When you've spent a decade turning a faded grand hotel in South Africa into the hottest lodging on the continent, what do you do for a second act? If you're Euan McGlashan, until recently the general manager of the award-winning Cape Grace Hotel, near Cape Town, you move to Georgia and start over.
McGlashan has now turned up at the two-year-old Barnsley Gardens and, if his record at Cape Grace is any guide, this golf club and resort in the Blue Ridge foothills will be one to watch. The former Barnsley Manor and its 1,300 acres of landscaped grounds (which include a romantic ruin of a house said to have been Margaret Mitchell's model for Tara) have been outfitted for guests with 33 quaint and cozy cottages. Chef Charles Vosburgh's updated Southern cuisine, served in a formal restaurant and in a clubby grill, makes excellent use of herbs grown in the historic gardens. The main draw is the championship golf course designed by Jim Fazio, but there's also a fabulous spa, tennis courts and an Olympic-size pool, and McGlashan has introduced skeet and trapshooting, stables and miles of trails for hiking and riding (877-773-2447).