Tank Away Getaway to France?
By Lisa Marie Carter
So you’ve been dreaming of your ultimate vacation at a Chateau on the French countryside, but your bank account isn’t cooperating with your dream. The solution is just down I-85. Chateau Elan is a little piece of France located right here in the Southeast United States.
Upon pulling in to the resort, you will immediately feel like you have been transported to a foreign destination. What appears to be a French castle peers down from atop the sprawling vineyards. As you wind around the entrance, you either head to the main resort or veer off to the secluded spa, where we stayed.
As you enter the spa, the feeling of serenity washes over you. Soft music plays, sweet relaxing herbal scents fill the air and the staff quietly invites you to begin your getaway.
When staying in the spa, you enjoy in-room luxuries such as the spa showers and tubs, plush robes, and the best is morning coffee/tea service brought to your room. You just set up your beverage preferences and accompaniments along with your time preference the night before, and voila, your morning beverages are delivered as you please right to your door. When you don’t even have to make your own coffee in the morning, this is pure heaven.
In addition to the in room amenities, guests who are staying in the spa have use of the spa facilities such as the mineral hot tub, steam room etc. For those of you who must exercise, they even have a small cardio combo room in the spa (or you can use the full gym at the main hotel). Personally, I chose to run the wooded path around the grounds and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature awakening each morning.
The spa itself deserves an entire article, from the wide array of services offered such as the couples services including manicures, pedicures, massages, facials all performed in the same room, so you enjoy the treatments together and have the benefit of some more quality time. Once your services are complete, enjoy some more time together in the heated pool, the hot tub or just some quiet time in the lounge. Separately, you can both enjoy the steam rooms and saunas located in the locker rooms.
A full day of pampering can work up an appetite. Dining choices are in abundance as well. From Le Soleil Pool Bar to Paddy’s Irish Pub, Versailles, Fleur-De-Lis, Café Elan and L’ Auberge Lounge you are sure to please any pallet. When dining at the seafood buffet in Versailles, the only piece of advice I can offer is do not eat all day prior. With stations of food overflowing with pre-cracked crab legs, mounds fresh shrimp cocktail, oysters on the half shell — and that’s just on one side of the buffet — you can’t possibly try it all. All of the seafood was top notch, super fresh and cooked to perfection. This buffet alone is worth the drive for dinner if you get a chance!
If you prefer to have a sit down dinner with impeccable service, try Café Elan or Fleur-De-Lis. Their unique and enticing menus change often according to seasonal choices. Café Elan is located in the winery itself, and though it was closed while we were there, we were given a sneak peak of what was to come, and all I can say is we will be going back to enjoy a meal there. Fleur-De-Lis, located in the spa, offers gourmet breakfast choices and light and healthy lunch choices. Though light and healthy, these unique dishes were satisfying even for my hungry husband.
Chateau Elan offers so many things for you to do there is always something different. In addition to the spa, you also have several golf courses to chose from, tennis and the outdoor pool and hot tub to enjoy. As if that’s not enough, they have so many events scheduled, plan your trip accordingly. They have cooking classes, wine and art painting classes and other special events available for you to experience and enjoy for an extra fee. All the newest additions and up to date information on all their events can be found on their website
Last, but not least, we must certainly mention their winery. If you’ve tried their wines in the past, you haven’t tried their wines. With a new wine maker from Italy, Simone Bergese, things have certainly changed. Their wines will rival some of the best wines you’ve tried. They have several award-winning wines, now including the Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2013, which received 91 Points and Editor’s Choice in Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Muscadine lovers, and even those who snub their nose at this wine, the Muscadry is a “musta-try” for all! I am a self proclaimed wine snob and don’t drink sweet wines and normally not a local wine drinker, but not only did we thoroughly enjoy several of their wines, but we also liked the Muscadry, so much so, we bought a bottle to take home! In addition to the Muscadry, we took home a case of assorted wines which is a first for us when visiting a local winery.
So, if your bank account is nixing that trip to France, you can now have the next best thing. Hop on I-85 and head to Chateau Elan for your fix.
Fill up your tank and head out on your own getaway soon!
Chateau Elan is located at 100 Rue Charlemagne, Braselton, Georgia 30517 you can get more information on their website – http://www.chateauelan.com.