It seems kind of strange to suggest a vacation to rejuvenate from a vacation but it seems the older I get, the more I need some downtime after the holiday season. And I found just the place– Chateau Elan in Braselton, GA. Chateau Elan is the perfect fit for a weekend getaway to recoup after the hustle and bustle of the holidays. A luxury resort and winery in North Georgia that offers four magnificent golf courses, a Cliff Drysdale tennis club, 10 bars and restaurants, a luxurious spa and pool and superb service makes for a tranquil escape.
There is something there for everyone. For those who want to unwind by playing golf, the Chateau course is beautiful and with Sarazans Bar and Grille overlooking the course, it makes for the perfect day. I am not a golfer but after eating at Sarazans, I could see why so many people were there. I sat at the bar people watching and noticing the different types of groups. At one table were a group of women who clearly were there just for lunch and the view, while at another table were guys who had just come off the course and were talking about their game. Next to me at the bar were a couple of guys who were there to enjoy the six TV’s offering different golf games. I had the Mahi Mahi Tacos, which I was told, was everyone’s favorite. I concur (and I absolutely loved the fries).
After lunch, I called for a golf cart to pick me up and headed to my favorite sport, tennis. The resort boasts a Cliff Drysdale Racquet Club which includes three hard courts, two clay courts, and four pickleball courts. I had a great workout with the club pro and strongly encourage a women’s tennis weekend here. Matt Kirkham, the director of tennis, said he would arrange everything.
Since tennis wore me out, I made my way to the pool and sat by the hot tub and rock waterfall. I have to admit I fell asleep with my book on my chest. Yet another testament to the serenity of Chateau Elan. I grabbed a quick drink at the pool bar, Le Soleil and went to my room to change in order to make my much-awaited wine tasting at their beautiful 16th century styled chateau.
Walking up the path to the chateau was an experience in and of itself. I meandered through the vineyard, past the majestic European styled fountain, and through the doors into a brightly lit grand foyer. The wine tasting room blew me away with the dark wood and separate seating areas along with the expansive bar. I took up residence on one of the barstools and learned more about wine in an hour than I had expected. Needless to say, I walked away with several bottles but not before crossing over to the other side of the winery that houses Marc Bar. I exchanged one barstool for another but got to experience a totally different feel even though they are housed in the same winery.
It had been a long day and I so looked forward to curling up in my beautifully appointed room overlooking the pool. In no time, the sound of the waterfall lulled me to sleep.
My last day there I walked over to Paddy’s Irish Pub and had a fabulous meal and yes, a Guinness, before heading home. As I drove down the long driveway, I looked back through my rearview mirror at the chateau, the fountain and the vineyard thinking how much I am looking forward to the time I again see the chateau through my front window.
*As a note, Chateau Elan has finished their extensive renovation since I was there. It was beautiful then so I can only imagine how spectacular it looks now.
Debbie Martinez is a Miami Dade resident and Travel Editor for The Florida Villager. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.