A Hidden Treasure

Escape the modern-day frenzy to the serene hills of the Great Smoky Mountains at Blackberry Farm.

By Gina Christman
Photography by Beall + Thomas Photography


True to its reputation, Blackberry Farm is a smart, polished big hitter with a surprisingly gentle soul.  The resort is a continually evolving jewel where the perfectly pitched nature-nurture approach is considered the gold standard. Designed with the utmost respect and appreciation for the Tennessee foothills and its natural bounty, Blackberry Farm is authentic in every way. Guests are pampered, yes, but also invited to participate in the process if they so choose. They can spend time with the master gardener, learn the heritage, history and art of harvesting and seed saving, and even work the fields (which is known to enhance mental and emotional well-being, lower blood pressure and boost the immune system). There are also cooking classes, visits with the preservationist and beekeeper, and demonstrations of everything from pickling, to cheese making to charcuterie—all done on property.

Within this gastro-centric paradise, the focus is on wellness. Fitting, then, that one year ago The Wellhouse Spa was conceived as the next step in proprietor and visionary Sam Beall’s plan to foster healthy lifestyles. The anchor for Beall’s philosophy is the resort’s restorative bounty, along with his conviction that wholesome choices make for a healthful and fulfilling life that balances physical, mental and social wellbeing.

The Wellhouse at Blackberry Farm, now a year old, is in a forward lunge. The spa has found its natural rhythm in connecting itself to the surrounding land. The menu of treatments features locally sourced products, along with healing plants and flowers offered on a seasonal basis. “Our philosophy of wellness at Blackberry Farm is rooted in balance,” says director of wellness Amanda Anderson. “Our goal is to help guests relax and renew, while nurturing sustainable habits for a healthy lifestyle after their stay is over.”

Guests come to The Wellhouse to relax, refresh, and learn to live and feel better. Choice is the guiding principle, with a wide range of programs and experiences designed to help guests become more aware of themselves and their surroundings. Here is a tiny sampling of what to expect:

SMOKEY MOUNTAIN SKIN GLOW – sweet scrub and skin conditioning using a blend of pomegranate seed, orange peel powder and essential oils, followed by a private steam bath and full body massage with nutrient-rich body butter.

CRUZE FARM BUTTERMILK AND LAVENDER-WILDFLOWER HONEY – manicure or pedicure that combines the benefits of amino acid-rich, locally sourced buttermilk with nature’s perfect humectant, honey, to soothe and soften hands and feet.

NATURAL FARM-FRESH REFUVENATION FACIAL – uses Tata Harper’s 100% natural products featuring ingredients grown on her family farm and packed with botanical vitamins, minerals, omegas and antioxidants. Upgrade to a longer version that finishes with a Cruze Farm Buttermilk Mask.

The Wellhouse offers regular strength and fitness options, too. Group classes include zumba, barre, dance fusion, cardio-core circuit and more. One-on-one sessions feature personal training, private dance instruction, TRX and stretch and foam rolling release.

Wellness activities extend beyond the spa. For best use of the fresh mountain air, head into the woods for yoga, meditation, EarthFit Endurance Hike or Run, or the Japanese-inspired forest bathing—quietly walking and exploring, with all senses open to every sound, scent, color and “feel” of the forest, buzzing in its bio-diversity. The goal is to “bathe” each physical cell in your body along with your entire psyche in the forest’s essence.

For the sports-minded, there is fly fishing, mountain biking, tour kayaking, tennis, swimming and stand-up paddle boarding, to be followed by (of course) a Deep Woods Muscle Recovery Massage or an in-room couples massage, complete with Champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries and a drawn bath. As rustic and ruggedly unspoiled as the resort is, there is simply no escaping the luxury.