One of Georgia's most popular resorts undergoing $25 million renovation

One of Georgia's most popular resorts undergoing $25 million renovation

An artist’s rendering of changes to the atrium at Chateau Elan. (Special to the AJC)

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Chateau Elan has begun a $25 million renovation project to upgrade the facilities at the luxury resort and winery.

The Braselton resort plans to finish the project in November, general manager Ed Walls said. That will include a “complete overhaul” of the resort’s 251 guest rooms and 24 suites, food and beverage options and lobby. This type of renovation has not been done in Chateau Elan’s 35-year history, Walls said, but has been made possible by the resort’s new owners, Wheelock Street Capital. The private equity firm announced its acquisition of the resort in January 2017.

The upscale resort features amenities including a spa, 45 holes of golf and a winery producing both native muscadine grapes and those for traditionally European wines like Merlot and Chardonnay. Guest rooms can start between $190 and $300 per night, depending on the day of the week and time of year, and range from traditional double rooms to three-bedroom villas.

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Chateau Elan’s main, three-meal-a-day restaurant Versailles will undergo a “full overhaul,” and the existing L’Auberge Lounge will be rebranded as Louis’ House of Bourbon, described in a press release as a combination of a sports bar and speakeasy. A coffee and wine bar will be added in the lobby, and the Marc Bar will be added to the resort’s winery restaurant.


The resort is using local touches wherever available, including Georgia-made carpeting in the guest rooms and local art prominently featured in the lobby, which Walls says will become more of a central meeting place for guests.

“It really has a high-end lobby feel that make it a gathering spot for most folks at the hotel,” Walls said.

The lobby will be outfitted with white marble and bronze and gold accents, and a “cozy, vintage-inspired” library. The area will feature a custom glass chandelier meant to mimic the topography of the winery. The Czech-made chandelier will also be lit with different colors throughout the day, adding another layer of atmosphere to the area, Walls said.

The resort’s hills will be a recurring theme in new artwork added during the renovations; a 40-foot sculpture at the new Atrium Bar was also “crafted around the vineyard’s movement” and looks different depending on the angle from which it’s viewed. Other common spaces — the pool, spa and tennis courts — are also seeing upgrades in the seven-month project.

Chateau Elan’s golf clubhouse has already seen improvements, with upgrades to everything from locker rooms and the player’s lounge to food and beverage facilities completed in 2018. Management of the golf club and tennis program has also changed; Cliff Drysdale Tennis manages Chateau Elan’s racquet club and Troon now manages food and beverages at the golf club, which features the recently rebranded Sarazen’s Bar and Grille.

Walls hopes the resort’s upgrades and use of local materials will tighten the ties Chateau Elan has with its Braselton neighbors and those in the region.

“As we tie these amenities into the community, it really gives the entire community and metro Atlanta a place to get away for the weekend and engage in things like cooking classes,” Walls said. “This is the next step in watching an already amazing place be re-imagined.”