Luxurious new guest cottages, a lavish outdoor pavilion and sweeping vineyard are coming to The Gardens at Malmaison and The Studio Inn. The $1.35-million expansion is set to be completed by next summer on the adjacent event venues in the serene setting of St. Albans. “We are eager to see this dream come to fruition and look forward to welcoming guests next year,” notes owner Datra Herzog, who says the upscale project has been years in the making.

The new development means the venues soon will have room to accommodate even more guests for weddings, weekend getaways, corporate retreats and other special events. Plans for more lodging at the historic Gardens at Malmaison fine-dining and event destination will complement six existing suites at The Studio Inn. The Gardens' four new stone and wood cottages will sleep two to four guests and feature fireplaces, efficiency kitchens and private patios to enjoy the spectacular surroundings, Herzog explains. “Families want to celebrate and have overnight accommodations nearby. Our venues are the perfect getaway destination, all within minutes of the St. Louis metropolitan area.”

Construction on a new permanent outdoor pavilion for private parties also is underway on the garden grounds. Additionally, a complete kitchen remodel and expansion will increase capacity for special events. Reservations for the new additions will become available 60 days before the renovation’s completion, Herzog says.

In addition to the properties’ new accommodations and amenities, the expansion boasts plans for a 1-acre winery on the hill below The Studio Inn, a charming, European-style bed and breakfast and event venue. The vineyard is expected to produce 6,000 bottles of wine annually, with the first planting set for this spring and mature grapes available in three to five years. The Gardens currently private labels some of its wine with St. James Winery. A wine cellar, wine dinner space and a new commercial kitchen to accommodate larger functions also are in the works. “The Studio Inn has always had an amazing view of the Missouri River and the village of St. Albans,” Herzog says. “This new vineyard on the sloping hill below it will add another scenic backdrop, emphasizing the beauty and romance of the venue.”

During construction, The Gardens will continue to offer lunch and brunch service on the weekends, as well as host catered parties and other events. Shopping in the expanded boutique also will remain open to guests. “There will be soft closings of certain areas and venues throughout the construction,” Herzog notes. “Guests should always call ahead to make reservations.”

Herzog hopes the improvements will highlight the magnificent scenery of St. Albans and attract more visitors to the area. “Exciting changes are ahead. We are eager to get the work completed so we can start a new chapter in St. Albans’ storied history.”

ON THE COVER: The Gardens at Malmaison and The Studio Inn at St. Albans have launched a $1.35-million expansion project that will bring even more upscale amenities to the venues by next summer. For more information, call 636-458-0131 or visit

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