By Roger Cox, Editor
Chateau Élan started out as a winery, its vineyards arrayed around a chateau modeled on those in 16th-century France in a setting of rolling hills, 40 minutes north of Atlanta. It has since evolved into a 3,500-acre resort/residential estate with a 320-room inn, 45 holes of golf, eight restaurants, a 35,000-square-foot European-style spa, and a tennis center designed by former touring pro Stan Smith consisting of five hard and clay tennis courts and another four courts devoted to pickleball.
Pro Shop: 404-432-0525
Notably, Cliff Drysdale Tennis has signed on to manage the tennis club, installing Matt Kirkham as director. Kirkham, originally from Nottingham, United Kingdom, has over a decade of coaching experience, including his most recent position as Junior Program Director at Bluewater Bay Tennis Center, which is also managed by Cliff Drysdale Tennis. In addition to private and semi private lessons, hotel guests can look forward to complimentary half-hour clinics, a series of junior programs for those ages 4-14, an introductory Tennis 101 for those new to the game and Tennis 201 for those getting back to playing, and Cardio tennis for those looking to get a workout while honing their strokes. In addition, several times a year Cliff Drysdale Tennis stages Tennis and Wine weekends or Pickleball and Wine weekends that supplement the on-court sessions with private tour and tasting a local winery.
Courts & Fees. 3 hard courts, 2 Har-Tru courts, and 4 pickleball courts. Court fees: 1 complimentary hour/day included in guest resort fee.
Spa & Fitness
Golf. There are 63 holes of golf in total sit in the woodland-covered rolling hills.
Spa & Fitness Center. Housed in its own mansion, the 35,000-square-foot spa and fitness center affords guests with access to a variety of treatments and skincare services as well as to fitness Classes, sauna, hot tub, indoor pool and pool deck, daily afternoon tea, and a lakeside spa dining room open for breakfast and lunch.
And ... The property invites biking (bicycles rental is included in the resort fee) and hiking on private roads and off-the-beaten-path trails through canopied forests of trees and past acres of vineyards.
There are several options: rooms and suites in the Inn, suites in the Spa, and 2- and-3-bedroom golf villas with fulling equipped kitchens.
Between restaurants, lounges, and a pool bar there are seven outlets for food and beverage drawing inspiration from the South, Mediterranean, and Irish culinary traditions as well as healthful spa cuisine. Notable among them are Marc Restaurant, an upscale chophouse; Versailles Restaurant and Bar, for French cuisine in the glass-topped atrium; and Louis' House of Bourbon, a Southern gastro pub, and the lakeview Fleur de Lys in the spa for healthy breakfasts and lunches.
If it's wine that interests you, also check out (though neither had clay courts):
If it's something more general, with clay courts, take a look at:
Chateau Elan Winery & Resort
100 Rue Charlemagne
Travel Instructions. By air: Chateau Élan is a 80-minute drive from Atlanta-Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL).