Most visitors to the 250-room French Renaissance landmark that’s the Biltmore House in Asheville, NC, come away with a $40 bottle of Vanderbilt Reserve Merlot as a souvenir. Or maybe a three-pack of Biltmore salad dressing. A steal at $13.
When Texas natives Randall and Cynthia Veselka toured the Biltmore—marveling at the home’s 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms and 65 fireplaces—they left with a different take-away: a dream to build a place just like it.
Which is exactly what they did.
Starting with a spectacular 35-acre wooded lot in Evergreen, Colo., a 45-minute drive from Denver, they spent nine years and countless millions creating their own private Biltmore estate. Completed in 2015, they christened it Chateau V. As in V-for-Veselka.
Reflecting the Biltmore’s jaw-dropping opulence and extravagance, the chateau features a huge central courtyard, a dozen dormered windows, pitched roofs and a multitude of turrets.
Add to those the 126 custom-made chandeliers, acres of stained and diamond-cut glass windows, a cadre of carved limestone figurines and twin limestone grand spiral staircases and the stage is set for a real-life fairytale of epic proportions.
In total, the home sprawls across 21,692 square feet and comes with six ensuite bedrooms, eight full bathrooms and, naturally, a doggy spa.
Interestingly, less than a year after moving in the Veselkas, who run the Denver-based financial services company DTI Credit, put a “for sale” sign outside with a $17.5 million asking.
At the time, the couple said they’d decided to sell because they felt the urge to travel more and spend more time visiting their grandkids. The couple has five children.
With no takers, in May 2017 Chateau V saw a price cut to $12.99 million. And since then it has been on and off the market with a few more price adjustments. Just recently, the chateau was re-listed for $11.999 million.
“What truly sets this architectural masterpiece apart is the majestic snowcapped panorama of 14,000-foot Mount Evans you get from pretty much every room in the house. It’s truly spectacular,” says LIV Sotheby’s Whitney Cain. She and colleague Jennifer Davenport hold the listing.
Designed by acclaimed Colorado architects BVZ and built by a small army of local artisans, the estate sits at the end of Upper Bear Creek Road and is reached after five miles of creek-hugging curves.
In grand mansion style, a port-cochere opens into a spectacular paved central courtyard, with the main house flanked by matching wings on each side.
It really does have the look of a storybook castle, with its creamy-white Texas limestone facade, pointy turrets and ornate ironwork . While the roof seems like it could be off the Palace of Versailles, it’s actually tough-as-nails synthetic shingle.
Step through the arched double doors into the marbled entrance hall and all you see is the jaw-dropping vista of Mount Evans ahead.
To the right is the sprawling, open-plan living and dining rooms, with more floor-to-ceiling windows making the most of the million-dollar view. They flow into the kitchen with its remarkable, self-supporting, ceramic-tile, vaulted-and-arched ceiling. It’s from a design patented in 1892 by Spanish architect Rafael Guastavino.
One more spectacular feature is the adjoining breakfast turret with its soaring double-height, semi-circular windows and mountain views.
The home has four floors, with the third used as the main level. Take the spiral staircase down to the second level to three oversized bedrooms. Up on the fourth floor, you’ll find two additional bedroom suites; the vast primary suite takes up an entire wing of the third floor.
One possibly “surprise and delight” element is the nearly 5,000-square-foot lower level that’s currently unfinished. Seems the Veselkas envisioned it with an indoor/outdoor swimming pool, movie theater and entertainment complex. They’re leaving it to the new owners to decide.
Even with its reduced price tag, Chateau V could still prove a tough sell. Evergreen’s other recent high-profile listing—the 25,000-square-foot, $20 million mansion known as Thunder Ridge, with its own 100-car auto museum and Star Trek-themed movie theater, is still looking for a buyer a year after being listed.