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What a $25 million makeover means for Chateau Elan
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Château Élan Winery & Resort unveiled plans for an extensive $25 million dollar renovation, scheduled for completion in November 2019. (Courtesy Château Élan Winery & Resort)

A $25 million renovation of Chateau Elan Winery & Resort in Braselton is set for completion in November.

The makeover will involve 251 guest rooms and 24 suites, including new custom-designed carpeting and bathrooms featuring freestanding vanity areas made of wood and stone.

Corridors also will be redone, including carpeting and wall coverings “layered by local art and iron sconces to help tell the resort’s rich, modernized story,” states a press release Tuesday, April 9, about the project.

Also planned is a fully refurbished lobby, featuring a custom-carved limestone fireplace and hand-tufted rugs. The atrium will feature white marble, polished bronze and gold accents, as well as a library and 2,000-piece crystal chandelier.

The renovation, led by Atlanta-based interior and architectural design firm BLUR Workshop, also will include revamped and new eateries, as well as a coffee and wine bar in the lobby that will deliver “a modern take on a Paris cafe,” according to the resort.

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Château Élan Winery & Resort unveiled plans for an extensive $25 million dollar renovation, scheduled for completion in November 2019. (Courtesy Château Élan Winery & Resort)

Overall, the project is expected to “introduce a fresh, yet timeless, modernized design while delivering a unique, distinctly southern concept dressed in French undertones, honoring the existing estate’s 16th century-style charm.”

“Embarking on a renovation of this magnitude for a resort destination with such a well-respected reputation requires a committed responsibility to honor the property’s legacy, while still delivering upon the modernized expectation to mirror our ever-growing wine, epicurean and experiential programs,” said Ed Walls, the resort’s general manager.

The renovation comes one year after Wheelock Street Capital of Greenwich, Conn., bought the property from Don Panoz, a pharmaceuticals entrepreneur who died in September 2018. He and his wife, Nancy, founded the resort in Braselton more than three decades ago.

A price tag was never disclosed, but early on, Wheelock said it planned to spend $20 million on “a comprehensive renovation and refresh.”

Wheelock executive Keith Manning spoke to The Times about the project soon after the acquisition, describing the 3,500-acre tourist destination as “tired.”

“It needs some TLC,” he said. “It needs getting the product up to a level we’re proud of as an owner and, most importantly, what our guests and the local community can be proud of.”


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