Zak Smith takes on a unique driving experience at the Trianon Palace Versailles, charging a Lamborghini around the area's regal confines.
Throughout history, great things have come in pairs, and when it comes to luxury, there are few greater pairings than exquisite destinations and fine automobiles. The never ending vistas, winding lanes and sweeping hills of Northern France are undeniably beautiful, and I venture there is now only one way to travel the region, and that’s in a Lamborghini. Thanks to The Trianon Palace Versailles, it’s now possible to enjoy the best of the French countryside behind the wheel of the best of Italy.
Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts have recently announced an exclusive partnership with luxury car maker Automobili Lamborghini, providing a program for VIP guests to enjoy an exclusive opportunity behind the wheel of the new 2016 Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4 Spyder. Guests will be accompanied by Lamborghini’s professional drivers and the experience will be available at twelve Waldorf Astoria properties worldwide. In Europe, Italy’s latest automotive marvel has been enjoying the Versailles Palace and its surroundings.
The Trianon Palace hotel itself is utterly regal, befitting the definitive country pile it counts as its distinguished neighbour. Refined and relaxing, The Trianon Palace has, for years, been the destination for Parisians to retreat to on weekends. However, even inside the sanctuary of the Guerlain Spa, it’s hard to ignore the roaring, spluttering and high revving of the new Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4 Spyder.
The car is beautiful and brutal. A perfect marriage of German technology and Italian passion, and driving it is an unforgettable experience. However, getting into a Lamborghini is something of a performance. Anyone with a mild paunch or above average girth may find it somewhat akin to craning an elephant into a zoo enclosure, such is the precision you need to slide yourself into the buttery soft leather clad carbon fibre racing seats.
The interior is not your standard £200k+ luxury car affair either. Yes there is leather, lots of it, and yes, plenty of shiny metal and rev counters and all the hallmarks of an expensive car, but sitting inside the Huracán, it was obvious that a Lamborghini is more than just another luxury sports car. It really felt like a cockpit, crammed full of gadgets, switches and information screens. It has a flip toggle from a fighter jet to start the engine, which when pressed, roared the car to life, echoing a pride of Serengeti lions.
The car is savage, 0- 62mph in 3.4 seconds, a top speed of 199mph and enough power to light up a small village. Speeding and revving around the beautiful grounds of Versailles and its surroundings, I think I was purring as much as the car, not that you could hear me over the baritone decibel defying exhaust, a gift from Sant’Agata to every driver with an inner six year old desperate to come out.
One of the highlights of the experience was benefitting from a Lamborghini racing instructor sitting beside me, guiding my revs and tutoring me in the history of Lamborghini. There is romance with Ferrari, precision with a Porsche, luxury with a Bentley, but Lamborghini provides fun; and fun on a level that is hard to describe. It’s essentially a sensory supernova, most notable when the car is in Corsa Racing Mode, with the Traction Control off and the roof down, rip-roaring through country lanes at speed limit defying levels.
Driving a Lamborghini is utterly special, however throwing it around Versailles is something else, and for that, you have The Trianon Palace Versailles and Waldorf Astoria to thank.