The enchanting château and full-service winery nestled among North Georgia’s picturesque foothills, Château Élan Winery & Resort, today proudly announces the completion of its $25 million dollar comprehensive renovation. As the first major renovation since its inception in the mid-1980s, the full redesign ushers in the newest chapter in its storied history by introducing a fresh, yet timeless, modernized design, while still honoring the existing estate’s 16th century-style charm. Beckoning a new generation, the transformation includes a complete overhaul of 251 guestrooms and 24 suites, four new food and beverage outlets, the winery, as well as the resort lobby, with a facelift to the existing pool terrace and immersive spa
“As we complete this renovation, it is clear how every decision was made to positively impact our guest experience,” said Neville Erasmus, general manager, Château Élan Winery & Resort. “We’re beyond proud to bring this vision to life and reintroduce the new Château Élan to our beloved repeat and new guests alike.”
During the nine-month project, Atlanta-based interior and architectural design firm, BLUR Workshop, was tasked to lead the multi-million-dollar renovation formulating a design concept representative of the resort’s vast southern locale – inspired by the surrounding rolling hills and lush vineyards. Further defining its sense of place, the property is accessorized with local artwork and features a modern palate painted in variations of gray and taupe with pops of chartreuse, turquoise and gold, warmed by rich wood accents, elegant lighting, white Calcutta marble and industrial touches including tufted leather, wrought iron and carved limestone. Giving a nod to its topography, the design also boasts vineyard inspired details throughout, with the most dramatic being a custom 1,400-piece glass chandelier hand-blown in the Crystal Valley of the Czech Republic, shaped to mimic the shifting grape vines along the vast rolling hills.
Maximizing every square foot to enhance the resort’s public spaces, the renovation included:
The full redesign of 251 guestrooms and 24 suites provides a sleek new look to compliment the overall resort, while incorporating modern enhancements for the needs of today’s guest. The rooms include custom designed carpeting, bathrooms with upgrades including freestanding vanity areas made of wood and stone, a color palette of greys and taupes to simplify the backdrop, allowing for pops of walnut, brushed oak and the studded, leather-tufted headboard to make a statement.
The lobby was updated with its central location in mind. The space was dressed with leather tufted lounges, softened by a mix of fur and partnered pillows, wingback chairs, and limestone fireplace. The biggest addition to the lobby space was adding Le Petit Café – the coffee and wine bar complete with a curated gift shop.
The Atrium was also fully transformed with white marble and natural details complimented by polished bronze and gold accents, in addition to adding a cozy, vintage-inspired library and 1,400-piece crystal chandelier dripping across the glass ceiling – evoking the shifting landscape of the vineyard.
Adding flair to both flavor and design, four of the now ten food and beverage outlets were completely re-envisioned from everything including the décor to dining concepts and menus.
A staple at Château Élan, Marc Bar & Restaurant has been reintroduced as a southern-inspired bar and chophouse with a completely refreshed menu and a special focus on artisanal libations. The restaurant also added a French oak, soapstone bar to the back of its space as a new gathering area.
To anchor the grand space within The Atrium, the resort added a new Atrium Bar crowned with an iconic 40-foot Douglas fir wood sculpture, which was crafted to mimic the vineyard’s movement and be an interactive display, changing views as you drift through the space.
Versailles, the internationally-inspired American buffet led by Executive Chef Rodney Ashley was reimagined to compliment the new, simplistic design in the glass-topped Atrium – adding additional seating with pops of teal. The space also provides a new private dining room for groups.
The all-new Louis’ House of Bourbon is a contemporary sports bar with the ambiance of an old-world speakeasy. With wood paneling, leather furniture, eclectic art, neon signage and a curated bourbon display behind the glowing amber bar, the lounge evokes southern charm while its old-world accents recall the bar’s French namesake, Louis.
“After years of planning, we’re humbled to experience the final product that now matches the level of service Château Élan has provided for decades,” said Keith Manning, vice president of asset management, Wheelock Street Capital. “The new design enhances the opportunity to deliver unmatched experiences and to welcome guests of all ages.”
The Resort held a Grand Unveiling Celebration and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at the Chateau Elan Inn on January 14th, 2020.
About Chateau Elan Resort
Located within the bustling Atlanta metro of Braselton, Château Élan Winery & Resort is a member of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts L.V.X. Collection, which represents renowned properties that feature the finest accommodations coupled with attentive, engaging, and exclusive personal service. The 3,500-acre resort offers guests a unique destination experience accessorized by lush vineyards and marked by its unmatched luxury, distinguished offerings and amenities. Home to one of the most awarded wineries on the east coast, 10 total bars and restaurants, 40,000-square-feet of meeting space, a 35,000-square-foot European spa, 45 holes of championship golf and a golf club and tennis center, Château Élan invites guests of all preferences to explore and enjoy the property’s picturesque land and architecture.
About HEI Hotels & Resorts
HEI Hotels & Resorts, headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., is a leading hospitality company that acquires, develops, owns and operates full-service, upper upscale and luxury hotels and resorts, as well as, premium select-service hotels throughout the United States under such well-known brand families as Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt and IHG. HEI takes a holistic approach to creating value for its investors and employees by setting the highest standards across all aspects of hotel management and operation and focusing on the central principles of excellence and continuous improvement. HEI prides itself on some of the highest employee satisfaction scores in the hospitality industry, fuels local economic prosperity by investing in communities and is committed to environmental stewardship and sustainability. For more information about HEI, visit www.heihotels.com.
About Wheelock Street Capital
Wheelock Street Capital (www.wheelockst.com) was formed in 2008 by Rick Kleeman and Jonathan Paul, two veteran real estate private equity investors, each with 30 years of broad real estate transaction experience across all major asset classes. Wheelock has raised over $3 billion in capital commitments from well-known institutional investors and focuses on real estate investment opportunities throughout the United States, in both public and private markets. The firm may invest directly or with high quality joint venture partners through a variety of capital structures and transaction types, including acquisitions, restructurings, and recapitalizations. Wheelock’s investment team benefits from extensive experience from top-tier institutional investment firms and highly regarded real estate operating companies and has produced a 10-year track record of demonstrated and consistent outperformance over industry benchmarks.
About BLUR Workshop
BLUR Workshop is a design firm based out Atlanta, GA comprised of a team of energetic and capable professionals that have worked together continuously for the last 23 years. Our team offers full professional design services for both hospitality interior design and hospitality architecture. These services are led by industry veterans Liz Neiswander, Foreman Rogers, Scott Sickeler, Peter Green and Scott Morris. Together, this team has been instrumental in the design of $2.75 billion and 10,750,000 sq. ft. of constructed, award-winning work, delivered in budget and on time without a claim. BLUR Workshop was created with purpose. Even the name reflects our vision. We believe great hospitality environments blend exterior and interior, architecture and interior design. We think this notion is even more important in making a great resort. It is this blurring of disciplines that truly represents the way we approach our design process. The Workshop portion of our name comes from a desire to have a more hands-on design process in which models and mockups become even more integral to our detailed and thoughtful design process.