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Historical Traveler Reviews Blackberry Farm Walland
One of the best
My husband and I have been lucky enough to go to Blackberry twice and are in the planning stages of a trip with our children in December. Of all of the places I could choose from for a pre holiday visit, Blackberry was first on my list. Althoug we live only 3 driving hours away and could fly to Chicago or New Orleans in an hour, nothing compares. I'm a big foodie and have had some of the best meals of my life there. The staff is without a doubt the most professional and courteous we have ever come across. Although children are welcome only a few times a year, they have been super to deal with regarding our boys (8 & 10), going so far as to ask what special meals they would enjoy. I haven't even mentioned the Spa, scenery, etc. All amazing. It's worth every penny, make plans to go soon.
Second time as great as the first
Four years ago i stayed here with my husband and had a great time. I was planning a trip to tn. with my 12 yr. old son and right before we were to leave Blackberry sent me a card saying we could stay at a discount rate ($200 off the daily rate) so I changed our reservations and headed to blackberry. The place was as great the second time. Everyone should get to visit blackberry at least once in their lifetime. Staff is A+++. My son wanted a hot fudge sundae to be delivered at midnight (kid fantasy request for room service) I said no that would be obnoxious, well the spa staff overheard us and on their own initiative they (thanks Heather) sent him the sundae at midnight. My son's giant smile said it all, plus they sent him the cutest letter about blackberry having esp and knowing what the guest's wishes were and they thanked him for being such a great kid at blackberry. Now what other hotel does those kind of things. We love blackberry and will try to return again.
Lived Up to Expectations
My extended family of 12 headed off to Tennessee for a 4th of July getaway, staying at a 2500-acre property called Blackberry Farm. The defining moment of our stay happened on our first evening - our waiter asked my father what he wanted to drink. My father mentioned a brand of vodka, on the rocks. The waiter said, "I'm sorry sir. We don't carry that vodka, but let me see what I can do for you." Ten minutes later, my father had his drink. The waiter had sent someone out to a liquor store to buy the vodka.
Service is key at Blackberry Farm. The staff is represented by friendly, outgoing people. Many of them are young (certainly the summer staff) but well educated and well trained! They are the kind of people that genuinely want to make you happy.
It's hard to describe the scenery at Blackberry Farm - stunning, perhaps. Miles of white picket fences as far as the eye can see. Rolling hills with the Great Smoky Mountain National Park as a 270-degree backdrop. Grazing horses. The occasional Blackberry Farm logo-ed golf cart quietly zipping along miles of paved path. Tan fieldstone buildings dating from the early 20th century. White Adirondack chairs and white wood rockers line a stone veranda and dot the property at some of the prettiest settings. Wildflowers. And the occasional pond and creek with an old fashioned boathouse for picnicking and tying up canoes.
We stayed in cottage suites (individual cottages, really) just down the hill from the main buildings. Here, we enjoyed feather beds with Frette linens, fabric covered walls, lots of granite, white painted wood and contrasting dark wood, high ceilings, Aveda toiletries and a fridge full of unlimited free snacks - Dove ice cream bars included. For a small fee, we could also enjoy a split of Pommery champagne and half bottles of some of the best wines that California has to offer.
When it was time to eat, we enjoyed the 3+ course breakfasts and 5+ course dinners of Chef John Fleer, who also runs a cooking school on-site with guest lecturers including the likes of Emeril and Bobby Flay. Lunch was a gourmet picnic delivered to a favorite scenic spot of our choosing. Sorry I can't be more descriptive here - I'm not a foodie.
When it was time for a diversion from eating, we spent quality time in the Farmhouse Spa (one of the best massages I've ever had), canoeing, hiking, biking, fly fishing in the property's nearly two miles of Hesse Creek and fishing for bluegill in the various ponds. We also went on an adventurous half-day horseback ride up to the edges of the National Park. I preferred the Rocky Mountain trail horses to the Percherons that pulled my parent's fancy black carriage. But the Percherons wore clusters of blackberries on their brow bands, except on the 4th, when they were seen with red, white and blue ribbons instead. Needless to say, the Percherons grew on me. There was also a handsomely outfitted game room with a pool table, chess, puzzles, a piano, etc. with (uggggh) more free food in the fridge. And at the end of the night, all guests were treated to a bonfire (roasting marshmallows and smores kits included) with a retired, and long-winded ranger telling stories from his days working in the surrounding mountains.
Best of all were the 4th of July celebrations. We were invited to the main terrace for a gourmet barbeque lunch and found that beautiful white wood tables, covered in thick and satiny flowered linens, had been spread over the gently sloping lawn. The food was excellent, but the free-flowing glasses of Veuve Clicquot were even better. And in the evening, paths of votive candles and hanging lanterns brought us down to the same spot. This time, small white cocktail tables had been set with hundreds of votives to enjoy the private fireworks display. The adults savored the Blackberry Kir Royals, Blackberry Cosmopolitans and cigars, while the children enjoyed the homemade ice cream sandwiches and creamcicles.
