Meno inflazionata della vicina Versailles, Chantilly ha lo stesso fascino regale, l’Auberge du Jeu de Paume è l’indirizzo per scoprirla
Often overshadowed by Versailles and Fontainebleau, Chantilly’s place in French history and its stature as a royal chateau is just as important. Only 24 minutes by train from the Gare du Nord station in Paris (less time than it takes to get to Versailles and Fontainebleau), Chantilly is still a well kept secret and not known by most visitors.
The five-star Auberge du Jeu de Paume, a Relais & Châteaux hotel, the only one in Chantilly.
The roots of the estate are traced back to 1386 when a fortress was first built on the property. Later in 1484, it was inherited by Guillaume de Montmorency, who replaced the fortress with his private chateau, built between 1528 and 1531. He later commissioned the construction of the petit chateau in 1560. Louis Bourbon, Prince of Conde, was the next heir and invited the greatest artists of the time to show their paintings at the chateau. The chateau was destroyed during The French Revolution, and Henri d’ Orleans, the Duke of Aumale, inherited the property in the 1830s. He had the retreat rebuilt as a museum from 1875-1881. Tragically the duke’s two sons died before him and since there were no heirs to the throne, he bequeathed the chateau to the Institut de France.
The chateau boasts the second most important art collection in France after the Louvre with masterpieces by painters Raphael, Watteau, Poussin, Fragonard, Corot, Delacroix, Ingres, and Van Dyck. There is also an extensive library with more than 50,000 books and 15,000 manuscripts. The magnificent grounds have formal French gardens designed by Le Notre, who created the royal gardens of Versailles and Fontainebleau.
Chantilly is also known internationally for its horse stables and racetrack. The impressive horse stables are the largest in Europe and a horse museum is connected to the stables.
The newly built 92-room hotel opened in 2013 on the site of a former police station. The intimate lobby with taupe-colored marble floors and dark wood columns is tastefully decorated with a private club feel to it. Le Jardin d’Hiver bistro is helmed by Chef Arnaud Faye, who is also the executive chef at the two-star Michelin restaurant, La Table du Connetable, which is located in the hotel as well. The seasonal menu at La Table du Connetable combines historic and traditional cuisine with contemporary touches and new signature dishes.
The handsome 1,400-square-foot suite (it can be enlarged to 2,150 square feet with adjoining rooms) is the ultimate in French luxury with toile Jouy fabrics, a chintz-covered headboard, formal dining room with Chippendale-style chairs, separate kitchen, living room and private dressing room. Certain Deluxe Suites have terraces that overlook the beautiful Beauvais Fountain and garden. The 90-minute Thousand & One Chantilly treatment for 225 € starts with an invigorating exfoliation, followed by a relaxing massage ending with cold Chantilly cream smeared on you, head to toe.
Another great advantage about Auberge du Jeu de Paume is the close proximity to Charles De Gaulle Airport, only 20 minutes away, and a great alternative to standard airport hotels. The hotel offers a special “Last Night in France” package.