My overnight experience of Versailles

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By Carlos Melia

During my last visit to Paris, during Fashion Week, my main goal was to experience the city as a a local not so much as a tourist, and explore things away from the classic Eiffel Tower, or the Arch of Triumph, Champs Elysees and the Louvre, which between you and me, I must admit I still did. So I planed to do things a bit different this time.ӬӬ

I spent most of my mornings, over a cup of tea and my laptop, researching on tours, restaurants, hotels, away from the classic path. And although I know there is still plenty more to discover, I think this time, after over 15 visits to the city of lights, I have mastered Paris in so many ways.ӬӬ

One of the choices I made on this trip, that I feel most proud about, was to visit Versailles, but not just for the day, but to stay overnight. Unlike most tourists that rush back to Paris, after visiting the Palace and the gardens, I spent two days and one night, for a real Versailles experience. ҬӬ

Walking along the lakes and gardens of the palace, once everyone was gone, I found it to be one of the most rewarding experiences I have had on my time in France so far. A journey that connected me back to the times of Louis XIV. ҬӬ

Versailles is a suburb of Paris, some 20 kilometres southwest of the French capital. Part of the Ile-de-France. Center of the political power in 1682, at that time known as the county of Versailles, today is consider part of the suburbs of Paris. ҬӬ

So I got my things together one morning, and head to Gare Saint Lazare train station in Paris. Two Euros and 40 minutes ride after on the Transilien Рsuburban trains services within the Ile-de-France region, I was in Versailles Rive Droite station in the heart of Versailles. ҬӬ

(video) Train ride from Gare Saint Lazare to Versailles 

So once there, took a lovely walk along the town, to get all the way to my hotel during my stay in Versailles. Of course, if you are going to spend the night here, you rather do it in palatial style, therefor I chose the Trianon Palace by Waldorf Astoria Hotels. The hotel is located right next to one of the main entry gates to the gardens of the Palace. So how about being the neighbor of the Palace of Versailles and all its tradition at least a night.? To me it sounded fabulous, and that is why I did it.ӬӬ

Witness the splendour of France’s leading luxury retreat. Situated less than a mile from the world famous Chateau de Versailles, and only 20 kilometres outside Paris, this fashionable Chateau de Versailles hotel recently benefitted from an artful, full-scale redesign, adding an air of tasteful, modern elegance to our atmosphere of regal luxury. Find solitude among centuries-old trees and lush, vivid gardens, newly updated by famous landscape designer Louis Benech. Experience a splendid reflection of our palatial surroundings within the sumptuous style and decor. + Read  and See More

(video) My Room at the Trianon Palace
(video) Carlos Melia in Versailles
(flickr album) Trianon Palace Versailles 

After checking IN and a fews lovely drinks at the gallery of the hotel, our Les Clefs d’Or concierge arranged for VIP all access tickets to the Palace. “¨”¨

Stepped just out of the main doors gates of the hotel, and there we were, right at the gardens of the Chateau de Versailles. A 15 minutes walk to the area of the lakes (which I might say made a great jogging spot the following morning). ҬӬ

Chateux de Versailles and its gardens, form one of the most famous world heritage monuments and stand out as the finest French art in the 17th Century. The old brick and stone palace of Louis XIII, was transformed and greatly enlarged by his son Louis XIV.

The town that was built around the Palace offers many examples of their rich past. Churches, towns houses, old squares and streets. Unfortunately I did not have enough time to visit the Trianon and the Maire-Atoiniette’s Estate, and Mondays the Palace is closed. So in a way, a great excuse to come back.”¨”¨

My absolute favorite room was the Hall of Mirrors. There are dozens of chandeliers, beautiful golden statues, huge arched windows, well no need to say more, just watch the video. + Read  and See More 

(video) Carlos Melia LIVE at Chateau of Versailles
(video) Entering to Chateau de Versailles
(video) The MIrror Hall at Chateau de Versailles
(video) Outside Chateaux de Versailles
(flickr album) Chateau de Versailles

It was quite interesting during my visit to see the exhibition by Joana Vasconcelos. She is the first contemporary female artist to invade the baroque halls of the Palace. two favorite pieces seen today during my visit to the Chateau de Versailles were Marilyn (PA) 2011 and Gardes, 2012. Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos is the centre of attention at Versailles with her controversial, sometimes shocking, interpretation of femininity. + Read  and See More

After an amazing day walking around and exploring Versailles, I was ready to head back to my lovely hotel, the Trianon Palace Versailles. Take a nice shower, spa, hamam and a Dirty Vodka Martini at the bar, before heading off to the small French Bistro that the Les Clef’s Dor Concierges have chosen for me.

