Chantilly’s new Auberge du Jeu de Paume is one more reason to visit this opulently endowed town in Ile-de-France, just 23 miles north of Paris. Opened last September in an ideal spot between the two main attractions—the Château de Chantilly and its Grandes Ecuries—and an easy walk from the renowned Chantilly racetrack, the lavish new hotel fills a void in a region that has long lacked variety in its luxury lodgings.
No indulgence was spared in the 68-room, 24-suite hotel, which offers a gastronomic restaurant—La Table du Connétable—as well as a bistrot and cozy bar, a full-service spa and fitness room, indoor pool, steam room, sauna and a lovely terrace. Rooms are spacious and elegant, with floor-to-ceiling windows, handcrafted woodwork and wainscoting, classic toile de Jouy fabrics, large marble bathrooms with Hermès bath products, and in-room Nespresso machines. The princely Aumale Suite’s elaborately embroidered silk curtains and ornate bedstead recall the royal bedrooms in the château.
It’s no surprise that the château provides a running theme throughout, since the Auberge sits on the castle’s property, and many rooms, as well as the terrace, have splendid views of the noble domain. From the 15th to the late 19th century, Chantilly belonged to two illustrious families: Montmorency, including the 16thcentury military hero known as Le Grand Connétable, the Head Constable, who built the oldest section of the château still standing; and Bourbon-Condé, including the rebellious general known as Le Grand Condé, who hired Le Nôtre, future gardener of Versailles, to design the gardens, and his distant descendant Henri d’Orléans, Duc d’Aumale and son of King Louis- Philippe, who founded the château’s superb museum.
The Auberge’s 35-year-old chef Arnaud Faye has spent nearly half his life in some of France’s best kitchens, and is clearly on the way to stardom. His ambitious cuisine, served by a gracious staff, can be sampled in La Table du Connétable or the pretty Jardin d’Hiver bistrot, both open to the public as well as to hotel guests.
Auberge du Jeu de Paume
4 rue du Connétable, Chantilly
Doubles from €235