The Palace of Versailles opens its first ever hotel

Tamara Hardingham-Gill, CNNPublished 2nd June 2021
(CNN) — Fancy living like royalty during your next vacation?
The first ever hotel based in the grounds of the Chateau de Versailles has just opened its doors, giving travelers the opportunity to stay in the heart of one of the world's most opulent addresses.
However, guests will need to stump up at least €1,700 a night (just over $2,000) for the privilege of bedding down here.
Made up of 14 rooms and suites, Le Grand Controle is located within three historic buildings that date back to 1681 and have since been restored by architect and interior designer Christophe Tollemer.

Royal residence

Handout images of hotel Le Grand Controle
Le Grand Controle has just opened within the grounds of the Chateau de Versailles.
Renee Kemps
Le Grand Controle offers up fabulous views of the palace's famous Orangerie, a garden building designed by French architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart that features orange, lemon, oleander, palm and pomegranate trees.
Overnight guests will also be able to marvel at the Piece d'Eau des Suisses, a 13-hectare ornamental pool excavated by Swiss Guards between 1679 and 1682.
The hotel's name comes from the Grand Controle building, built by Louis XIV's preferred architect Jules-Hardouin Mansart, which is one of the three buildings it occupies, along with Le Petit Controle and the Pavillon.
Le Grand Controle, which is the sixth property from luxury hotel brand Airelles, features a Valmont spa with a 15-meter indoor swimming pool.

Fit for a monarch

Handout images of hotel Le Grand Controle
The hotel is housed in three historic buildings restored by architect and interior designer Christophe Tollemer.
Renee Kemps
The on-site restaurant, helmed by renowned chef Alain Ducasse, offers up a menu inspired by Louis XIV, who ruled France for 72 years, as well as classic French dishes and an afternoon tea dedicated to another of the palace's famous residents, Marie Antoinette.
Each of Le Grand Controle's individually decorated rooms and suites is named after an individual with a strong link to the property, including statesman Jacques Necker, who served Louis XVI as director general of finances, and his daughter, novelist Madame de Stael.
Guests will be treated to a dedicated butler, access to boats and golf carts as well as access to the palace and private tours of the Queen's Hamlet (Le Hameau de la Reine,) a retreat where Antoinette would take walks and host her closest friends, along with "previously unseen" living areas used by the monarchs.
A number of exclusive experiences are also available to book, including after-hours access to the Hall of Mirrors, which provides a once-in-a-lifetime chance to explore the famous hall and its 357 mirrors sans crowds.

Prestigious site

Handout images of hotel Le Grand Controle
Rooms and suites at Le Grand Controle start at €1,700 a night per night.
Renee Kemps
The launch of Le Grand Controle, which has been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, will no doubt come as a delight to those keen to wake up on the premises of this world-renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Louis XIV famously had this former hunting lodge transformed to a sprawling 679,536 square feet (63,154 square meters) estate made up of 700 rooms during the 17th century.
The palace, which was the seat of royal power before it was seized during the French Revolution, took 30,000 workers around 50 years to complete.
It remains a source of fascination and wonder all these years later, with movies such as Sofia Coppola's 2006 film "Marie Antoinette" starring Kirsten Dunst and the TV series "Versailles," which ran from 2015 to 2018, only adding to its appeal.
Chateau de Versailles reopened to the public earlier this year, with a mandatory timed slot process in place for entry inside.