The only bad experience we had, was that a few of the activities we booked before our arrival ended up with small errors. (Dinner went from 7pm to 6:30pm. Two horseback riders became one.) In hindsight, it would have been best to work directly through the concierge staff instead of relying on reservations. Still, all problems were quickly resolved and we hardly noticed them.
We chose Blackberry Farm for our honeymoon based on a tip from a travel website. It couldn't have been a better choice! The scenery and accommodations were even better than the pictures on the brochures/website, the staff was unbelievably attentive and kind, and the food was too good for words! I could write paragraphs about what a wonderful experience we had but suffice to say we've stayed in some of the best hotels in the US and this one easily surpassed them all.
While visiting, we went for a carriage ride, horseback riding, hiking, fly fishing, and to the spa... You won't get bored here and if you're lucky you may even be able to fit in some time to relax. This trip was the honeymoon of our dreams! Thank you to everyone at Blackberry Farm!!! We can't wait to visit again!
Words Don't Describe This Wonderful Little Hotel
I've stayed at Blackberry Farm 5 times and had to write a response to the other reviewer who had a bad experience. We have never had any situation at this wonderful little property that has been less than perfect. The rooms are just a delight. We've stayed in everything from the smallest room (I think it's called May Apple) to one of their cottages and have loved everything about each room. Service is what this hotel has perfected. I am always amazed at the level of perfection that they are able to achieve. Things happen, obviously by staff members, but many times you don't see it happen. I would love to sit in on their training sessions because the staff know the exact words to say, at the exact time to say them, and they are perfect at "reading" guests to know when they are needed and when they are not. There's plenty to do on the grounds. But, more to the point, this is a place for absolute relaxation. Ah, and last, the food. This is the best food I've ever eaten anywhere in the world. I know that sounds like it's impossible, but it's better than any meal I've had in any major city in the US. Blackberry Farm is a delight and I'm sorry the previous guest had a less-than-optimal stay. I've seem their level of customer service and know that the manager who responded to the post is sincerely interested in hearing from the guest.
Wonderful Weekend Escape
My husband and I saw Blackberry Farm at the top of a survey in a magazine a couple of years ago and had been wanting to visit there.
Last fall, we decided to book a weekend in February and found out about their Wine Boot Camp. We thought it would be fun to do something different so we booked the weekend, and it was wonderful! Michael Green, Richard Sanford, and Larry O'Brien were great in the wine tasting sessions. We learned so much and had a great time! This is one boot camp that you will not want to end! The food and wine were top notch!!! The place is beautiful (we loved the Holly Glade cottages), and Sam Beall(proprietor) and his wife were the nicest, most down-to-earth people. The staff were so friendly (never snooty) and very accomodating. We can't wait to visit Blackberry again!
Mouse in room!
This is place is extremely overrated. The rooms are old, the bathrooms cramped. Our experience was that the service is not as efficient and overall as good as advertised. Plus it is snooty.
At dinner, we never were visited by the sommelier, despite ordering a bottle of wine. He visited tables all around us, but not ours.
Worst of all, we awoke to the sound of a mouse in a mouse trap under our bed. When I called to have the mouse trap removed, it took THIRTY MINUTES for them to get to the room! So much for good service. The front desk never apologized and said, "Well, we are out in the country, so you're going to have a mouse from time to time." No apology.
When I told a housekeeper about the mouse, she told me that they (housekeeping) had warned the front desk about the mouse and to not let guests stay in the room until the mouse was caught. So the front desk knew about the mouse all along -- but still gave us the room!
When I complained about everything, I was met with complete hostility from the hotel manager and general manager. When I told the general manager that the front desk gave us a room knowing there was a mouse in it, he accused me lf lying. Our letter of complaint to the owner of the resort went unanswered.
Besides all of that, the place is boring for more than a night. There just isn't that much to do. The food is excellent, but other than that people tend to overrate this place.
Beauty at the Inn at Blackberry Farm
Coming from coastal Texas the experience at the Inn at Blackberry Farm was like a fairy tale. I had traveled a little to Jamica, Hawaii, CA, FLA and other states but the experience at The Inn at Blackberry Farm was magical. We only had two days and it was raining but it was wonderful. We were able to get a fly fishing lesson in and walk all of the grounds, which are beautiful and magical even in the rain. The rooms were like being in a small kingdom and the comon/great room dowstairs had drawers of delicious snacks and the hidden fridge had every drink you could want plus Dove bars in the hidden freezer. The views of the smokies at dawn and dusk were inbelievable for a Texas southerner not to mention the bon fire at night at which you could make your own smoores treats. The food prepared by the Inn's outstanding and accomplished chief and the superb box lunches that you could not only eat anywhere on the grounds but take with you as you leave were nothing that I had been exposed to and I had been to some of the best restuarants in Houston, Tx. There is a wonderful farmhouse spa for anything that man or woman may want or need and not to mention the Aveda samples in your room. The staff is also one of the most accomidating and pleasant ever to experience. My overall experience at the Inn at Blackberry Farm was so rememorable that I can not wait to get back there. There are not many places that I am willing to experience twice but the Inn at the Blackbery Farm is one of them.
