Le Grand Contrôle is a unique and exclusive experience in the heart of the Château de Versailles.
The Les Airelles group has taken possession of the place and opened in June 2021 after 4 years of work.
We are transported for a weekend to the 18th century with the staff dressed in period clothing and speaking of course with the vocabulary of yesteryear: it is very pleasant. The decoration, inspired by the Castle with custom-made tapestries and tableware, chosen with particular attention and even re-edited for the hotel.
And since luxury is hidden behind the details, here are the ones that caught my attention. The doors of the rooms are locked with a key bearing the effigy of the king and an envelope for our attention is sealed with wax. There is obviously no television in the room, but you can ask for one at the reception if you really think it is unbearable. A real fountain pen with a (fake) inkwell, the floor in parquet and the bathroom in stones identical to those of the Castle. A decoration in the spirit of Versailles, authentic but still warm. There is still a cell phone available to reach the butler of our room at any time.
In addition, Les Airelles tried to retransmit the atmosphere of the time also with an opulence of food in every room of the hotel, macaroons (La Durée), fruit trays in a silver tray, dried fruits and water.
It is also an exceptional experience with private tours for hotel guests to the Palace of Versailles, at dusk, when the tourists have left the premises. There are two types of tours that I recommend you ask for before you book, the King’s apartments and the Queen’s apartments. If you stay only one night you will see one or the other. And having done both, the King’s apartments are much more interesting to see, and especially more opulent, in terms of decoration.
The hotel also provides golf carts to visit the gardens, which is really nice. There is a private tour the next morning to the petit/grand Trianon and the Hameau de La Reine but we wanted to enjoy our morning and visit at our own pace in the afternoon.
The Gastronomic Dinner, entitled the Hundred Steps Dinner, is by Alain Ducasse and represents the King’s Feast which takes us back to the atmosphere and quality of a dinner at the King’s court. We revisit the classics of 18th century French cuisine, eggs with caviar, lobster, turbot, poultry, etc. With the waiters who make a theatrical dinner, this one lit only by candlelight, it is not a simple dinner, it is an unforgettable experience.
We also enjoyed the Sunday brunch served in their 18th century room.
Assorted breads, scallops, eggs cocotte of the day, terrine, lamb shoulder, cheese and delicious pastries.
The lunch, also gastronomic, is appreciable to enjoy the terrace with the fountain. But if you take a night with dinner and breakfast/brunch, it’s more than enough to enjoy the full experience. It could almost become oppressive if you stay too long with all the gourmet meals and bespoke service. With the golf carts, it’s easy to see everything in one day.
The good news in all of this is that the hotel also welcomes non-hotel guests for dinner, lunch or brunch.
Dinner is 280€ per person (without wine) and Brunch is 120€.
A night at the hotel costs a minimum of 1500€.