After checking on loads of tourist agencies for a private tour of Versailles, I chose Stephane's agency based on price, convenience and understanding of what we needed. I speak fluent French and have been to Versailles loads of times; my husband, however, has not, plus his French is definitely not fluent. Thus we needed an English-speaking guide who would meet us there, not cart us in a limo or private vehicle for hundreds of dollars extra. Stephane agreed with this and he booked an excellent guide for us (Helene Douet-Mahé). She's in her early 30s, speaks EXCELLENT English and Spanish (aside from French, of course) and is also a scholar of Louis XIV. We met her exactly 9:10am at the tourist agency across the street from the palace itself. Helene is charming, funny and can provide all those interesting historic details that so often go missing when you do a group tour. And of course we avoided the absurdly long lines and were whisked into the main palace after only 10 minutes of waiting.
We had lunch with Helene (we invited her to join us) at the Italian restaurant located in the gardens - quite perfect and very civilized, as we all shared some wine and some stories. After lunch, we visited Le Trianon and Le Hameau. We also saw the wing for the mistresses and the ladies-in-waiting (the Mesdames apartments) and to me, this was the apotheosis of all the interiors I had seen - truly unforgettable if you're a woman - so dainty and so feminine. We walked in the garden and then returned to the main castle with the little passenger cart/train that runs through the palace grounds.
All in all, the visit cost us 300 Euro, plus lunch in a nice place for everyone, plus however many Euros the little train cost. Helene guided for appx 5 hours - three before lunch, two after - and it was worth every penny. I couldn't imagine being dragged around Versailles in a huge group - it would drive me nuts. Also, it is very nice to go with someone who is familiar with Paris and can converse about other things as well.
Stephane really delivered and I would not hesitate booking with him again.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.