Everyone Should Try It Just Once In Their Lifetime
My husband and I just returned from a trip to Asheville where we detoured for a few nights to the Blackberry Farm in Walland, TN. As I have told everyone since my return, everyone should have a chance at some point in their lifetime to spend a few nights at the Blackberry Farm. The crisp cool October air made the roaring fireplaces more worthwhile - there is even a fabulous outdoor fireplace under a wonderful pavillion overlooking a lake stocked with trout. We have stayed at some very fine properties (including the Inn at Biltmore), but the service at Blackberry was absolutely a notch above. The spa was relaxing; the biking and hiking were necessary after the delicious but rich foothills cuisine; and the flyfishing looked like fun (lots of fish to see but didn't see many caught). There were wonderful adironack chairs, hammocks, rocking chairs, and couches to read and relax on. It was charming and relaxing and we plan to return when we are looking to unwind again!
The Inn at Blackberry Farm
My husband and I have stayed all over the world at some of the finest resorts. Without question, the Inn at Blackberry Farm is without equal. We stayed in the Purple Martin guest cottage for 5 days in June. The service is the best I have ever experienced. The food is superb and the restaurant staff easily accomodated my husband's no red meat, low fat meal requirement. The high point of my visit was a 4 1/2 hour trail ride on a trusty little sure-footed Rocky Mountain horse named Eli accompanied by trail guide Jim Sanford- we went off trail up in the mountains and easily scaled inclines I would have thought were too steep for a horse to safely negotiate. Less experienced riders will prefer the 2 hour trail ride which will skip the off-trail steep inclines. The next day I got what was easily the best manicure and pedicure I've ever had at the Aveda spa located in a beautiful old farmhouse on the grounds. One note of caution though, this resort will be most appropriate for those who enjoy outdoor activities-fly-fishing, hiking, horse-back riding. Fly fisherman will enjoy knowing that I saw a place in the crystal clear stream where I counted at least 30 rainbow trout-each about 16 inches long. Be advised that the Inn is really not appropriate for young children under the age of ten. In fact, the Inn offers a program for children only during July each year. They also have a lovely cooking school where the executive chef as well as visiting chefs demonstrate receipes. We had a tour of the wine cellars (there are 6 I think!) followed by a tasting led by the sommelier.The Inn is very pricey but includes all meals and all the snacks stocked in your room (Dove ice cream bars, M&Ms, soft drinks etc.) And, let's face it, we're all worth it!
TripAdvisor Reviews Blackberry Farm Walland
Travel Blogs from Walland
Blue ridge parkway in the smoky mountains. Rode a stretch that was so narrow and as tight as anything on the dragon. Kent started the day with his shirt on backwards! Ha!! Cool up in the mountains , had to pull out a jacket! Great day! Heading out tomorrow back to Kentucky starting ...
... how much Virginia drivers suck. It's like they have no idea whats going on. Virginia is not for lovers, its for bad drivers.
2) I prefer the road when there is little to zero other cars. It is just way more enjoyable, and Toby likes it better when I don't have to turn off cruise control every few minutes.
3) The south is really pretty, even when cloudy! But, boy can it rain hard!
4) I think Toby only likes to ...
... airport and misjudged the curb on way to charger. First boo boo on car! Went to have tire checked at Goodyear and was told it didn't take too much rubber off sidewall and so no problem continuing the drive. The rims will be ugly!! Checked into Knoxville Hilton garden Inn for night. Soooo much better than last night's Holiday Inn. Will try to get early start in the morning with long charge for the longest leg of ...
... so we headed back. IT'S a big city, lots of U turns ( the norm ) we ended up in Market Square, having had something to eat watching the world go by. A group of university students arrived on bicycles all dressed up in red white and blue and including their bicycles, with drums in tow. They entertained us for over hour. Tiredness got the better of us, so we headed back, watching the fire works as we drove back to our ...
... green, reminds us of Germany.
In the afternoon we finally get into the quiet and peacefully remote place that we desired: ahhhh, like heaven on earth after all the cities and traffic. We look forward staying on the Meadow Creek Mountain Ranch in eastern Tennessee for the next 4 nights.