The 5,200-acre newcomer champions serious service in the great outdoors.

By Nicole Schnitzler
February 20, 2019
Courtesy of Blackberry Mountain

Situated in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains, Blackberry Farm has been synonymous with rural luxury since it first opened to the public in 1990. In the decades that have passed, it has gained a loyal following for the remote, upscale, and epicurean adventures offered on its 4,200-acre expanse. So when the team announced it would be opening another property this winter that would take that same dedication to Southern hospitality and dial it up in the adventure category, nature nomads and first-class fanatics alike knew they were in for something good.

That destination is Blackberry Mountain, a Relais & Châteaux property that officially opened over the weekend (one of just four to earn the designation before debuting). Situated seven miles away from Blackberry Farm, the 5,200-acre resort reflects the same caliber of service, wellness, and dining offered at its sister property, while also placing an emphasis on outdoor experiences, from rock climbing and mountain biking to fly-fishing and foraging.

Upon arrival, guests check in at the Lodge before hiking their way to accommodations or opting for a ride in the property’s line of Lexus house cars. Choose between two types of quarters: Stone Cottages (which range from 1,200 to 1,475 square feet) or Watchman Cabins (675 square feet). There are 18 of the former, which house a private outdoor patio, wood-burning fireplace, and soaking tub, and six of the latter, which feature reclaimed wood, floor-to-ceiling windows, and wood-burning stoves.

Once settled, visitors can explore an array of happenings at the Hub, where a learning kitchen, arts and crafts space, and fitness center await (complete with a basketball court and indoor rock-climbing wall). Build up an appetite, then head to dinner at Three Sisters, where chef Josh Feathers helms a menu of seasonal, flavor-driven dishes (e.g. pumpkin a la plancha with black walnut butter or grilled grouper collars with herbed yogurt tzatziki).

Make time for a morning massage at the Nest, a subterranean spa with a sauna, salon, and outdoor infinity pool, then take breakfast or lunch at Firetower, a restaurant located at the mountain’s peak that serves day-time fixes like flatbreads, bowls, and mussels.

Those who would rather feast in fresh air are covered, too, thanks to chef-led picnics or trail-side cooking excursions. Consider it just one more way the team here ensures a guest experience built upon the best of two worlds: award-winning service and a rare obsession with the outdoors.

Rates start at $995 (double occupancy) and include nightly accommodations, dinner, breakfast, and morning wellness classes.

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