

Afternoon Tea

We couldn’t wait to head down to the Salon d’Audience for our afternoon tea. It is the perfect place to capture the essence of the Château de Versailles.

Chateau de Versailles Private Evening Tour

The evening tour gave us private after hours access to the Queen’s apartments and Marie Antoinette’s Private Chambers. We were joined by jut six other guests for this divine experience.

I still get chills when I think of standing just a few feet away from Marie Antoinette’s actual bedspread. And looking at the secret door where she fled her chambers one evening… never to return.

Once again, we had the Hall of Mirrors virtually to ourselves.

One last sunset stroll through the Orangerie and gardens.

The Royal Feast

The evening feast was served in the stunning salon.

The King’s Awakening

We woke up one last time to the scratch on the door, orange scented milk and a rose filled bath.

A Majestic Sunrise Breakfast

We were tempted to enjoy the Majestic Sunrise Breakfast in our suite, but the dining room was too beautiful and alluring to pass up one final visit.

We bid a fond farewell to our suite and a tear might have slipped from my eye when our butler waved and blew us kisses as our car service pulled away from the curb. This was the experience of a lifetime. I urge you to add it to your bucket list and to call me when you’re ready to go. I don’t regret one penny spent, and know that I will treasure the memories made here and experiences had here forever.

I Can Show You the World

As a Premier Level Advisor with Glass Slipper Concierge, I am recognized for providing the highest level of customer service, experience, and knowledge in the industry.  I use my personal connections and firsthand expertise to craft bespoke vacations for the most discerning clients. 

While Disney destinations hold my heart, many of my valued clients have a wanderlist, family travel and business travel that brings them to countless destinations around the globe. For luxury hotel bookings I receive special benefits for my clients at no additional cost to them. For luxury travel planning, including rooms, private tours, dining recommendations and more, vacation management fees start at $350. Let’s talk!

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4 thoughts on “Paris {Le Grand Controle at Chateau de Versailles}

  1. 👏👏👏👏👏👏 Now, THAT is a Grand Finale! Tres bien! ❤️👩🏻‍🎨❤️🥖❤️🏰🥂❤️ Jane 🌴

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