24-Hour Room Service: Trianon Palace, Versailles

Versailles isn't a destination you'd automatically associate with moderation or self-restraint. The chateau itself is so wildly opulent that during its heyday it required a quarter of the national income of France to maintain. Which is why the Trianon Palace, located on the edge of the royal park, seems like the perfect place for some unseemly over-indulgence.

Versailles isn't a destination you'd automatically associate with moderation or self-restraint. The chateau itself is so wildly opulent that during its heyday it required a quarter of the national income of France to maintain. Which is why the Trianon Palace, located on the edge of the royal park, seems like the perfect place for some unseemly over-indulgence.

However, for the last two decades the hotel's spa, originally opened by Givenchy in 1982, has been keeping coiffeured Parisians and international guests in trim. Forget over-indulgence, this is where you come to lose weight. Guests can soak, wrap, scrub and dip in any number of algae- or seaweed-based confections in one of 26 low-lit, high-tech beauty rooms. Treatments are administered by an army of suitably hushed, white-clad women, all in possession of a firm technique and a deft way with ointment. And for those who want to get thin quickly there's the "slimming escapade" menu that includes electro-osmosis, a hyperactive multi-jet bath and the delightful sounding slendertone drainage treatment.

Once you're done in the spa the hotel's restaurant Les Trois Marches carries on the good work. Although it's recognised by the Michelin guide as one of France's finest, chef Gerard Vie offers a "diet" version of the menu on request. It sounds terribly harsh to plump for the healthy option when presented with a menu of such wealth; you can almost hear the ghost of Marie Antoinette crying "let them eat cake". But when the mouthwatering slithers of scallops arrive followed by course after course of the tastiest morsels, it's worth remembering that the French idea of low calorie is a little different to ours.

The Trianon's interior designers have looked to the Palace of Versailles for inspiration. The hotel was renovated in 2001 and a Louis XV theme - vast columns, crystal chandeliers and marble floors - runs throughout.

The hotel was built in 1910 and quickly became a magnet for global A-listers, drawn by its luxury, its prestigious neighbour and the relative calm it offered from the tumult of Paris. During the First World War it was transformed into a hospital but once peace was restored it reverted to its original role. In 1940 it got caught up in the next War and, on the order of Marshall Goering, became the headquarters of the Luftwaffe. For those of a fanciful imagination, Marie Antoinette's isn't the only ghost you could meet on the stairs.

Still, such a chequered history hasn't put off the great, the good, the rich and the famous. Marlene Dietrich, Sarah Bernhardt, JD Rockefeller Jr and Paul Getty, and more recently Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman and Pierce Brosnan are just a few to have swept through its marble reception and into its lavish rooms.

LOCATION

Trianon Palace, 1 Boulevard de la Reine, 78000, Versailles, Paris (00 33 1 30 84 50 00; www.westin.com/trianonpalace)

Situated in the royal city on the edge of the park of the Palace of Versailles, the hotel is a five-minute walk from the chateau itself and a 20-minute drive from the Place de la Concorde in central Paris.

Time to international airport: the nearest airport is Orly International. A taxi ride costs €40 (£28.50) and the journey takes 20 minutes.

COMFORTABLE

The Trianon Palace Hotel contains 192 rooms, including 93 suites and apartments in the palace and 99 bedrooms in the pavilion, which was added in 1990 and is linked to the palace by an underground passageway. On the fifth and sixth floors of the palace there are two duplex suites that open out onto magnificent terraces with views over the Palace of Versailles. From my room on the fourth floor, French windows opened onto a small balcony overlooking the revered Marie Antoinette sheep grazing in the park of the chateau. Period tapestries and paintings, ornate fireplaces and plenty of marble provide the atmosphere of an elegant French mansion.

Freebies: Molton Brown toiletries, box of delicious creamy toffees, daily newspaper

Keeping in touch: all rooms are fitted with cable television, two direct dial phone lines and a data port, while WiFi (wireless internet connection) is available in some of the rooms.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Rooms cost from €230 (£164) including breakfast.

I'm not paying that: The nearby Hotel Ibis Paris Chateau de Versailles (00 33 4 89 88 40 05) has doubles from €95 (£68).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Car Sales Executive - OTE £36,000

    £12500 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This established Knaresborough ...

    Beverley James: Accounts Payable

    £23,000: Beverley James: Do you have a background in hospitality and are you l...

    Recruitment Genius: Cleaning Manager - York and Bradford

    £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The post holder is a key member of the V...

    Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Breakdown Recovery Drivers

    £18000 - £28800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Breakdown Recovery Driv...

    Day In a Page

    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
    A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

    It's not easy being Green

    After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
    Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

    Gorillas nearly missed

    BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
    Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

    The Downton Abbey effect

    Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
    China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

    China's wild panda numbers on the up

    New census reveals 17% since 2003
    Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

    Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

    Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
    Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

    Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

    Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
    Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

    Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

    Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
    New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

    Dinner through the decades

    A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
    Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

    Philippa Perry interview

    The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

    Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

    Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
    Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

    Harry Kane interview

    The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
    The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?