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At the Château de Versailles, the future palace of Alain Ducasse & Stéphane Courbit is unveiled

The details of the hotel being constructed within the "Grand Control" building at the Château de Versailles, scheduled to open in the fall of 2019, are becoming clearer. Room & suite sizes, average prices, additional services ... the future operator has outlined what will be on offer in this new hotel, which aims to obtain the famous distinction of "palace"

In 2016, Stéphane Courbit and Alain Ducasse won the bid process that saw no fewer than 25 candidates compete against one another. Guillaume Fonquernie, referring to his success, attributes it mainly to "a better bid in terms of rent, with fixed and variable parts as well as a guaranteed minimum, a rich offer of products and services shared with the Château de Versailles, and a refined plan, with Alain Ducasse". He went on to provide details of the latter.

The future hotel will be operated under the "Airelles Collection" brand, freshly launched by the group after the name of its famous palace in Courchevel. It will consist of just 19 rooms, including 6-8 suites. Guillaume Fonquernie wants to make it "the smallest palace in the world", implying his intention to obtain the prestigious label, "palace".

With an average size of around 40 m², the rooms and suites aspire to match the standard set by the Château de Versailles. That is the minimum considering the average target price announced by the group: €1,013 per night! While this price range is similar to those at palaces in Paris, it is considerably lower than other properties by this group (e.g. the Airelles in Courchevel, which exceeds €3000). The limited capacity and exceptional location of the future hotel, within the castle and close to Paris, make it a must for its international leisure clients.

In an agreement made with the authorities behind the concession, 2 rooms will be marketed at a ceiling price of €300 per night to make the dream accessible to a "greater number" and to diversify customer profiles. However, the operator has not forgotten about its wealthier clients, 3 of the suites can be joined to privatize an entire floor of the building. The quality of service will follow suit and be provided by no fewer than 80 employees - more than 5 per room.

To complement the accommodations, the hotel relies heavily on its setting and the Château de Versailles itself. This is particularly the case with respect to catering, but also meeting rooms (located in the Château) and of course there are activities orientated in/around the castle grounds. These include dinner in a romantic part of the castle, shows, tours in the morning and at night (like at Disneyland Paris), a couple of summer concerts and a ball for 200/300 people on the stairs of the Cent Marches. Just what it takes to experience the ambience in the era of the Sun King.

The 40-year concession was officially signed in October 2017 but has been formally running for 1.5 years. For the hotel group the clock is ticking, so they have prepared 30 million euros to invest in completing the project. Work is expected to begin shortly after the appeal period, with the opening forecast for Q3 2019.

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