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Chteau lans facilities get $11 million makeover
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Vice president of sales and marketing Doug Rollins places towels inside the deluxe couples room Thursday, which has been expanded at the Spa at Château Élan in Braselton. The spa has undergone some $1.5 million in renovations recently, part of an $11 million renovation for Château Élan. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

It may have taken 18 years for it to happen, but $1.5 million later and the Spa at Château Élan has a new look.
“Everything from the floor to the ceiling has been renovated,” said Michelle Ufer-Herold, spa director.

“Before, it had a more standard spa feel, with a French country theme. We’ve kept the elegant french fabrics and furniture, but we’ve given it a more contemporary spin.”

Save for a few decorative changes, the spa hadn’t seen any major renovations since opening in 1992.

From the expanded waiting area to replacing the shutters in the treatment rooms with custom-designed Roman shades, the changes to the spa were made with client comfort and relaxation in mind.

“The shutters were nice, but they let in too much light,” Ufer-Herold said.

On top of adding an extra massage room, Château Élan also added an extra space for couples for a total of 35 treatment rooms in the 35,000-square-foot spa.

“We’re seeing more and more couples — they come in together and they want to stay together for their treatments,” Ufer-Herold said.

“From the in-room showers and Jacuzzi tubs, candles and champagne and chocolate-dipped strawberries, we can provide a very romantic experience for couples.”

The spa isn’t the only area that received a make-over. The Château Élan Inn, the conference center and the Versailles and L’Auberge restaurants were also renovated.

“The inn was built in 1994 and we’ve done a few (small) renovations since then, but it was still the same furniture,” said Doug Rollins, vice president of sales and marketing at Château Élan.

“The furniture was still in good shape, but we wanted to update things. All of the guest rooms were redone in a more French estate style, instead of the previous French country theme.”

Although the rooms have maintained their classic style, Château Élan has added several modern amenities, including an Ipod docking station and “smart plugs” in the lamps.

“Whenever you go to a hotel, you can never find a free plug,” said Rollins.

“We designed the lamps to include the smart plugs, so you can hook your things right up to them. You could sit in bed and work on your laptop if you so desired.”

During the $11 million renovation process — which started three years ago — Château Élan also decided to add more environmentally friendly features to the inn.

“We partnered with (a German company) to test one of their new shower heads. The head has three holes that suck in air, that mixes with the water,” Rollins said.

“They use 30 percent less water, but provides more pressure than the old fixtures. We’ve easily cut our water bill down by 50 percent — and we haven’t gotten any complaints since making the switch.”

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