< FRANCE | VERSAILLES: Trianon Palace Versailles, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel
It was on the 19th of December 1907 that Mr. Weill Martignan, an entrepreneur, registered legally the status of a society named “Trianon”. The site chosen
for construction was a field of three hectares, about seven and one-half acres, situated on the edge of the Royal Domaine of Louis XIV. The name of the society was suggested by
the proximity of the future hotel to Louis XIV’s Grand Trianon in the great park of Versailles. The architect, René Sergent, clad the hotel’s metal framework with cut stone to
accord with the classical style of the Château de Versailles.
The inauguration of the hotel on 1st May 1910 was attended by many Versailles residents; it became with the passage of time “their” hotel. World-renown celebrities became regular visitors drawn both by the luxurious accommodations and the calm of its royal surroundings. Sarah Bernhardt resided there during her performances in Paris of “L’Aiglon”, where she frequented Marcel Proust, the banker Lafitte as well as the aviator Santos-Dumont.
Subsequently, the hostilities of the first World War broke out and transformed the Trianon Palace Versailles into an auxiliary hospital; re-opened several months later in 1916, the hotel resumed slowly its role as a grand hotel. In April of 1917, the Inter-Allied Military Council installed its permanent war council in the hotel; its object was to bring the disastrous war to an end. On the 7th of May 1919, in the reception salon, which henceforth bears his name, Georges Clemenceau dictated the conditions of the Treaty of Versailles. It was signed several days later in the Hall of Mirrors of the Chateau de Versailles.
Once peace restored, Trianon Palace Versailles reclaimed its role as prominent hotel society: at that time a private omnibus of the hotel linked it three times daily with the Place de la Concorde. Trianon Palace Versailles became rapidly the haunt of literary personalities and of the thearter world. It became the “restorative” center for such as Paul Valéry, Sacha Guitry and Marlene Dietrich; as well, it became the favorite coutryside retreat for the possesors of great world-renowned fortunes : John Davidson Rockefeller, Jr. ; and Paul Getty relaxed there during their business trips to Paris.
In 1939, Trianon Palace Versailles was once again occupied by the military. Requisitionned first by the Royal Air Force which installed its Paris offices in the cellars, the hotel became in 1940 the headquarters of the Luftwaffe on the order of Marshall Goering. In their turn, in 1944, American forces occupied the hotel; within its walls the principal military figures of the Allies – General de Gaulle, Generals Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley and Montgomery – took those major decisions which determine still today our geopolitical situation.
Finally, in 1946, world peace permitted within a few months the entirely restored and renovated Trianon Palace Versailles to draw again as guests world-renown figures such as the Prince Aga-Khan, Queen Elizabeth II, the Kings of Morocco and of Jordan, Hussein. Since then, Trianon Palace Versailles has received persons of international renown principal figures of international politics prefer the hotel because of its security; major artists and writers – François Mauriac, Henry Bernstein, Jacques Brel, Jean Gabin, Jeanne Moreau, Tino Rossi – seek out the hotel because of the calm and serenity necessary for their talents.
In 1990, major renovation projects were immediately undertaken, principally the construction of a second building called the “Pavillon du Trianon”. This allowed the hotel to welcome its guests in greater luxury and comfort. A new state-of-the-art conference center was also added.
The management of Trianon Palace Versailles has been given since 2009 to Waldorf Astoria Hotel chain, part of the Hilton Group, which includes some 4660 hotels over the world. This decision was taken to assure the most effective management of the hotel, offering thus the most optimal services to its clientele.
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