Le Boeuf a la Mode Restaurant was my choice for dinner that night. The Trianon Palace, offers a restaurant by Gordon Ramsay, but honestly, I can have him anytime either in New York or London, so I much rather go local. Such a lovely small trendy and chic French Bistro in the heart of the market of Versailles. Very quiet, two floors and indoors/outdoors seating. I would risk to say the best local dinner experience in Versailles + Read and See more

Following morning walk up around 8am, had breakfast at the hotel, and head back to Paris, since at 12pm I had to be at Gare de Lyon to cach my TGV train to Nice. But that is for another time. Till next week in full luxury traveling across Europe. In the next three weeks I will be reporting live from Sweden, Finland and Russia, so stay tuned. Carlos Melia

Carlos Melia is a Travel Expert, Blogger, Niche Marketing Consultant, Jetsetter, and Bon Vivant, who travels around the world discovering what’s new and cool in Luxury Travel and Hospitality. His reviews on hotels, restaurants, destinations, and attractions, based on his own experiences as an OUT Gay Traveler can be found at www.carlosmeliablog.com

About The Author

Carlos Melia Travel Agent Luxury Travel Curator & Blogger Wedding Planner Public Relations & Marketing CarlosMeliaBlog.com http://www.carlosmeliablog.com CM by Carlos Melia http://www.carlosmelia.com Haute Experiences http://www.hauteexperiences.com MLGTPP http://www.MLGTPP.wordpress.com Twiitter http://www.twitter.com/carlosmelia YouTube http://www.youtube.com/user/meliacarlos Pinterest http://pinterest.com/carlosmeliablog/ Shameless BIO Carlos Melia (38) Bespoke and Luxury Gay Travel Expert, Blogger and Tourism/Hospitality Niche Marketing Consultant. For the past 20 years, I have been an independent travel agent with my own company CM by Carlos Melia - www.carlosmelia.com - and have travelled and lived extensively all over the world. I have international travel experience, both as a traveler and professional, specializing into Luxury and Bespoke Gay Travel worldwide. Experiential travel perfected is my mojo. My firm commitment to you, and main reason of my following is - Been There Done That. All travel services and products to be offered and featured, have previously been experienced, tested and approved personally by me. At CarlosMeliaBlog - www.carlosmeliablog.com - I speak Gay, but I am also fluent in Straight. Everyone is welcome, everyone. There you will find reviews, tips and information on hotels, restaurants, tours, destinations, among other travel related services and products. Former Mr Gay International 2008, and member of the Board of Directors at Mr Gay World, I work along the main LGBT organizations worldwide, in pro of our rights and to assure everyone, that indeed It will be Better. I have partnered along the leading lifestyle, travel and hospitality PR firms, media groups and corporations, implementing creative and effective targeted outreach to the LGBT community. Narrowing the existing gap in between mainstream travel/hospitality services and the LGBT community worldwide. Been called, awarded and recognized, by peers, press, and customers, as a gay travel guru, jetsetter, influencer, broadcaster and globe trotter, with known as the little Marco Polo. Bachelor degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management, tree times around the world, going for the forth, more destinations, air miles and room nights that I can keep track of and recently have added gay wedding planner to my curriculum. Regardless of your sexual orientation or preference, travel should always be a memorable, unique and unforgettable experience, and not just a destination. For this, I work closely with clients and suppliers to assure that this happens. Hope you enjoy the ride, and look forward hearing your feedback and comments. Sincerely, Carlos Melia (*) Proud and active member of two of the most relevant and influential organizations within the Travel and Hospitality Industry, which are IGLTA – International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association, TZELL Travel Group and Signature Travel Network.

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