Château Élan Weekend Getaway Guide
March 2, 2020
Y’all know I love a good weekend getaway. After our trip to Amelia Island in February, we were dying to explore a little more in our own backyard. This time, the adventures took us to Georgia! We stayed at the Château Élan Winery & Resort for a dreamy weekend of wine tasting, spa treatments, and relaxation and I learned so much about a part of the South that I didn’t even know existed!
About Château Élan Winery & Resort
Nestled in the north Georgia foothills just 40 minutes away from Atlanta, Château Élan is squarely in Georgia Wine Country and brings together the best of wining, dining, relaxing, and playing in its 16th-century French countryside-styled chateau. Château Élan boasts a 35,000 square foot spa, 45 holes of championship golf, a terraced pool, and 10 restaurants and bars across its sprawling property.
Château Élan recently completed a 9-month renovation that updated the resort from its original roots from the mid-1980s. The resort’s sophisticated style shows through in every space, with luxe, modern accents in the rooms, common areas, and dining spaces. The renovation is beautiful, grand, and luxurious, with plenty of clean, super open spaces that highlight the gorgeous building. Our favorite part was definitely in the lobby, where right when you walked in there were three sitting areas with fireplaces. So cozy! I also loved the nook with the blue built-in bookcase. Talk about beautifully styled bookshelves; these make we want to paint my next built-in blue!
We loved our room at the Château Élan. The room was spacious and had a really beautiful view of the pool and hot tub. It was so awesome that we had a huge jacuzzi tub in the bathroom and a super comfortable bed! We were even greeted with a bottle of Château Élan’s wine with a custom label that had my Charleston Blonde logo on it!
Family Weekend in Georgia Wine Country
Get Pampered at The Spa at Château Élan
We checked in to the Château Élan Winery & Resort in the afternoon on Thursday and were immediately whisked away to their spa in the resort shuttle. The European-styled spa sits in a 35,000 square foot mansion overlooking a lake and green lawns. With plenty of treatments available from massages to facials and body treatments, a pool, hot tub, saunas, and nature paths, I could easily have stayed the whole night just in the spa. Instead, I opted for the Château Euphoria Massage, which incorporated different massage techniques like deep tissue and hot stones. My masseur’s name was Anthony, and he did a great job! The massage was wonderful and super relaxing.
Next time, I would get there even earlier and spend the whole day at the spa because when you purchase a spa service, you get the usage of their facilities for the entire day. There’s a completely blacked out relaxation room and a really cool pool that had resistance so you could get a work out in. There was also a hot tub, a workout room, a eucalyptus steam room, and a sauna. An extra touch that I found super helpful and thoughtful were the amazing showers and plenty of areas to put your makeup back on and dry your hair.
Dinner at Versailles
Inspired by the French provincial atmosphere that the rest of the resort evokes, Versailles isn’t actually the palace in France, but instead a restaurant located inside the glass-topped atrium in the Château Élan Inn. The space is gorgeously decked out in marble and leather, with rich wood accents reminding you of the vineyard setting. Most of the meals at Versailles are served buffet-style, with Executive Chef Rodney Ashley creating gourmet American cuisine and regional favorites with a modern twist, in addition to a selection of pre-set dishes on the menu. We started with the tomato basil soup and I had the red wine braised beef short rib with caramelized shallot whipped potatoes and buttery broccolini for my entree. Everything was delicious! Plus, the restaurant is conveniently located near the rooms, so it was super easy to get to and get back to our rooms before our next full day at the resort!
Breakfast at Le Petit Cafe and Boutique
We started our full day at Château Élan with a coffee and pastry breakfast at Le Petit Cafe in the lobby of the Inn. The cafe offers specialty espresso drinks and fresh-baked pastries with a European touch, using Athens, GA-based 1000 Faces Coffee. The gentleman who runs the cafe is from France and you can tell he makes sure there’s a European touch to everything there. Erik was thrilled because they did a real, European espresso and it reminded him of when we were in France. We both got mochas and Harper got an iced chai, as always. Fresh, fluffy croissants and a cupcake (for Harper) accompanied our coffee selections. After sitting on the outside patio for a bit, we really enjoyed coming inside with our drinks and pastries and relaxing in front of the fireplace.
Lunch at Fleur-de-Lis
We had lunch at the restaurant in the Spa, Fleur-de-Lis. The bright and sunny dining room overlooks the lake and gazebo, making it the perfect calming spot to enjoy some midday meals. I had the cauliflower rice bowl with jerked chicken, which was super flavorful. All the menu items are prepared with health and taste in mind, and it was phenomenal!
Before dinner, we enjoyed a wine tasting and cheese plate in the Winery Tasting Room. The winery overlooks 35 acres of lush vineyards. I loved learning more about the different wines. At Château Élan, their wine production is very driven by the terroir concept, which is based on the fundamental truth that every vineyard gives a unique expression to the wine made from the grapes that are grown on it.
Erik and I got the premium flight and chose 7 different wines to sample. They were generous pours, and we loved everything we tried! I was thrilled because they have a lot of sweet wines made from Muscadine grapes. My favorites were the Duncan Creek and the Cherokee Rose. All of the winery staff were extremely helpful. The lady that helped us the most had been working there for years and was great with wine selection and explaining what taste to expect from each pour. She also taught us about using crackers between each drink to cleanse the palette and properly taste each wine. In addition to the wine flight, we got a really nice charcuterie board and some marinated olives.
Southern Supper at Marc Bar & Restaurant
Marc Bar and Restaurant is a Southern-inspired bar and chophouse located within the Château Élan Winery. Barn doors and industrial style lights and fixtures complement the 16th-century styled winery perfectly. The restaurant overlooks the winery and features a menu with Southern classics and impeccably cooked steaks. Our favorite things we had were the deep-fried Brussels sprouts with a honey sriracha glaze and the Burrata starter with heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil, and a balsamic glaze. Erik and I both had steaks, and they were fantastic!
We had an amazing family weekend in Georgia Wine Country at the Château Élan Winery and Resort! It was great even bringing Harper because they had a pool, hot tub, outside Jenga and Connect 4, and fire pits. There was plenty for us to do just relaxing and hanging out together. We actually noticed there were a lot of families from Atlanta there just trying to escape for the weekend. If you want to eat off property, we got lots of tips from locals, but the two that consistently showed up were The Galloping Galette and Cotton Calf Kitchen, both in Braselton.
Photography by: Catherine Ann Photography