By Linda Hayes By Linda Hayes | December 22, 2022 | Lifestyle Lifestyle Feature
A crowning glory, Aspenites Stephane and Sabrina De Baets unveil impressive plans for the iconic Redstone Castle.
Sitting room at Redstone Castle
“WHEN YOU SEE A SITE THAT IS RIGHT, YOU KNOW IT RIGHT AWAY,” says Stephane De Baets about the 154-acre property that’s home to the historic Redstone Castle he and his wife, Sabrina, acquired last April. “It’s unique nestled in the beautiful surrounding mountains and bordered by the Crystal River. You really feel remote there.”
Owners of The St. Regis Aspen Resort Stephane and Sabrina De Baets purchased the historic Redstone Castle.
Stephane, whose holding company, Elevated Returns, also owns and manages The St. Regis Aspen Resort, had long searched for the perfect location to develop a world-class wellness destination, specifically the North American flagship of medical wellness spa RAKxa set on the Chao Phraya River in Thailand. Tucked away at the southernmost tip of the town of Redstone (about 15 miles up Highway 133 from Carbondale and 48 miles from Aspen), the Castle, as it’s commonly known, fit the bill. “When we walked the property, we looked at what we could do with the entire site,” says Stephane. “Knowing that it was entitled with a master plan to further develop it, the potential for what could be there really did it for us. We put in an offer the next day.”
With ambitious plans for Redstone Castle’s future, the Aspen-based couple show extreme sensitivity to the rather eclectic Redstone community. “Redstone is all about nature and art, and the residents value the local ecosystem and embrace its peaceful tranquility,” says Stephane. “We talked about our plans with people in the neighborhood, including some who had lived there for 50 years. You can’t please everybody, but many said, ‘Thank God that you are doing something that is going to give jobs to the community, that will bring quality traffic with no disturbance and maintain its funkiness.’”
While the Castle came with interesting decor, the De Baets have hired architect Sarah Broughton of Rowland Broughton Architecture and Interior Design to execute their version
Envisioning a big-picture wellness concept that offers something notably different from the boot camp mentality of some well-known destination resorts and spas, or the hospital-like feel of others, both in the United States and abroad, the De Baets have enlisted architect Sarah Broughton of Rowland+Broughton Architecture and Interior Design in Aspen. “Stephane and Sabrina’s vision for the property will respect the heritage of the site and use the power of the natural beauty to create a soulful respite,” notes Broughton, who had worked with Stephane early on at The St. Regis. “They are invested in being a collaborating member of the Redstone community. We’re thrilled to be a part of the project.”
The couple plans to rebrand the property into a wellness destination.
The big-picture concept for the Castle, which while eventually rebranded will retain the Redstone Castle name in part, is straightforward. It translates into what Stephane calls four pillars of understanding: personal nutrition mapping, movement, holistic therapies for cleansing or detox, and extensive DNA analysis. “We want to create a low-density wellness destination where people can go to rest body and mind and find their place in the universe,” he says. “People will fall in love with the process and come back every year.”
The Castle will eventually become a world-class spa and retreat. For now, the De Baets will open the property for special retreats and experiences.
The Castle was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.
That said, while the new concept won’t be fully realized and open until 2025, preservation requirements state that the property be utilized in the meantime to some extent. “We had tours at certain times this summer and are considering custom activations,” says Sabrina, who worked in the hospitality field in New York before relocating to Aspen. “We’ve had requests for weddings, weekend retreats, farm-to-table dinners. It’s a beautiful property and people need to experience it.”
The Redstone Castle is located about 40 miles outside of Aspen
“The fact that it has history reinforces the whole story,” adds Stephane. “We want everyone to see how the Castle will thrive for another 150 years.” 58 Redstone Blvd., Redstone, theredstonecastle.com
The property has changed hands several times over the last 50 years and underwent a substantial renovation between 2016 and 2019
Redstone Castle fulfills a longtime dream that new owners the De Baets have had to make Pitkin County a world-class spa and health destination.
The Historic Redstone Castle: A History Lesson
Known colloquially as the “Ruby of the Rockies” and originally named Cleveholm Manor, the Tudor-style Redstone Castle was completed in 1902 for industrialist and coal magnate John Cleveland Osgood. At the time, Osgood was one of the wealthiest people in the United States and rubbed elbows with the rich and powerful. John D. Rockefeller, J. Pierpont Morgan and Teddy Roosevelt all spent time at the estate. The Castle was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. Changing hands many times over the last 50 years, the building recently underwent a substantial renovation. It most recently operated as a boutique hotel.
Photography by: PHOTOGRAPHED BY DANIEL BAYER