If you’d like to treat that special someone to a grand surprise this Valentine’s (and that someone can be you), add Georgia’s Château Élan to the list. An easy hour-and-a-half jaunt down I-85, the stately winery and resort has upped the ante on offerings, polishing its classic European flair with modern renovations.
Long recognized as a top destination for oenophiles in the Southeast—with reserves and other wines gaining national and international acclaim since its inception in 1985—the resort also offers elegant accommodations and amenities, which received a 25-million-dollar makeover this past year. The inn, with its French Country estate vibe, now combines cozy feels with modern luxe decor. Chic armchairs surround the lobby fireplace, while light gray accents complement the white-and-gold marble check-in. To the left, Le Petit Café welcomes with warm tones and the waft of fresh baked goods, and while you could pause to grab a cup of Athens-roasted 1,000 Faces Coffee and a chocolate croissant, the atrium beckons. With an imperial staircase, a brand-new 1,400-piece chandelier, and expansive fountain, the area exudes elegance and connects guests to the Versailles Restaurant & Bar, along with new culinary addition Louis House of Bourbon.
The inn’s updated rooms feature tasteful modern additions, though the large garden bathtub easily steals the show—room-service and a bottle of wine, anyone? But don’t limit your options to a romantic overnight at the inn. Just down the drive, the resort spa includes special suites and villas perfect for a Galentine’s getaway with the girls. Treatments range from massages with expert therapists to a wet eucalyptus steam room. If you can tear yourself away from the posh locker rooms, complete with hair stations and couches, the on-site Fleur-de-Lis restaurant highlights tasteful bites with a wellness focus.
And, of course, there’s the winery. Flanked by muscadine vineyards, the pinnacle of the resort sports French charm with modern approachability. Interior booths allow a private space to enjoy a glass; however, a tasting at the expansive wine bar is the sure way to sample the best of the collection. Under the expertise of winemaker Simone Bergese, the list varies from homegrown muscadine-based bottles to reserve wines highlighting California grapes grown and harvested under Bergese’s instruction. On-site sommeliers are knowledgeable and eager to help you find the right glass.
So, whether you’re desiring a couple’s getaway, girls weekend, golfing excursion (yes, there are courses, too), or just some really good wine, toast this season of love with a trip to the château.
Château Élan, 100 Rue Charlemagne Dr, Braselton, Georgia. Rates vary. (678) 425-0900, chateauelan.com